Since I remember, Egypt was a country which I desired to visit. Explore pyramids, see on my own eyes architectural treasures (those famous in Luxor but others even more), walk through never-ending dessert. You know, experience Egypt, as it was and as it is. I had free July and so decided that now, the time for fulfilling a dream came. But, lets take a look, what does travelling, or better tourism lately mean in Egypt.
Check this if you didn’t so far: Tips for surviving in Egypt 🙂
When I booked my trip to Egypt, I’ve heard from the most of my family and friends that it was a horrible idea. I knew that it is not Europe anymore, that there is another world and I have to prepare myself for it. Hence I choose absolutely new way of travelling. I booked a hotel for two weeks, paid for extra insurance and packed kind of enough money to spend two weeks by exploring old Egyptian monuments.
Sharm El Sheik
I choose destination – Sharm el Sheik, from few reasons.
*First of all – because of the cost. Comparing to other well known destinations, this one was super cheap. I don’t need such a luxury so 3* hotel for two weeks including all inclusive and transport, cost around 600 euros.
*The second reason was location, as I planned to visit places as Cairo (Valley of Pyramids) and Luxor, Sharm el Sheik was kind of in a middle way.
*And another reason which I will mention was that Sharm El Sheik is known the best because of diving possibilities. <When you are in Egypt, you have to dive!> I’ve heard from the most of people around me. And as diving always attracted me I wanted to do it in the best place possible.
Two weeks in Egypt started
Immediately after my arriving to Egypt I felt enormous discomfort. But as I couldn’t identify the source, I decided to not pay so much attention to it. All systems work in a different way, sometimes you would wonder how it is possible that it didn’t collapse so far. All people are acting according to their inner actual desires (unless there is another authority who could interrupt an action).
The first example I got to experience at the airport after arriving. It is a little thing, but it is enough to understand a situation. As a men working at pass control decided to have a little talk with someone at another station. Everyone had to wait in long queues. I was smiling and observing how Europeans versus Egyptians reacted to situation.
I have to tell you, that before my travel I truly suspected that this article will bring different story. You know me, I believe that people are generally good, that whole world is amazing place to explore. Well, Egypt gave me a big lesson. The lesson which I appreciate with all my heart. And just to clarify, I didn’t change my beliefs.
Money – money – money
As I couldn’t leave Sharm El Sheik, I’m not going to talk about the whole country. (But on the other hand, I’m not sure if I met at least one person, who was born in Sharm.) Maybe my view of situation won’t fit into modern society, but I don’t think that a lifestyle of modern society fits into this world. Sharm is huge, spread around desert. All what I’ve seen was built just for tourists. Plenty of exclusive hotels and two times more markets, supermarkets and shopping centers, night clubs, casinos and so on. There is no place left for culture. At least I don’t think that Egyptians were meant to became screaming individuals, fighting each day for customers in purpose of few dollars.
In Sharm is a place called ‘Old Market’ which was recommended to visit by many people around. It is a place where Al Mustafa Mosque is located (great place.. market). I’ve been there two times and had 2 completely different experiences. The first time I went with German girl and I’m not recommending you to experience this. They will yell at you from each one shop in each language which they know: to come, to try, to see! This is their way how to attract customer, but in true we were disgusted to come, to try, to see.
Another thing – they will set up prices according to your appearance and nationality. The second time I went with 2 Egyptians. Guess what happend, I enjoyed walking through this market with not even one ‘invitation’ to shop.
Egyptian dream (?)
I felt like money are the most important thing in life for Egyptians. It is same everywhere you could say, but, really.. listen.. Money are all there is (one more thing, I will get to it soon) . It’s been a while, that I met so many people persuaded with each cell in body about money as the only source of happiness in life. I’m not saying that all are like that but more than enough are. I had a conversation with young Egyptian. He was 24 years old and seemed to me as open minded at begging, till the moment when I asked about his dreams.
<Easy, like every one in the world. I want to create huge corporation, then I’m rich and everything will be alright.>
Guess what happend when I disagreed with him about his ‘everybody statement’. When I told him that money aren’t everything, that he should look around and consider if this world, created by power of money is the one to live in. When I told him about pollution, wasting of natural sources, destroying landscapes and animal species, as well as other sides effects, created by hunting for money. He didn’t believe me, he thought that I’m joking and trying to soothe him. But there was something left in his eyes what told me, that maybe he will ‘look around’.
I understood why it is like that. And I’m not judging anyone, it will get better.
Lack of information
<Please, can you give me water to the same plastic cup?>
<No, I will give you new. Why do you want same one?>
<What is wrong with this one? Plastic is very dangerous problem for environment!>
<What are you talking about?>
Sad true is, that they simply don’t know. They know just what government wants them to know. And environmental problems caused by plastic are not the only hidden true. When I had troubles to reach my gmail account, I’ve been told that they shut it down because of attack in Hurghada (after around 3 days after attack, problem disappeared). Apparently, with the most of attacks they shut down internet, sometimes electricity and even water. I don’t know if this is true, but I’ve been told that this is the way how it is.
Do you remember how I told you on the beginning that everyone is acting according to his desires, unless there is higher authority? Well, someone is on the highest position on the ladder.
You are beautiful
I was listening to this sentence for two weeks, innumerable times per day. From men, women, kids.. from everyone. I was flattered and thankful as I understand that European face looks quite different than Egyptian, but.. You could say, ‘oh man, pretty European is complaining about too many compliments, such a disaster..’ well, try it and then we can talk. It is not just about compliments. I felt like a trophy, which everyone wanted to get (to bed). It felt like I was watched each second of a day wherever I was.
It is almost impossible to create a friendship or to trust someone, as everyone wants just one thing from you. Even when I was with so-called friend, who ‘understood’ what friendship means, I was changing into his girlfriend, immediately after few minutes we had that ‘we are just friends’ conversation.
Some creepy stories
I mentioned in Tips for surviving in Egypt that being kind and nice is totally unworthy in the most of situations. Maybe you didn’t believe so I should give you few small examples so you see it better.
Bus driver from hotel (I mentioned that it doesn’t matter in what position is your new friend) offered me a ride through city which I almost took. It was my second day in Egypt and I’ve been offered by city-ride plenty of times on my trips through Europe. And he was bus driver from hotel, so it should be safe, right? I refused on the end, but he managed to touched me in intimate way and catch some picture of kissing me before I told him what I think about him and ran away. I’m sure that I became his new girlfriend on his social media. How he explained my disgusted face I’m not sure.
And what about snorkeling instructor putting your hand on his erected dick in the ‘middle of the sea’? Or security manager from hotel telling people around that you are his wife? Or manager of hotel firing animator because of talk with you one night? Should I keep going?
Things got simply weird around me and my European freedom was slowly taken away from me. In true, I started to believe that I will never put my foot on European ground again. But I did 🙂 and here I am to warn you.
We are not done yet
Well, it all sounds quite horrible right? When I was writing this article I realized that I’m not able to mention both – good and bad in just one article, that I have to split it into two. This was vol. I and the purpose was to scare you a bit, so you are more careful with your travels. During two weeks which I spent in Egypt I experienced also amazing things. I’m open-water diver, I created very good friendship and met plenty of interesting people.
But still, the horrible Egyptian mentality (I’m stronger – I’m in right) will stay in my mind for the rest of my life. I would NEVER travel to Egypt alone again. But on other hand I’m super (SUPER!) happy and proud that I did it and could get such an experience.
I’m preparing Alone in Egypt vol. II where I will tell you about amazing Egyptian generosity, great trustful people and exciting experience from two weeks. I’m know that Egypt is beautiful country which just have to sort out own struggles. And I’m not done with Egypt – I’m coming back! With bunch of friends, my future (the biggest man in the world 😀 ) boyfriend and I will be as far from hotels as I can. It was the first ‘all inclusive’ trip in my life, and for you who loves it, sorry guys – this is not my way 😛
Namaste dear friends. See you soon 🙂 Be brave and shine!