Welcome is the new 'hello' - Today was all about the streets of old Cairo.
Woke at about 06:00 and dozed till I couldn't any more. Had a fabulous shower and stretched for ages. Breakfast was as before and just as good.
We walked the streets for hours, well maybe 4 hours. I had the streets and location all worked out until I got lost. We are not working on a grid system and the streets wander. Getting lost was fun and felt safe. The traffic was either slow or gridlocked, so it was fairly easy to cross streets. On this, we walked like the Egyptians as they mostly had it down pat. All up the traffic was pretty friendly to pedestrians. I would say that 8 in 10 cars would be able to stop in time if they had to.
There were sooo many cats on the street. Under cars, in shops. I wanted to pat them, but wasn't sure how they would react. I did pat one, which loved the 'human' contact and it pushed its little head into my palm for more and was even happier when it was rewarded with a chin scratch. Aase insisted on disinfecting me with Detol then and there. I don't know where the dogs are, but we did see a small pack of four running down the street last night.
Plenty of men are happy to say 'welcome' as in hello, but none were bothersome. And all had a shop or tour to tell us about. When we answered the frequent question 'where are you from' we get the 'Ossie, Ossie Ossie' reaction instantly and I easily resisted the typical 'Oi, Oi, Oi' response. I'm loving the Egyptian fashion in the shops, but don't see many women wearing it. Don't actually see many women. And there are quite a few shops with sexy clothes and underware, which I didn't expect to see.
Just around the corner is a fantastic pizza shop. Just a hole in the wall with the oven on the street. We saw it yesterday and hunted it down today. It was popular and while I waited kids from a nearby school also stopped by for some. They were very friendly and sought out smiles from me which was so easy to return. Asides from the hansome Egyptian men who initiate conversation, it is hard to get a smile out of anyone passing by, particuarly older women. So it was lovely to see happy, smiling children.
We were exhausted by the time we got back, but not too tired to scoff the pizzas which had a yummy flaky and buttery base .. like a flattened croissant and a really tasty topping of lamb, egg, tomato and green chilli. I tried to have a nap, but couldn't sleep. Aase, still had energy and motivation and while I rested she worked out our itinerary with the hotel guy, Medhat. Much later in the evening, after Aase mentioned she was hungry, Medhat offered the services one of the other men to go out and get us a takeout meal. We asked for something traditional and he brought us back a really tasty vegetarian pasta with noodles with lentals - it cost LE6 for both, ie, slightly over $1 Australian for two generous meals. The pizzas (two) cost LE12 .. that's just over $1 each. A cheap lunch pizza at home would cost atleast $7.