Sunday, January 6, 2008

You lucky man! You have three wives!

Despite the fact that several mangos have suffered from colds or stomach problems, we all continue to fight back the illnesses and enjoy Cairo. Today and yesterday the majority of us spent time in the market, Khan el Khalili (sp?) and revisiting some places we saw earlier this week. The market is almost like a maze with everyone willing to sell you something. Every step you take someone else is welcoming you to Cairo (or Alaska) and offering you something that want to overcharge you for. After haggling, you can almost always get the item for about half of what they originally quoted you at. The market was a lot of fun but also overwhelming because there are just so many shops and people trying to convince you that you should buy their goods. In all though, I think all of us got some really great stuff - and maybe a few extra items.

One of the many things we here from the vendors though is "you lucky man - you have three wives!" Neal insisted that we travel around with at least one male in our groups so as to not be as harassed which I must admit (despite my feminist beliefs) that this is often a better option. I did travel around briefly yesterday with just Kristin and while we were safe, we also got many marriage proposals and such - so having a guy around isn't all that bad. Without a male present we are proposed to and with a male present, the people assume we are already married to him. Over the last two days many vendors commented to Greg on how lucky he was to have three wives - really just the three women who were walking around with him. I'm pretty sure many of the other groups experienced this as well. All in all it was quite funny at the end of the day.

Greg posted earlier some things that we have learned in Egypt and I think I need to add one more so here it is:

Lesson: When an Egyptian tells you that he can take you to a better place to purchase something (in our case it was textiles), and you follow him for a good 10-15 minutes and suddenly you realize you are very far off the main road...and maybe he tells you it's in the second story of a building and you no longer see any military guards standing around as they usually are - this would be the time to politely refuse his further guidance and turn back.


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