Egypt Information –
- Cairo is Egypt’s largest city with a population of 22 million; Alexandria 17 million; Aswan, 12 million.
- Cairo has 5 million cars. Chinese Esperanza cars are most commonly driven in Egypt because they are the most affordable. The traffic situation in Cairo and Alexandria would be enough to give anyone a nervous breakdown. Nothing moves. It’s stop and go, stop and go, weave in and out of lanes, make your own lane. It’s a miracle that the streets aren’t littered with bodies.
- The best tourist season to visit the desert is January/February and October/November. Don’t visit from March to the end of April when there are 50 days of sandstorms.
- 95% of Egypt is desert.
- Alexandria is the second-largest city in Egypt, and the country’s largest seaport, serving about 80% of Egypt’s imports and exports. Alexandria is also an important tourist resort.
- The Suez Canal is the number one source of Egypt’s income; oil is number 2 and tourism, number 3 with approximately 25 million tourists a year. Germans, French, British tourists were the majority but Chinese tourists, followed by the Japanese, are overtaking the Europeans.
- Important: you don’t need photos for a visa on arrival.
Employment and schooling in Egypt:
- Government people earn an average of 500 Egyptian Pounds a month with living expenses of approximately 700 Egyptian Pounds a month. Must have second jobs just to survive.
- Security police earn 30 Egyptian Pounds a week and survive only by taking constant baksheesh (tips) from tour operators and guides. That’s the only way to do business in Egypt.
- Schooling is mostly free but guide said education isn’t that good. Guide sends her three daughters to private school that runs around 6,000 Egyptian Pounds a year per child.
Egypt Trivia –
- A recent survey showed that almost two-thirds of all visitors to Egypt suffer from health problems. It’s not necessarily the food, dehydration or sunstroke are other causes. Drink lots of bottled water and don’t even think of letting one drop of Egypt’s tap water touch your lips unless you’d like to mimic the “turpentine” enema given to mummys that dissolved internal organs. Watch the salads and anything uncooked.
- Cell towers in the desert are operated by solar power.
- It is possible to buy antibiotics over the counter in Egypt without a prescription.
- Har a-wee means very hot.
- Drinks are made from Hibiscus flowers. The flowers are dried, boiled, look and taste like Cherry Coke. A little on the tart side but refreshing when drunk cold. Try one.
- Egyptians usually eat their biggest meal of the day at lunch, served at 3:00 p.m. and even 4:00 p.m. (My kind of people.) Breakfast, big lunch, very light dinner.
Now you know before you go…