Did I feel safe in Egypt?
We spent sixteen days in Egypt. We saw the amazing sights of the Valley of the Kings and the Pyramids of Giza. I was talking to someone at a party and was asked "Did you feel safe in Egypt?" I thought I should talk about it.
I was asked the same question about Jordan and Turkey. I guess these are Muslim countries or Middle Eastern countries and one who has not been there may not know what to expect.
In answer to the question I respond: I have never felt unsafe in any country I have visited. No one has ever threatened me. There have been cultural difference. I have overpaid for items or services before I acclimate to the customs and currency. Immersing into a culture takes a little time, but can be done.
Cultural differences were not a physical threat. There were desperate vendors and negotiating can be challenging. “Is this your first time in ‘my country?” Means, how much should I charge you? Never answer yes. Learn a few local words and the vendor become easier.
I have not visited Saudi Arabia or Dubai. I will not visit due to the cultural expectations for visitors. I.E. you can get arrested for PDA. You can get arrested for handing hands out of wedlock in public or a simple kiss. There are amazing historical sights I will miss out on but there is plenty to see in the world. Back to Egypt.
I felt safe at all times in Egypt. The culture is such that if you accept help you are expected to pay (a tip) for the information. Knowing this, the appropriate amount, and having the small bill to accomplish the task is helpful. It took a couple days to adjust. Okay it took six days before I adjusted. The five days in Cairo and one day in Luxor and I adjusted. I got fed up with being polite and learned “No Thank You!” in Arabic. The vendors are relentless, but once you speak a few words it is easier.
Did the hundred-dollar day leave me sour? Yes, it did, but I allowed it to happen. Is it the end of the world? No. In the long run I will never miss it. The country is not going to change for me. I need to adjust to it. And adjust I did.
Day seven through day sixteen I had a great visit. Aswan, four days on the Nile, Valley of the Kings, and a return to two beautiful clear days in Giza made it a memorable trip. A week end is a great time to visit the Giza Pyramid Complex. With hundreds of locals and tourists we were able to walk nearly unencumbered from the vendors. The school kids and families wanted pictures with us (mostly Sally). I loved that I visited this Wonder of the World and the fantastic ruins and sights on the Nile. This was definitely on my bucket list. I felt safe the entire trip.