Here’s update number two of Sarah’s adventures in Egypt!
Hey everyone, so I’ve been in Egypt for 4 days now and I’ve noticed many differences between way over here and in Canada. Some of them were obvious, some scary, and some just plain funny. I hope you enjoy reading about them as much as I did (or didn’t) finding out and writing about them!
This one is the most obvious… In Canada we speak English and French, while in Egypt they speak Arabic. Oddly enough, my cousins have to be able to speak English well if they want to be hired for a job (even though they told me they don’t use it). Since I can only speak Arabic like a child in the 2nd grade, and my cousins speak English like 5th graders, we manage to understand each other; though I’m pretty sure we butchered both languages. 😛 However, even after only four days, my Arabic has already gotten better! Hey, maybe they’ll put me in the 3rd grade! (F: If you’re lucky haha)
Here’s another obvious in-yo-face one: the weather. Right now in Canada, it’s a wonderful 20-25 degrees Celsius (more or less depending where you live). Meanwhile in Egypt, it’s well, 35 degrees… Before you factor in the humidity. But today’s a good day because there’s actually a breeze. My extended family tells me that this is normal… Even though I’m DYING. Like if I don’t sit in a freezer asap, I’m gonna come back to Canada as a genuine dried Sarah.
Oh my gosh, you have to be insane to go out in Egypt. First of all, people here don’t use the sidewalks. Admittedly, the sidewalks are dirty, so on the side roads, it doesn’t really matter. However, once you get to the main roads… I haven’t seen a traffic light since we left the airport. No lights, no stop signs, no crosswalks. And definitely no separate lanes, let alone an actual lane for vehicles. So far I’ve seen 2 accidents, 3 almost-crashes, and almost got run over by a horse. (Did I mention that they still use horses and donkeys here?) And I used to complain traffic in Canada was bad.
The style of clothes, as well as what most people where differs in Egypt. (F: If it didn’t that would be admittedly more weird.) For example, most women wear the hijab because Egypt is predominantly a Muslim country. Also, older people tend to wear more traditional clothes such as abayas and jalabiyas. The clothes people buy are the same, although a lot more are actually made in Egypt from Egyptian cotton. In Canada, people keep more up to date with fashion and trends, while here people (aka my cousins) splurge on scarfs.
Right now, in the Muslim world, it is the holy month of Ramadan, where Muslims fast from sunrise to sunset. When the sun goes down… everyone comes out. The streets are covered in lights and lanterns, as well as other festive decorations. It’s literally their Christmas so everyone celebrates, especially since Eid is next week.
This is my first Ramadan here, so the atmosphere feels even more joyful and festive. And the food… Most people assume that because we don’t eat for long periods of time, we lose weight; but the opposite is true. Everyone cooks yummy (and definitely unhealthy) foods and sweets. (F: Because who doesn’t like to indulge in sweets and goodness? And pure sugar? Fried foods? You’re definitely lying right now.)
Personally, the sweets that we have here deserve another post altogether, so I’m signing off here! 🙂
Melting even in the shade,