Cairo, Egypt - Walks around the neighborhoods

I got lucky for landing to a new continent and timezone in the middle of the night. The airport was quiet and husslers outside were quite docile. I had done my research and wasn't in a hurry. That is a good aproach to any new place. Taxi drivers were greedy from the perspective of a traveler or just fighting against the ever increasing living expenses. So for the first time in my life I jumped into an Uber and made my way through the quiet streets of Cairo. I heard a claim that during daytimes the city of Cairo has more than 4 million people coming to the city to work and then commuting back to its outskirts. That could explain the pollution and dust.

Early morning walk through a city about to wake up was nice introduction to a new culture. I had no local currency or any idea of the exchange rate. Banks and shops were still closed. As the sun started shining light from the horizon people started crowding the streets. An hour later small stalls and restaurants started serving breakfast. I had few dollars in my pocket hoping to fill my stomach. A man invited me to his shop under a highway bridge. They were making falafel plates to dine in and takeaway. I had one and then another. When I asked if they had any tea the owner send one of the workers to get some down the road. I felt a bit stupid for making him do that. The food was good and I was hypnotised or half asleep by the morning prayer on tv. It was broadcasted live from Mecca where people were walking around the Kaaba. As I finally stood up to leave the man would not accept payment and waved me goodbyes with a smile on his face.

Days later I picked the worst time to see the pyramids. It was raining and on top of that I assumed that it is always warm in Egypt. It turned out to be a cold and windy day. I took few nice pics, got really sick and spend the next 2 weeks suffering from respiratory infection. It wasn't a good start for a freediving trip with a cultural twist.

I met lots of friendly people in Cairo. It took me by suprise a little. To my experience big cities haven't been hotspots for smiles and relaxed athmosphere. Many of the tourist attractions were still quite full of foreigners. They came there with tour busses, saw the place and jumped back in without any deviation. The streets of Cairo were empty of tourists. I liked that. Taking photos was much more enjoyable than architectural photos of famous landmarks. Many tourists seemed to think Cairo was dangerous. That was not the impression I got from several days of walking through all kinds of neigborhoods. Helpfull smiles everywhere.