Archive for the 'Cultural Differences' Category


I have been following the elections in Egypt semi-closely. I have read 2 comments that gave me pause. I wanted to share them. The first was from a friend of a friend. She was riding in a taxi. Apparently, it is very common to have a taxi driver ask “Who are you voting for” during [...]

Not in Cairo anymore…

Another one of those reminders about how different things are here. Not always better, not always worse, just different. Yesterday I went to the pharmacy to get a prescription filled. The nice lady behind the counter checked and they did not have the item I required. She offered to phone the pharmacy across the street [...]

Bye Bye piggies

Swine flu paranoia strikes Cairo, Egypt. Pigs to be slaughtered. and Slaughtering has already started Yes there are pigs in Egypt. Many of them. They are usually raised by the Christian garbage recyclers. They are used to turn garbage into protein. The meat is available in some stores, butchers and restaurants. It isn’t the best [...]

Fulfilling a promise

(not one of mine) A Egyptian Coptic friend of ours invited us to attend the baptism of his son Bishoy. We were delighted. He told us he would pick us up in his car and drive with us to where the bus would pick us up. A bus? It turns out he had arranged a [...]

I have a bad case of Mono.

No, not “the kissing disease”. I suffer from mono-culturalism. (is that a word?). i live in a mono-culture within a mono-culture. Egypt is the larger mono-culture. Religion. The vast majority of residents are Muslim. I have nothing against Islam. I don’t find it any more or less “fanciful” than Christianity, Judaism, Buddhism, or Zoroastrianism. “Lifestyles.” [...]

What is this “off the clock” of which you speak?

Working hours are long here in Cairo. It is completely normal to have a Doctor schedule an appointment at 9 or 10pm. That same Doctor will give you his mobile phone number and you can pretty much call it anytime you like. Lectures of visiting professors and other “people of interest” at the university and [...]

Ramadan Kareem

(which roughly means “Happy Ramadan”) As has been written by any number of bloggers and others, Ramadan can be a stressful time. 12 hours or so of no food, no water, no caffeine, no sex, no nicotine (all those things that make like worth living) can make one irritable. There is a great deal of [...]

Ramadan II, this time it’s personal.

This is our 2nd Ramadan here in Egypt. However, it is new in some ways. Last year, when we arrived, Ramadan started about 3 weeks after we arrived. People talked about the crazy traffic and the tiredness of folks that made it difficult to get things done, and the noise at night. When we arrived [...]

Mabruuk Nadr and Georgette!

We almost blew it, but we were invited to a wedding. One of the bartenders, Nadr, at a club (The British Community Association) we frequent spoke to me last week. He said that he was getting married this Thursday and he would like to invite us. I was very happy for him and congratulated him. [...]

It takes a village, a taxi driver and somebody’s mom

It is Ramadan. I only mention this because it means that traffic is much worse than normal during certain times of the day. During one such busy time I was sitting in a taxi on a side street. We sat there for some time. While sitting there, I saw a scene that reminded me of [...]

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