While we Egyptians don't find our cultural quirks anything to write home about, visitors to our dear land naturally find a lot of very, very strange. We're here to answer their questions.
Yes, Egypt is weird and we take for granted how used to it we've become. It really takes a foreigner in a college sweatshirt and a fresh perspective on what's fucked up to really point out that we pretty much live in chaos.
Q: Why is there a ninja dressed in plain clothes, throwing cards in our vehicle and doing back flips?
A: He’s a retired ninja; the ninja business has really suffered after the revolution so now they work for restaurants throwing card shaped menus at you with great proficiency and even greater deals. Don’t worry, he won’t take your eye out, unless you try and throw it back at him.
Q.Is there a terrorist attack happening soon, or why are woman making that weird tongue-sounding thing?
Forget your Fox News inspired misconceptions, this is not the film Team America. These wonderful woman are making the celebratory sound known as “Zaghroota.” It’s used at weddings, births, graduations and beheadings. Wait, did we say beheadings?
Q. Why is there blood in the shape of open hands on random stuff?
Speaking of beheadings, it’s common practice in Egypt that upon the arrival of something new like a house, car or even a baby to sacrifice an animal as a thank you but also use the blood later in that display to avoid evil eye.
Q.Why are strangers getting in my taxi?
Well to be honest we’re not even sure that’s legal, and living here you tend to let the little fish slide. Metaphorically speaking, consider yourself to be a DEA agent who leaves the little players playing because he has bigger fish to fry. Once you’ve been here for a while you will get used to the friendly strangers getting all up in your business and space. Have you met the Bawab?
5.Who’s that man in a dress under your building and why is he feared so much?
The Bawab is a man who came from a village far off from Cairo and, powered with endless ambition and a knack for intrusion, it was only a matter of time before this man gained notoriety. Always smile in his face, follow his hours of curfew and don’t you dare look him in the eye.
Q. Why aren't the women swimming in this gorgeous sea?
Ah, the Egyptian woman. Rumour has it that if her hair gets wet, she transforms from a cuddly creature you want to get to know, into a small, destructive, evil monster. Or is that the plot of Gremlins? We can't remember.
Q. Why are there so many cats?
What’s wrong with you? Why don’t you like cats? Are you a spy? Why are you asking so many questions? Because they’re awesome that’s why, this conversation is over.