Who The Hell Is ‘Baksheesh’ And Why Does Everyone In Egypt Keep Mistaking Me For Him?

Orion and I spent 2.5 weeks traveling around Egypt in 2008. There were many parts that were memorable, the Egyptian people there were warm and friendly and genuinely welcoming. The police were terribly corrupt and the people who made their living off the tourists were positively terrible. It seemed like the scams in Egypt were endless, the Egyptian people after centuries of practice had perfected the art of extracting every last penny from every tourist who happened to wander into their country. For such an amazing country with so much to offer it was sad to see the dishonesty and the blatant corruption of many of the police, taxi drivers and many hotel owners. The ones that were honest really stood out as shining examples in a land of socially acceptable corruption.

Cairo was frenetic and totally insane, just crossing the street is more extreme than any extreme sport I have ever done. There is the standard dual pricing here for tourists which is endlessly frustrating and anything you want to do you have to haggle like crazy with the locals or they will charge you 5 times what stuff is worth. That gets old really fast but the Egyptian people are warm and friendly. Having Orion around really makes people even warmer and friendlier than they usually are.

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