Exploring Cairo: walking and comparing


You know what’s great about living in Europe? The ability to walk in parks and bike on bike lanes – especially in Berlin.

During my lunch I decided to go for a walk. I wore the most comfortable Adidas shoes and trousers – not to attract attention. I explored the area and walked for a good half an hour. Walking here is something that I’ve never done before since I was somewhat scared and frightened. And here I am: walking and crossing streets. Actually there is a lot to see: some rainbow-ish looking flag right in the middle of the road. What is it? Egyptian gay friendly sentiment? I also saw some pimpy looking women lingerie store. It is hard to imagine a sex shop of any kind, but I can portray sales people in this pimpy store selling dildoes under the counter.

You guys know that Budapest is a porno capital of the region: sex shops and peep rooms are found all across the city center. This country is obviously too conservative for the promiscuity, imagine my surprise when I saw this lingerie store.

I kept walking and saw a lot of fun things: Chinese-looking stores with cheap shiny women clothes. Deja-vu – that’s what it is called. The entire street reminded me of China.

That was my birthday trip to China in 2008: I was almost late for the morning bus, forgot my cell phone at home, was all sleepy and in a hurry. It was a very random unexpected trip for three days to the neighboring China and it’s small town of Hunchun. The company was simply perfect: drunken and laughing. A closeted gay guy, a best friend and her BF and some other random people. It is widely known that buying alcohol in China might be a very bad [like VERY bad] idea. So we hit the Duty Free and bought lots of Bacardi. Hmm not bad at all. Later on I tried buying 100% apple juice in a store and failed miserably. We bought the juice but found out that it contained some vinegar later on. bizarre!

China welcomed us with a nice weather and impressive scenery of perfectly lined farming lands and poor people on the roads. Even though we have exactly the same climate zone, wilderness from our side seemed really wild, while Chinese nature seemed rather under control: no forests or parks – just fields.

Here is what Cairo and China have in common:

– strangely designed neon lights and advertising spaces ;
– crazy traffic with no traffic lights BUT relatively small number of car accidents;
– a lot of people running around;
– strange cafes and restaurants.

Here is a picture of Cairo at night:

Cairo Neon Lights By MrSnooks

And here is a picture of Hong Kong at night [I know some of you might object that Hong Kong is not China, my point is: the neon lights are pretty the same]:

Asia, China, Hong Kong, neon lights and traffic in Kowloon. Photo by Chad Ehlers

Coffee detox hit us hard on our third day in China. We could not find any coffee shop in this small town. But then, we randomly stumbled upon one: a miracle! We ordered cappuccinos and something else, the waiter took our order and disappeared for half an hour. We saw him playing around with the coffee machine trying to create another miracle. Our cappuccinos were made with soy milk …


About Masha Egupova

I am coming from the small city on the Russian Far East called Vladivostok, but Chinese call it 海參崴 [Hǎishēnwǎi] meaning "Sea Cucumber Cliffs." In my blog I will present the view from and about Vladivostok and my views on what is going on in Russia in general.

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