Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Today Clare has had her clothes stolen

As the title suggests, Clare has lost a lot of clothes today. In an
attempt to inject money into the Egyptian economy, she decided to hand
some laundry in to the hotel (the hotel Capsis). Sadly, they have
decided not to hand it back to her, and the whereabouts are unknown.
On the plus side, both Clare and Rachel did laundry of a personal
nature in the hotel sink, so Clare is not completely bereft, and this
confirms everything Clare's grandfather has ever told her about

On to the adventures of our day. The first point of note is that it
was overcast this morning leading us to hope that we might experience
one of the six rainy days Cairo has per year. Sadly, we got overcast
confused with smog (see previous post about pollution in Cairo).

We headed to the pyramids and did most of the journey on the wonderful
"women only" carriage on the metro. We had to take a taxi for the last
nine kilometers, and were joined in our taxi by a smooth talking
Egyptian who insisted on showing us his passport to prove that he
lived in the UAE and worked as a manager for Domino's pizza. He was
attempting to win the guidey award of the day, however, we soon became
suspicious as claimed to be coming home for a vacation but had no
baggage. Thank goodness Clare and I both speak French--we were
discussing the situation and planning a strategy should we not end up
at our intended destination. (this is why we should all learn French
boys and girls).

We were invited to the pizza man's home for refreshments and "Egyptian
hospitality" and offered a place to view the sound and lights show on
his roof. We declined, and were then taken to the horse mafia entry
point to the pyramids. This was the entry point the pizza man told the
driver to take us to. We are therefore going to boycott Domino's
pizza, whatever you guys decide to do is completely up to you.

We had plenty of previous experience with the Jordanian horse mafia at
Petra, and were able to extricate ourselves from the situation easily.
Thereby scamming the scanners--we got to the pyramids for a total of
3.5 pounds a piece, we did not ride any mad horses, donkeys, or
camels, we simply walked a few blocks through the chaos until we found
a proper tourist entrance (not the main gate though).

The pyramids were underwhelming, full of touts, trash and tourist
police who were trying to be guidey saying "statues ok, no climbing"
when we were several meters from the pyramids and infront of a
multilingual no climbing sign.

We found the main gate to get tickets to enter the second pyramid.
Clare felt claustrophobic and didn't end up getting to the middle.
Rachel did, and saw the empty Pharonic sarcophagus, got really hot and
sweaty and came back out. We then headed to the post office, which had
AC and helpful staff. They sold us a lot of very big stamps.

The return trip to the Giza metro cost us double our first taxi rate,
but we got him down from 20 pounds to 10, and he didn't pick up any
more people along the way.

We took the girl car to Coptic Cairo where we had a very beautiful
lunch in a walled garden, where the owner was genuinely friendly and
interested in giving us a good meal. He didn't even try to sell us on
a Bedouin massage (his other business). The name of the shop is Coffe
Shop (SAAD) on 14 Mar Gerges St. We'd definitely go back there.

We toured many Orthodox churches and a synagogue. The most beautiful
of the bunch was the hanging church. It was a delightful change to be
in a calmer and more peaceful atmosphere without the hard sale of
tourist trinkets.

We returned at 4 to have a siesta and search for Clare's clothes.
Sent from my iPod

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