While I have time to kill on my 6 hour layover between Cairo and Amman, I wanted to share some tidbits and get into a good habit with the blogging.
Flying with Egyptian Airlines was a pretty nice experience, I even took a picture of the meal on my cell phone, I have no idea how beef with gravy, rice and carrots can taste so fresh on an airline.
But I think there are more interesting details to mention.
For instance, though our plane stood motionless for a half hour and taxied for another hour, the flight attendants pushed through the aisles 10 minutes after our flight was fully boarded asking, “Akhbar? Akhbar?” – News? News?
Something you probably didn’t know – Arab airlines hand out a variety of complimentary Arabic newspapers, and I’m pretty sure every person over the age of 30 yelled out their request for their favorite one. Funnily enough, the newspaper reading was ignored and put away after a maximum of 20 minutes.
The next trip around the plane? Package of headphones, sleeping masks, and socks. Thickly woven, navy blue socks. If this is Arab culture then I love it already. I finished “Eat, Pray, Love” during the flight, and it is probably one, if not my absolute favorite book.
10 hours of flight later, I stumbled off the airplane with barely 2 hours of sleep, but after a beautiful 3 minute glimpse of terracotta-colored Cairo. I would definitely want to come back to see it, the mosques and Al-Azhar universities were so impressive from the cabin window.
I made all the rookie mistakes at my first stop. Tried going through customs because I couldn’t find where to go to transfer flights, and then stumbled away when I was told to purchase a Visa. Trying to find someone to help me find where I could go to wait for my connecting flight, a local businessman engaged me in asking if I would like to go take a taxi and go site-seeing before the connecting flight I was trying to find.
But then I arrived at my floor of the terminal to one of the daily prayers. The airport was empty, a crowd of men were kneeling right between a duty-free shop and a restaurant, and my phone would not find connection to even send my mother an email.
But that was 4 hours ago, and now I’m basically a seasoned pro. I got away from the strange man shouting “don’t leave!!” and I am now well-rounded in Floor 2 of Terminal 3 of the Cairo airport. I even haggled a vendor from overcharging me for a water bottle and told a woman in Arabic where the toilet is.
All small victories, and now I am feeling slightly less terrified of flying alone and walking around foreign airports.
(Bye, until we meet again!)