This story begins with an official apology. An apology being issued to you, you and you who have spent over 365 days waiting for this website. I sincerely am. I’m ashamed of myself.
But here it is. Now cast that frown away and try smiling, or rather I hope that this post will light you up.
Now, this story officially begins with two adventurous souls loitering about in Downtown Cairo at 5AM. I know it sounds far fetched but please, bear with me, I’ll get to the end. These two souls stroll about soaking in the city that they just arrived in the previous day. They even meet cats combing through litter in search of breakfast. (Please tell me you saw what I did there?)
After about an hour and a half, exhaustion creeps in and they decide to go back for a nap. This is where it all began, they bump into a seemingly excited Egyptian who is….surprise, surprise…. a tour guide. Omar is his name and he is beyond amazed that he has bumped into two enthusiastic Kenyans who wouldn’t turn down any opportunity for adventure, irregardless of the cost. Mind you, they had been warned of “Enthusiastic, super friendly and extremely kind Egyptians”. After obliviously relaying all the information Omar needed to make his move (duration of visit, purpose of visit, residence etc), he then puts the final nail on the coffin, “Do you want to go to the pyramids today?” Stop. Wait. Why not? Are we busy? They ask themselves. Then he swings in his killer punch, “I can give you a good discount if you promise me we can go today. I see you have cameras, so you can even stay around during sunset and take nice pictures, all for good discount Habibi.” I should inform you that at this point, the words “discount”, “stay around during sunset” are the deal breakers. Omar smiles wryly and you can even see him light up inside. “Okay my friends, see you at 2PM here.” He’s closed his first deal of the day. The two souls return to take that power nap after Omar takes them for some Egyptian tea with falafels and plot for the rest of the day.
2PM. Omar calls. “Where are you Habibi?” They then inform him they are savouring some Koshary down the street. Omar arrives. Ushers them to a taxi where they meet another “Omar catch”. (Who knows how many other clients he had that day?). He’s a teacher from the US who’s in Egypt for holiday.
2.30, Omar drops off his catch at a different dealer and collects his share.
2.40, they finally arrive. At this point, it’s an unprecedented detour, involving a Papyrus shop where they have no intention to buy anything, but Egyptians…..Let me tell you, they can sell anything and you’ll happily comply. They can get you to even buy ice in winter. Let’s cut out this part of the story, because the resolve they had of not making any unplanned purchase was wrecked down faster than Miley Cyrus comes in like a wrecking ball. Sorry not sorry. They can attest that they’re probably looking at those papyrus paintings right now and wishing they would metamorph into cash.
Fast forward, they then meet a stable owner who owns lots of horses and camels but wants more money than had been agreed and manage to negotiate their way onto two horses. The adventure then begins.
Then came the sunset we had been promised…..
At this last point, they even forget that they have papyrus paintings in their backpacks, a memoir of their bad decisions. Please note how many times those papyrus paintings have been mentioned…
They then became tempted, pondering the thought of camping in the desert…but it was not to be, until later on.
The rest of the story goes something like walking into papyrus shops and discovering they had spent almost 5 times as much on those paintings, bumping into Omar time and time again in Cairo and avoiding him like a plague. It was either him, or his colleagues who had the same demeanour and approach. Omar worked for a travel office that solicited clients from where you’d easily find them: Downtown Cairo streets. That “discount” became a sore pain, a distant nightmare. As you can guess by now, they never want to see Omar or another of his brothers. Kidding! They met him on their last day in Cairo and shared a few laughs.
But that’s what makes travel fun, right? Theses side stories you rarely hear of.
Well, once bitten, twice shy, but they still love Omar, he was an integral part of this adventure, big thanks to his input in this.
Do you think the day was worth it? Feel free to let me know what you think below.
P.S: Incase you hadn’t figure it out, these two souls are (@the_mentalyst & myself)
I’ll be sharing more of the adventures that we had on this blog. Keep your eyes open!