During this last Middle East & Europe wandering, I managed to buy the same semi-durable good three times. Opps. It’s a basic European to USA power adapter. Just two prongs. So, how much did this cost in Egypt, France and InternetLand?
- Alexandria, Egypt: 0.27 USD (1.5 EGP)
- Amazon.com, InternetLand: 0.95 USD (plus shipping… varies)
- Paris, France: 6.71 USD (4.90 EUR)
That gives a 2,385% markup for Paris over Alexandria. Ouch.
Are at all the tourist destinations. And you don’t need an ISIC card. Your standard authentic-looking laminated student ID will do.
The discounts are substantial too. For example, the Pyramids are pretty typical:
- Adult: 60 EGP
- Student: 30 EGP
- Egyptian: 2 EGP
That last one isn’t advertised in English. You need an Egyptian residency card to get it.
Just as much a wonder of the world as the Pyramids, IMHO.
one way street you say?
I don’t see any one coming
honk once, flash twice, go
There are a handful of traffic lights in Cairo. They are ignored by everybody including the traffic cops.
I see it, it’s red
nobody in my way… why stop?
it must be broken
Lanes painted on the surface of the road have literally, nearly no meaning whatsoever. A small fender bender is not reason enough to actually stop and pull over.
ou, can I squeeze in?
flash twice, ok let’s do it
ack opps tag! you’re it
There are no left turns in Egypt. I had no idea left turns were superfluous until traveling Egypt.
straight, then u-turn, then go right
or just make three rights
I don’t understand why, but people use their parking lights not their headlights at night. You use your headlights as a second horn – to flash them at other drivers or pedestrians when the honking isn’t working.
from dusk till the dawn
it is dark and I can’t see
headlights? nah, I’m fine
Over the last week, I’ve spent some 40 hours traveling over 2,000 km (so is that 2 Mm??) across Egypt on various buses. Seven rides, three of them overnight.
Just like in Mexico, buses (along with mini-buses too – private vans that follow predefined routes but leave only once adequately full) are the de facto method of long-distance travel Egypt. Every time, me, and every other person (90% men, women are always either accompanied by children or men) on the bus are hoping to double our fun by getting a full half-row to ourselves. I got rejected six of seven times. Six random Egyptian men I got my shoulder snuggle on with for 3-10 hours. It’s kinda like getting your shoulder snuggle on with somebody on Muni or BART – but Egyptians don’t wiggle so much or get awkward about it. They’re old pros at the shoulder snuggle.
I got to say, the Internet, as a singular invention, just keeps climbing up that list of the ‘most important’ inventions of all time. I expect in about 15 years time it’ll pass up electricity, the internal combustion engine and the printing press to take the number one spot. Right about when some 90% of the earth’s population has high-speed wireless access (via your ‘phone’ more so than your laptop, though it’ll be a semi-hybrid of the two anyway) to the internet.
What will change when we hit that point? Well, consider that:
- The invention of writing effectively allowed humankind to ‘remember’ knowledge reliably for timescales longer than a generation. That changed a lot.
- The invention of the printing press effectively allowed groups of people to ‘discuss’ (mainly a one-to-many transmission) knowledge on the timescale of days to years, depending. That arguably changed more.
- The internet stands poised to allow 6+ billion minds to all digest and contribute to our collective body of thought – on the timescale of seconds.
Methinks that while I don’t know what change that last one will bring, I’m confident it’ll be solidly redonkulous.
This all makes a key assumption: that we’ll get to 90% global penetration of the Internet, in a form that’s still a relatively free, simple, and open communication, many-to-many style. So are we really moving that way? Well, this photo was taken last week in Siwa, an oasis some 300km out a not-entirely paved two lane dead-end road into the Egyptian Sahara desert by Libya.
It’s a little hard to see in between all the crumbling rubble – but the sign on that building in the lower left says (in arabic and english but not siwi) “Cafe” and “Net”. Yup, free wifi with your foul. We are definetely pushing those edges, we are pushing the Internet out to the edges of our civilization harder and faster than clean water or basic shelter. And while that might not make a ton of sense – it sure is damn exciting.
Is here. Not where some other guidebooks and search engines might lead you to believe.
If you’re looking to get an Egyptian visa, bring 65 shekels with you, your passport, and a passport photo. In the low season it takes about 30 minutes. If you’ve got a good wireless card, you can catch some random free wireless from their outdoor waiting area.
(As of December 2008.)