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Living and Working in Cairo.

As I said before - living in Cairo was an experience. So much so that I don't know where to begin.

The people that I worked with were great. Really friendly and cheerful. I don't know how they do it as when you start to really talk to them you realise just how bad their lives are. Jobs are scarce and the pay is really bad. The only thing I found to be really cheap were the taxis - but then you are putting your lives in the hands of the taxi drivers. I had a few scary rides that's for sure. I never sat in the front seat - I would rather not see what has just avoided hitting us. It was bad enough in the back.

Most of the people at work were Muslims. I had never had any experience with this culture until then and it was a shock to the system that's for sure. As a female I take the freedom I have for granted. There is absolutely no way that I could ever live for a long period of time in Cairo as women are treated as second class citizens. Their husbands can divorce them, but they can not divorce their husbands. The women must be covered. I never once saw a woman wear a short skirt or shorts the whole time I was there.

I had many discussions about life. I was told on numerous times that it is my job in life to marry and have children. They couldn't understand that I like my life the way it is now and that I would no longer have the freedom of choice that I have now if I did have kids now. In the end we all agreed to disagree.

I was living in Giza (pop. 6 million) with another girl from work. She was from Belgium (there were between 5-9 female foreigners working in the casino at any one time). We were both blue eyed blondes. Not many foreigners go to Giza. They go to the Pyramids but that's about it. Very few foreigners live in Giza which meant that we stuck out like sore thumbs. We did try to fit in by covering up as much as possible. It was hard wearing trousers or long skirts when you are used to shorts in summer.
This was the view from off our balcony. Yes that is rubbish. I will alway remember Cairo as being the colour of dust.

The smog in Cairo is absolutely incredible. I wouldn't have believed if anyone told me how bad it was. Some days were just so hazy that you couldn't see clearly across the road. The worst was when I felt that I should have a gas mask as I found breathing hard somedays outside. I could actually feel all the smog and grit going down my throat and into my lungs. And the dust. Everything was so dry - in the 5 months I was there I didn't see one drop of rain.

The heat was unbearable. I went in the middle of July and it was hot. I couldn't take 2 steps outside without breaking into a sweat and this was at 4.30 - 5pm. I was glad that my room in the apartment had air conditioning. Most days I stayed inside as it was too hot to go exploring outside. Even the locals stayed inside so I didn't feel quite so bad.

Living in Cairo was definitely an experience. I'm glad I had the opportunity to go and live there but I must admit that I was really pleased to get home again. The whole lifestyle is just too restrictive for me. I enjoy my freedom.

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Crew Tour to Cairo
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