In most places on earth beards are for hipsters, cow brains are not acceptable cuisine, and people have a concept of personal boundaries. Here in Egypt though, we like to do things a little differently...
It has been assumed that most countries share many cultural norms and traditions. However, to us Egyptians, we alter and Egypt-ify those norms into our own. While many may view our traditions as somewhat negative, we have all grown to love our eccentricity.Here are but a few examples of our Egyptian-ified norms:
1. In the West, car horns are used for their purpose; in case of emergency. However, in Egypt, they are used to express just about anything. From cussing someone to thanking them, we’ve invented a whole new language.
2. Where else in the world will you find a makeshift mini market on every street corner?
3. Egyptians are known for their kindness and generosity, especially when it comes to money. In the West, you find yourself having to pay for asking for a cigarette.
4. While abroad, you will barely come into physical contact with anyone on the street, as opposed to in Egypt where the words “personal space and boundaries” are not in our vocabulary. Here, being hugged by countless strangers and being tailgated while driving are completely normal, everyday occurrences.
5. Those who say New York is the city that never sleeps have obviously never been to Egypt. We don’t even need those 24 hour signs, we already know that nothing ever closes. (And they deliver too!)
6. Foreigners are usually surprised when Taxi drivers in Egypt tell them to ‘keep the money for next time’(Khaleeha 3alaya el marady). They obviously are not familiar with the phrase 3ezoomet marakbeya.
7. In a country with over 80 million citizens, it is somehow possible for everyone to know someone, who knows someone, who knows you.
8. It has been scientifically proven that every Egyptian says Al Salam Alaykum at least 7,000 times a day, while abroad a simple Hello does the trick.
10. Overseas, long beards are a look exclusively reserved for hipsters. While in Egypt, you never really know whether he’s a hipster or an ikhwany.
11. There are a lot of Western countries that are known for eating peculiar animal parts. France, for example, specialize in Foie Gras; a dish made from over-fed duck liver. Here in Egypt, however, we have outdone everyone, and we eat everything and anything that comes from a cow, even their brains, tongues and hooves.
12. Bumper stickers are considered car fashion statements, but of course when used in moderation. For Egyptians, bumper stickers are used to express how someone is feeling, what their name/email/address is, how fast they drive their car, or pretty much any brainfart that the driver deems everyone should know about.