Last year while traveling in Turkey I wrote a blog called Rosanne RosannAdanna. I had a RosannaRosannAdanna experience in Egypt over the last 24 hours.
Yesterday Moro picked me up to take me to a shipping store, Aramex, so that I could ship home the 14 shirts, my books on Egypt and the other stuff that I had picked up or brought along that I no longer need on the next leg to Morocco. We went to Aramex and Moro double parked out in front of the store. There are no parking garages in Egypt. You park anywhere you can.
I went inside and sat and sat and waited for 30 or 40 minutes for my number to be called while Moro stood out on the street and watched his car, making sure it did not get towed or got a boot put on the wheel. Finally my number was called and I went up to the agent and I said ‘I need a box.’ He looked at me quizzically. I called Moro on his phone and he came inside and I told him I and need a box to put all the stuff in. After five minutes the agent brought a box out and I started to put my things that I wanted to ship in the box.
He looked at the papyrus prints all rolled up in a shipping tube and he said ‘Let me see what’s in there.’ I showed him and he said no no cannot ship – might be an Egyptian antiquity. Next were the stone carvings I had of Nefertiti and King Tut. He said no no cannot ship might be antiquity. I had some other things, a carved scarab and other assorted carvings out of stone and he said no no cannot ship might be antiquity.
The agent basically wanted me to unpack everything that I had carried to the store and spread it all out on the floor and the desk for him to look at every single item. I told Morrow that I would rather not do it in front of 14 people in the store that maybe we should go to his house and I should pack only the things that I know I can ship and take the items that I cannot ship out of the box. So I packed everything up and went to Moro’s house where I unpacked everything sorted and re-boxed everything.
Next we went to a DHL store. I went in to just get a quick quote on what it would cost to ship 8 kg or about 15 pounds of items to the United States. He told me $480.00, as in American dollars. I left frustrated and got in the car with Moro. He apologized repeatedly but I knew it was just the Egyptian way. I did not blame Moro, it’s just the Egyptian way.
This morning I was talking to the hotel owner of the Osiris Hotel and I told him that now I must carry to Casablanca 20 extra pounds of crap- 15 extra shirts, my books on Egypt and other things that I just do not want to carry with me for the rest of my journey. I lamented about the high cost of shipping items to the United States. He said that he would take me to the Postal Service or the post office behind the train station in downtown Cairo and I could ship my items cheaper there. We set off in a cab with one of his helpers carrying the box of my clothing. We got to the post office, the owner negotiated and I paid roughly $130.00 to ship my items. The hotel owner explained to me the Egyptian way – like shipping items in Nepal – it is all about who you know and your connections.
I have no idea if my items are going by boat or airplane- or if they will be delivered in 4 days or 3 monrhs or not at all. Lets just say they will arrive, inshallah.
The good news is that I will be able to travel to Casablanca much lighter tomorrow.
Like RoseanRoseannAdanna says “It is always something.”
It is especially true when traveling in foreign countries.
As I was typing and finishing this post, I received a call from Abdou at Venus in Luxor. He wanted to know how I was doing, if everything was OK, when I would leave Egypt.
He cared for me and treated me like a brother, like many others on my 30 day journey in Egypt. Many friendships, amazing hospitality and everyone always very willing to help – everyone from the hotel owner here at Osirius, to Sphinx Abdoul, Pyramid View Abdoul and, of course, my very good friend Moro.
On a bus ride today, the fare/ticket taker offered to cut my hair. It was a nice gesture, but I declined. He was being friendly.
30 days in Egypt was amazing.. Hope you were able to follow me on the journey. If you have ever thought about visiting, I would be happy to,share with you my contacts. Be assured, they will treat you well and you will be safe.
The friendships, hospitality and assistance I received throughtou my journeies in Egypt make the problems seem so minor and insignificant.
Fly direct to Casablanca at 9:30 AM tomorrow on EgyptianAir. 17 hours from post time, but not before another night in Cairo with my friend Moro. We meet at 8:30 PM.