When traveling outside of Egypt, many natives are thrown into chaos. We can’t always be prepared, but those who have traveled to any Western country will understand. And those who plan on traveling, you might learn a thing or two from this list.
1. There is no shatafa anywhere, and we all know the empty plastic cup by the toilet trick. So don’t place that cup near the sink. Thank you.
2. The price you see is what you pay; there is no bargaining. So just save yourself the embarrassment and don’t even try.
3. Utensils; use them. Ordering eggs and toast for breakfast is a battle, I know. You want to use the toast to scoop the eggs up without looking like a caveman. It’s impossible. You will get a thousand mile stare from the old lady in a bonnet sipping tea. Whoever thought eating eggs with a fork was a good idea, anyways? We just aren’t classy but at least we can pretend to be.
4. Answering your cell in public is not a shouting game anymore. You will quickly realize how much you stick out. Loud voices must stay in the motherland. I guess we were never taught the whole indoor voice thing either.
5. There is no 3mu, yasta, or hamada anywhere. Don’t ever call anyone that outside of Egypt.
6. Touching people. Leave that behind as well. The patting, the slapping, the finger pointing. All the hand gestures and weird signals need to be dropped. I’m still working on it.
7. You will be surprised by customer service in most places. It’s phenomenal compared to Egypt. They are organized, timely and friendly. So tip well.
8. Use one language and only one. I don’t know what’s worse, using English words while speaking Arabic or randomly inserting Arabic words into a conversation in English.
“ba2olek eh, I don’t know walahi”
It helps no one and sounds terrible.
9. You will never prepare right for the weather. A little rain does not mean it’s time to whip out the kalsoon or turtlenecks, despite what you may think. Especially if you’re with your parents; they probably never get it right.
If you look like this at one point, it’s okay. We all have wardrobe malfunctions.
10. Not every meal comes with meat and rice. Try new foods, you won’t regret it and refrain from complaining, we all know it’s not your mothers food.
11. The “anything goes” mentality was left back in the Cairo airport. Flying by the seat of your pants is no longer an option. Organization and harmony can be flustering, but it’s all worth it in the end. And you will be taken seriously, so don’t worry.
12. And best of all, you can wear a tank top and avoid this reaction:
13. You can actually go out at night and enjoy it. Gasp.
WE SAID THIS: Check out “10 Things You’ll Relate to If You’re an Egyptian Who Grew Up Abroad“.