Previous Post
Panorama of the European Film: Highlights
Next Post
London Hotel Bans Alcohol & Pork

Things Everyone Does at Cairo International Airport

Observe the holy rituals of Cairo International Airport. Defectors will face the consequences. There is no escape.

Cartoush Crazy

If you think cigarettes are becoming expensive in Cairo, the average pack of 20 cancer sticks in Europe will take you back the equivalent of nearly 100 LE. Not to mention most other countries don't have the same filters. They work too well abroad and we're used to something a bit rougher. As such, you will frantically stock up on cartoushes of Merit Asfar for you and for the 10 other friends and relatives who have asked you to mule them to their first world country.

Holding It In

We test the limits of our bladder to avoid the horrors of the CAI toilets.

Inta Ga3an Habibi?

There's not much to do at an airport but eat anyways. You will stare blankly at the cold "fresh" sandwiches piled up onto of each other like shoes in a Wust El Balad market and pass. You will think hey, can't go wrong with a slice of margarita pizza, but you have been fooled, just like that Hippopotamus cafe that brands itself as the classier choice of airport eating destinations but no, more than likely they are taking the leftovers from adjacent kitchens and serving it to you on a plate for twice as much. Airport sushi? No thanks. You will make this round five to six times before finally resigning to the fact that you will sit down and not enjoy a 70 EGP hamborgor from Hamborgor King.

Interstellar Sculpture

You will pass by the below sculpture and think, wait? What? How? That's not how gravity works. Every. Single. Time. (The sculptor, by the way, is an artist called Smaban Abbas)

You Just Need Diwant it!

You wonder into Diwan hoping to pick up some literature for the flight, only to find out they have a total of about three books, and they're all self help books by the author of The Secret. You end up buying a neck-pillow instead.

Taxi. Limousine. Taxi. Limousine.

It's a staple, a living breathing landmark, something all your tourist friends will recount back home. It's the running of the drivers. It doesn't matter if you have your driver, friend or relative waiting for you to be picked up, get ready for the fight on arrival as hundreds of middle-aged Egyptian men will swoop into your personal space as you brush off their offers of taxi, limousine, taxi, limousine, at first nicely until the fiftieth person has asked you, almost forcibly grabbing your bags, at which point you will go a bit mental at some poor unsuspecting taxi driver who was just doing his job to feed his family. You will then find that your friend/relative/driver did not turn up. You will go back to the taxi driver. He will charge you double.

Smoke and No Mirrors

Despite the fact that CAI's smoking room is a 3x3 meter prison of lung cancer, the most depressing 4 walls in the history of mankind, depleted and grimy, you will nonetheless go in for a pre-flight cigarette. You don't even need a cigarette actually, it's pretty much hot-boxed with nicotine.