Wednesday, February 18, 2009

No one said it would be easy.

Not sure what I had done but for a moment this morning I was convinced that the gods were conspiring to made sure that I stayed in Cairo.

After getting up with ample time to spare, I only just made my train to Alexandria (Alex).

As luck would have it- i managed to flag the slowest, Sunday driving cabbie in all of Cairo. Before taking me to the station he decided to give me a tour- 1st he showed me the Egyptian Museum, then the Hilton hotel and finally I demanded out when we approached the main square. I tried to promt him along the entire drive with cries of yella yella (lets go, lets go) but they fell on deaf ears.

I was angry, my nostrils flared as i was convinced that iw as going to miss the tulipi express train.

With my backpack on i ran for dear life keen to leave the city and knowing that if i missed the train i would probably not attempt to leave again because clearly it was proving too difficult a task (i did not catch my train earlier in the week to Aswan on account of illness).

Once at the station, i found my platform with ease and by the time i had sat down we were off. Still breathless from the run i was excited to be going somewhere new.

As the carriage made its ay out of the platform i made eyes at the window and took in Cairo's metropolis.

The cities high rise apartments stood before me, painted shades of orange, peach, tan and grey. High into the sky went the tower blocks, each decorated uniquely by the colourful washing drying on the balconies.

As the apartment buildings dwindled, they gave way to a low rise, more industrial landscape of factories, the odd mosque and more half finished apartment buildings.

Finally we were in the countryside, urban sprawl replaced with green fields dotted by palm trees and eucalyptus.

Growing used to the new landscape i was surprised when little satellite towns sprung up... mostly they consisted of 50-100 unfinished medium rise unfinished red brick apartment buildings surrounded by lush green fields.

As the train speed along, i thought back to the night before .. I had spoken with a man at my hostel who told me that in Cairo everything is forbidden but everything is allowed too- he was referring to the large number of prostitutes in Cairo and the growing gay scene. In a country where sexuality is hidden and unspoken it was interesting to hear. He mentioned that it was commend for older female travelers to visit Egypt as sex tourists- Germans mainly and i was shocked.

The train was soon in Alexandria- it is only 200 kilometres from Cairo and as i got off i felt ready for my next adventure.


Just when i thought i had broken the gods curse things went from bad to worse. Unable to find a taxi who wanted to take me to the address of the hostel i had copied from the lonely planet for a reasonable fare i was beginning to feel stressed from the touts at the train station.

With the help of a very friendly Egyptian lady my spirits brightened when i managed to get a cabbie who assured me he knew where we were going.


Note in the end i am ok but it does go from bad to worse...and then finally back to good again.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Super cool writing!!!