When you’ve been away as long as i have, nothing, and i mean nothing, can put you off your “plan”.

The plan never strays too far from the usual: “…..so i’m thinking of trying maybe a year….”, “…depends how things go… a few months to a year….”.

While this is the line typically used by those contemplating “doing Egypt” for however long, the reaction is almost always the same.

“Who, you? I’d love to be a fly on the wall when you land / walk the streets /attempt to breathe / eat / drink etc etc”
“And why’s that??”
“You’re mad/dreaming/unaware/mad/stupid/mad etc”
“Don’t make me laugh”

Whatever the reaction, there’s always an accompanying look of puzzlement / bewilderment / despair / outrage / pity or amusement. The amused look is particularly patronizing and can be combined with an “aah” or two for good measures.

Suddenly, all the stories you’ve heard a million times from those who visited Egypt recently, get recycled and exaggerated in that special way designed to put you off the very idea of going.

“People in Egypt now have 3 heads….”

“I go there like ten times a year and am still shocked every time. It changes so much, gets bloody worse. Awful……balad kharbana…., yeah i’m going again next week…..”

“Egypt’s well and truly effed. Beyond repair. Tut. Khosara. Tut.”

“Marra wahda kanet rakba taxi and the driver tried it on because she was clearly not a local. They see you as fair game……”

“Marra wahed kan walking the streets and got dragged by the police….., if it wasn’t for his British passport he’d probably still be their bitch bla bla bla…”

“Marra cat got killed 3shan….”

Then there’s the annoying “advice” from the one person who, upon arrival, barricades themself in a hotel room, where they remain till the end of their miserable stay.
“It’s ok as long as you stick to your hotel. You have everything there. A pool, a bar, whatever you need……you can go to malls kaman.”

Imagine that! Going all the way to Egypt to see a mall and the inside of a hotel room. Such fun times ahead! Not.

Not forgetting the “self absorbed and proud of it” brigade. 

“yeah apparently there’s a lot of crap going on there. Still, as long as YOU have a good time….”

“…and i just thought ewww, the sight of them put me right off my dinner. They really shouldn’t be allowed to roam the streets ruining people’s nights out. Not a good look being surrounded by a bunch of homeless kids…..”

The thing that really destroys all these arguments however, is that the people making them live here yet continue to go to Egypt for holidays willingly and knowing exactly what to expect. This gives me hope. I have even come to find it endearing. Seems like they too have the same bug.