A peek of the pyramids in Giza from the international school.
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First Days in Cairo

Above: A peek of the pyramids in Giza from the international school.

I have a few photos and thoughts to share from this week. I flew in on Wednesday; redeye from PDX to JFK, nine-hour layover then a 10-hour flight to Cairo. At the airport, I met some Cascadians who will be teaching at my school! A teaching couple with two children from Seattle. I also met another teacher from Texas, a recent college grad from Chicago and a businessman from Virginia. On the flight, I talked to a band of brothers from NY who were vacationing in Cairo. Their mother was Egyptian and father was Syrian.

See also: “Why I’m Moving to Cairo by Myself”

We were picked up in Cairo by a representative of the school. The drive into Cairo was fascinating. There are millions of things I want to take a picture of. Wednesday was a mixture of “what the hell did I get myself into?” and “I got this!” Thankfully our travels to India, Nepal, Vietnam and Cambodia were good preparation.

Walkway along the Nile.

Walkway along the Nile.

People say that the drivers here are crazy, but I’ve yet to see anything shockingly bad. There are mostly cars, taxis and mini buses with a smattering of motorbikes and donkey carts. The honking is noisy.

Some "cool kids" in the streets of Cairo. Most women do not show their shoulders or arms.

Some “cool kids” in the streets of Cairo. Most women do not show their shoulders or arms.

The majority of people out and about are men. It’s a little different to see women so covered up—a mixture of head, body, and/or face. Some are in colorful headscarves (hijab). Some are in black robes with only the eyes showing. Some women don’t cover their head at all.

A mosque in Cairo

A mosque in Cairo

I’ve learned that Egypt is 90 percent Sunni Muslims and 10 percent Coptic Orthodox Christian. This is seen in the skyline; minarets with both crescent/half-moons and crosses, relatively.

Cairo

Cairo

I’m jet lagged so I keep hearing call to prayers at 3:30 or 4 a.m. The first time I heard it, I was a little shocked. It is loud. And unfamiliar. But by day three, I am used to it.

View of the city

View of the city

Cairo is shades of green and gray in the middle of the desert. The buildings outside of town are brick, concrete, brown and every shade of yellow sand. Rows of apartment buildings, many abandoned, with window AC units and satellites line the roads.

 

Fresh produce at a Cairo grocery store. The red fruit in the middle row is fresh dates.

Fresh produce at a Cairo grocery store. The red fruit in the middle row is fresh dates.

All of the fruit is organic; no sprays or pesticides. Agriculture is an important business. Farmers bring it into the city by donkey cart. I saw fresh dates red in color. Fresh dates, who knew such a thing existed. Don’t mind me, I get excited about fresh fruit and produce that tastes like it’s supposed to.

The orientation at my school is really well organized and I feel supported by the teaching and admin staff. There are about 20 new teachers here from New Zealand, all over the UK and the U.S. Everyone is really nice, has taught abroad before and is open minded. No one is scared by the political or religious climate and I’m learning there really isn’t any reason to be. It’s business as usual after the Revolution.

More to come later about the apartment search and the felucca ride on the Nile River!


Pastries at one of the many sweet shops in Cairo

Pastries at one of the many sweet shops in Cairo


A small shop in Cairo

A small shop in Cairo


A felucca boat on the banks of the Nile River

A felucca boat on the banks of the Nile River


An apartment complex in Cairo

An apartment complex in Cairo


Daily life in Cairo

Daily life in Cairo


Two young boys in Cairo

Two young boys in Cairo


The Satellite Transmission Station in Maadi.

The Satellite Transmission Station in Maadi.


One of the ubiquitous street snack stands

One of the ubiquitous street snack stands

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3 thoughts on “First Days in Cairo

  1. Deni says:

    We are so going to enjoy your adventures, Viktoria. Good on you for doing it on your own. And good on Robert for his support. Love you guys! And I got a kick out of “Cheaper than Walmart.”

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Aaron says:

    What a wonderful adventure you are on! Great update and photos — we are looking forward to hearing more about your new Egyptian life.

    Like

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