8 Things That Scare White Folk in Egypt
White people have been boldly crossing large bodies of water to explore Egypt’s exotic urban and rural landscapes since, well, forever. But that doesn't mean they ain't still scared of the natives...
White people praise the kindness of the people and the cuteness of the children and the mysticism of the sounds of prayers wafting over the city from beautifully crafted minarets. They come to learn Arabic and to soak in the greatness of this ancient and beautiful culture. But what they forget to mention is all the things that secretly terrify them about this huge, noisy,sometimes scary place. If these things scare you, then you’re probably white too:
1. The Nile
Despite its powerful flowing waters that bring life to, like, half of Africa, and the shout-out it got in Alice in Wonderland, the Nile still scares white people. We see the locals swimming in it, conducting water sports in it, and may even have personally ventured out on a felucca ride or two. But we know in the back of our minds that lurking beneath the river’s shiny, unassuming exterior is a noxious combination of raw sewage, monsters, and Bilharzia. We all brag about our apartments on the Nile to friends and family at home, but deep down lurks a primal fear of going anywhere near its waters. Who knows what’s down there?
Even if the station isn’t filled with residual teargas, and the track isn’t filled with people, the metro is still very intimidating to white people. It might be the closed quarters, the conditions of the trains, the rats, or the smell (though, incidentally, that has never been enough to keep white people off the NY Subway). We’re not sure why, but it petrifies us.
White people like electronic juicers, fruit from large grocery stores, and books that tell you how to detox by only drinking things that aren’t meat or water for 6 days. White people don’t like taking a small dingy glass of fresh squeezed dirty orange juice from a guy behind a counter in the middle of the street for 2 pounds. But they usually do it anyway because they’re trying to blend in. What’s a little food poisoning, I’m getting cultured!
White people won’t miss the opportunity to brag to their families at home how amazing Egypt is because you can have literally anything delivered to your home. But try to get that white person to actually order something on the phone – in Arabic – and a terrified, shaking creature emerges. White people will go to almost any lengths to get an Egyptian to order for them.
It only takes around 36 hours for white people to realize that the herds of dogs and feral cats roaming Cairo are… different. That white person instinct to clean and adopt wild puppies and kittens dissipates after the first tetanus shot, and by day four, the food chain has generally established itself.
6. Medical Care
To be honest, healthcare scares white people no matter what country they’re in. Just look at the UK. But Egyptian style healthcare is on a level of its own to such an extent that we have a whole separate post dedicated to it.
7. Crossing the Street
Being able to cross a street in Egypt is like a rite of passage but not one many people are eager to undertake. The trick is usually to look the drivers in the eyes as you sprint confidently across the road. An alternate trick is to just not look at all...
8. Other White People
It takes a “special kind” of white person to come to Egypt, so when we actually see someone on the street who is confirmed to be as crazy, if not crazier, than ourselves, as evidenced by the fact that they’re in this country, it’s twilight zone material. Alternatively, evidence suggests that fear of other white people actually originates from some vestigial colonialist sentiments – AKA white people turf wars.