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10 Things Impossible to Find in Egypt

Clean air? Unscratched cars? What are these mythical creatures? We here in Egypt have never heard of them.

Visiting Egypt is amazing, but living here can be very tough. With a capital populated by roughly 20 million people anything should be possible, and yet here is a list of 10 things we think are almost impossible to do here.

Finding a Black Bag That Doesn’t Attract Death Stares

Seems simple to do anywhere else in the world, but if you walk around with a black bag in this predominantly Muslim society, expect a few death stares as many Muslims will assume you have alcohol in your bag and that you will rot in hell. Hopefully they are pious enough to allow Allah to judge.

Finding Clean Air to Breath

Whether you are inside or outside, the air is simply polluted. Outside citizens have to contend with a myriad of pollutants that range from inefficient cars with exhaust that create a black fog of death to acres upon acres of rice fields being burnt for the purpose of re-farming land. If you really miss clean air, we recommend driving into the heart of any of our surrounding deserts for hours until you feel completely alone and lost, then breathe.

Finding Parking 

Finding parking anywhere in Cairo is tough, but in Zamalak it’s damn near impossible. Forget double parking - if you are able to find triple parking then consider it mission accomplished.

Finding Last Minute Eid Bookings

Eid comes twice a year every year, and yet too many of us fail to plan an escape until the week before. Admittedly, we should mention that not only is it impossible to book, but it is equally impossible find a good deal that won’t have you feeling swindled. Best bet: leave Egypt during the Eid, as any vacation within it will be crammed with people, making it no escape at all.

Finding Cleanliness

Finding anything clean is nearly impossible. Even when it is, it only lasts an hour, as the air is filled with dust that make trees look rusted, cars decrepit, and our buildings ancient, making our cityscape a filthy eyesore. Sadly, no matter how often we clean we will never be able to eliminate all the sand particles that exist in this infinite desert.

Finding an Unscratched Car

Traffic is becoming part of Cairo’s character. The toughest pill to swallow is when you are at a complete stop in traffic, and the car next to you decides to create a new lane slowly inching ahead, while giving your car a new race stripe. If that isn’t bad enough, when there is no traffic we drive like maniacs. In both circumstance it is impossible to get from point A to point B while avoiding your car being scratched.

Finding Bassem Youssef

The Egyptian face of reason was once plastered everywhere. Millions were rushing home to catch his satirical show. However, that was then and this now, and nowadays Bassem Youssef seems to be harder to find than Waldo.

Finding a Painter That Can Avoid Light Switches

We aren’t sure why this happens, but it just does. The only explanation we have is that perhaps it is impossible to find a screwdriver.

Finding a Building That Won’t Drip On You

For a long time Egyptians preferred living in the city. As a result buildings kept getting taller and being in the desert, A/C became a necessity, with a majority of homes installing multiple units. The end result is that it now impossible to walk around a building without dirty air conditioning run off ruining your attire. Sadly, there just aren't enough buckets in all of Egypt to catch the drippings of A/C’s in Cairo.

Finding a Police Man When You Need Him

Don’t get us wrong, there are plenty of police in Egypt. Traffic police, tourism police, secret police: there is really no shortage, and yet anytime you need one they simply aren’t there. The only way to attract their attention is by maybe taking a photo on the street, or even counting to four on one hand, however if you do so, don’t expect help.