It’s Oklahoma. We not only got to play cowboy, we really could be one if we wanted. I had lots of relatives with farms. It was pretty common for me to be on a horse before I was an adult. When I was in high school, my folks had a place outside of town where they had horses. My brother had a lot of ribbons and trophies for his horsemanship. I think my mom was more than a little disappointed that I didn’t want to ride bulls for a living. She never really understood me, but that’s okay. I like this photo because it shows a fairly typical scene in the life of a youngster who was raised in rural Oklahoma. Yes, there was a time in my life when I went home from college and rode the tractor into town to pick up the mail from the post office. Even after forty years I still think that’s cool. Significance? Oklahoma isn’t like Boston, L.A., Tokyo, Paris, London, Cairo or Istanbul. We all get what we got, whatever that was. I got Howdy Doody, Captain Kangaroo, Marshal Dillon and John Wayne. Oh, and I got to be a little cowboy. Sometimes.
Egyptians take some pasta, rice, lentils, chick peas, onions, garlic and mix it into a bowl and call it Koshary. The give you another smaller bowl of chili sauce to add to taste. There were also a couple of jugs of condiment (garlic – hot or mild) on the table to spice up the stuff a little more. Throw in a coke and the cost for the whole meal was about 5 Egyptian pounds – approximately an American Dollar. Not only was it cheap, I developed something of an addiction to the stuff. I would go to El Tahrir once every day when I was in Cairo for a bowl of the stuff. Significance? There are a lot of foods that you may never get to try if you never leave the United States of Processed Foods.
Absolutely the best bakery in Cairo and, fortunately, located very near to where I stayed in the city. The only problem is learning how to order little goodies that you had no idea of their name. The system of procurement of the product is different in many Egyptian bakeries than in the states. Once I figured out how to get my goodies, life was a real treat.
I stopped off for lunch at the Marriot. Or, rather, my tour stopped at lunce. Here is your basic American roast beef and swiss with coke for $10.
There are lots of tours that go to the Mohammed Ali Mosque in Cairo. This is a picture of such a group. It was not my group. I had a private guide for the day. The lady in the picture is a tour guide. She is, in all probability, a college graduate and she makes great money, as far as jobs for women go, in Cairo. Unfortunately, she doesn’t make a lot of money, at least compared to what she would make in the U.S. Fortunately, her cost of living is much lower.
I would say a visit to the Mohammed Ali Mosque is a must see in Cairo. If for nothing else, the view from the hill is incredible. The Mosque isn’t half bad, either. The picture really doesn’t do it justice and the views of Cairo from the backside are simply like nowhere else I’ve ever been.
The Giza Pyramids are a must see in Egypt. There are 3 main pyramids right outside of Egypt. All told there are something like 100 pyramids discovered so far. The number is in dispute (how could that be?). The three main ones are at Giza, outside of Cairo. You can get a good tour for $30-60.
There are some really nice hotels in Cairo. Expect to pay American prices.
Cairo is a very big city and the Nile is a very big river. I was told there are somewhere around 18 million inhabitants in Cairo. The unemployment reate is astronomical. According to the CIA World Factbook, the GDP per capita in 2008 was $5,400. To get a persepective, that puts it at 135 place of 229 countries. But the people were wonderful, the food was incredible and the weather in January was awsome, Would I live there? No. But, I will go back anytime you want to take me.
This was my hotel in Cairo. Eigth Floor. Sometimes the elevator works and sometimes it doesn’t. When it doesn’t work I took the stairs but I had to watch out for stray cats and stray cat poop, like everywhere else in Cairo. $18 a night for a double room with a private bath. You can stay at the Hilton down the street for $100-200 a night but if there’s a bomb that goes off in Cairo, you can bet it will be at the Hilton and not at the King Tut. There are other benefits – the owner can probably get you anything your perverted little heart desires and you’ll meet other Americans and Brits and Italians and French and …