A few days ago I arrived back in Amman after a five-day trip in Egypt. We spent most of our time in Cairo, with one short trip to Alexandria. Cairo itself is pretty amazing, although yes it is disgusting and really dirty. Every time we walked down the streets we would find ourselves covered in blackish water and dust, and we even took surgical masks as a precaution against swine flu (although apparently that’s pretty useless). But despite all our fears about eating dirty food, and even despite the intense heat, Cairo is amazing.
The buildings are so incredibly old and beautiful, and everyone was so helpful and nice and outgoing (although there are plenty of people trying to scam you). You can walk almost everywhere, unlike in Amman, and even though it’s huge the city feels way more manageable than Amman, which has a fraction of Cairo’s population. Amman seems so business-like in comparison to Cairo, which is really so beautiful just to look at and enjoy, even if the buildings are falling apart.
We saw tons of old mosques, the pyramids of course, the Egyptian Museum, Khan al-Khalili market and lots of other sights. We went to Alexandria on our last day and saw the library, although the city itself has definitely seen better days. We cut our day there short so we could spend more time in Cairo, which was a great call.
All in all it was a great trip, with nothing stolen, no diseases caught, and cheap too! I think including hotel, food, in-Egypt transportation and tickets we spent maybe $150 or $200 each, plus our $350 tickets there.
Here are some pictures:
And in just a few hours I’m heading back to the states after 6 straight months abroad. I feel like I’ve almost forgotten my life there and I’m definitely eager to get back to things and to see family and friends. But also I have to admit it’ll be so nice to be back in a place where things are just so much easier. The air and water are cleaner, institutions work much better, people actually obey traffic laws…sure I have a skewed perspective because I have a pretty nice life in America, but it’ll be great to not have to think through tons of logistical factors just for a simple trip to the grocery store or something like that.
But the whole experience has been life-changing, and I have to thank everyone here who really made it incredible and way more enriching than it otherwise would have been. Nothing in America can phase me now, or at least that’s how I feel, like everything will seem so easy and simple back home. I’ve gotten a lot better at Arabic, although I still have a long way to go and hopefully a third year of study will make a big difference. I met some of the nicest and kindest people ever and I know I’ll stay in touch with them for years, and in the course of 7 months I saw 6 different countries (counting going to China with my mom in January before coming to Jordan). I just feel incredibly lucky to have had this experience and I know I’ll never forget it. Thanks everyone for reading and commenting and staying updated on my life!