Thursday, February 01, 2007

From Cairo to Alex

The journey from Cairo to Alex was spent on a train which took 2 and ½ hours. I passed the time reading my rough guide to Egypt, listening to my mp3 and now and again flicking through “an Egyptian Arabic phrase book” as well as taking pictures randomly from the window seat.

It’s fair to say I looked like a tourist, but I had to use all of these methods to distract myself from the fact that I thought the Atef (the brother who picked me up from the airport) was also going to make the journey to Alex with me!

The brother takes me to my carriage point to the seat number, jumps of the train back to the platform and waves his hand at me. I was hoping to God that waving ones hand in Egypt meant “give me a minute am just exercising my right hand and it would be rude to do it on the train” or something therein. But no the doors closed and I waved back looking shocked and disorientated or so I imagine although I had a massive smile of disbelieve plastered on to my face!

When he was writing name of s trainstation and the number of a brother called Adil on the back of my ticket whilst never producing his own I really should have realised. I dragged my ridiculously heavy 3bags onwards in search of my seat, I say onwards although my luggage wasn’t budging despite all my pushing and attempted drags.

The ticket master spotted me and said a few things to me in Arabic (with several hand gestures and in a rather agitated tone) but in my world I understood it as,

“salam sister, I see your having trouble there let me take this to your seat for you.”

So I pointed to my massive suitcase and my seat number. He must have come to the conclusion that he either had to help or I was going to block the gang way for the rest of the journey.

He took me to my seat and hauled my back onto the rack on top of my seat, I tired to explain that I wanted it to remain at my feet (because lets face it there was no way in heaven I was going to be able to bring it back down) but he just carried on.

So finally I had a seat, but I kept glancing at my overhead luggage trying to hatch a plan to get it down at the end of the journey as well as how I would work out where on earth to GET OFF!

To cut a long story midlength, in the end I had to get another man to get my bag down and to wheel it of , drag it up a massive set of stairs twice! He let me use his phone to call the elusive Adil to find out when he was picking me up. What a God send may Allah bless him and his family.

So am sat at the Qortoba office till Adil comes back to take me to my flat where I will be sharing with my friend Amel so he said .This is what I have learnt from today

Always do your trip research even if you think someone who knows what they are doing is accompanying you, a single ticket is a big sign that you’re travelling on your own.
Genuine human kindness never fails to restore your faith in humanity and confirms Allah’s mercy
I am not living on my own (Alhamdulilah)
If someone has viewed the flat and chosen to live in it it can’t be too bad
I have over packed!
I am truly blessed with my family and friends without whom I wouldn’t be here or I would be here but in a much pitiable situation.

10 comments:

NM said...

Salam

I am sorry but am finding it impossible to load pictures on blogger from Alexandria :(

wasalam

Flower.of.Chaos said...

You've gotta find a way NM. I simply cant do without big fat images.

I'm glad you're safe and sound.

Guess what? I just might pop into Egypt in Mid-March. Just might!

:D

Aya said...

NM,
Glad you made it to Alexandria safely. Overpacking is truly a beast, especially when not checking in luggage. How's the weather in the city? I've never ventured into Alex. before.

Anonymous said...

salam love, how are you? glad you made it to your destination in 1 piece!! you setteling in okay with your new house mates? oh, i got my holidays booked off for july!!
from 020707 to 160707, cant wait. ia this is the year for egypt to welcome me to its shores. pls keep us all updated on how everything is, would love to see some pictures real soon.do you have the internet at the apartment or are you using a cafe??
well, i have to get on with some cooking, but will speak again soon ia. xx

muslimah said...

asalamu aliakum

Please ignore my ignorance about the details of your situation but I have a quick question. Do you have a mahram with you?

Firefly said...

^ LoL..yeah, like how easy is it to find a mahram who will not only travel with you but who'll be happy to live in Egypt for 6 months with you? Not very I would guess.

NM, nooo! We must have pictures, we simply must! Those are good lessons, btw.

Ever The Idealist said...

Oh I miss you. I laughed thro the whole blog cause it sounds so much like you. I am glad you got there safe. How could you doubt the wonderful people of egypt and their niceness tho? over packing! you took three cases? wow. How is it going? have you found a mehram yet? make things halal soon yeah sis;)

NM said...

First and foremost! I have asked lots of people and posting images or sending them seems like an impossible task...sob sob

2ndly anyone coming to egypt should most definately swing by alexandria and we have a spare room with 2beds so as long as your of the female variety Ahlan :)

3rdly Mehram, its a bit like firefly has put it :)

Yeah i over packed but thats because people kept pointing out i was moving HOME not just going on a trip.

lastly, ETI there are processing taking place in the flat in regards to acquiring a mehram here but that has NOTHING to do with me :)

Khadiijah said...

SubhanAllaah! I'm studying at Qortoba too. It's a blessing that I came across your site, if only I'd found it sooner :D

peter said...

Hi Nice Blog. !!!!!!!!!! I am from India. My son is working in Egypt. This summer I decide to go Egypt ,what is procedure for Egypt visa in India .let me know.