Lets think about this — Would you ever think it’s a “safe” idea to walk down a dark secluded alley alone in the slums? Would you ever think it’s a “safe” idea to meander alone through dark neighborhoods at night? Would you go to Burbon Street during Mardi Gras, flash your boobs and expect no one to look at you? Do you leave your front door wide open at night? Are you shocked when you see law enforcement with a weapon?
I’m gonna guess most of you answered NO to the above questions. If you answered YES, well, okay then. But, most of you will have answered NO … because none of those things are safe, smart or shocking –in ANY country. I don’t walk around dark places alone at night in the states. I certainly don’t dress like a skank. I always lock my door at night, and I expect the people protecting me to carry a weapon. This is all common sense.
The same goes for Egypt. Use some common sense and you will be fine. Do I go hang out in Tahrir square? No. That would just be ridiculous … but have i been there …yes, during the day with my hubs by my side. Do I plan on going back? Nah — it wasn’t that exciting. Do I walk down the road to the market alone after dark — not if I can help it, but if it’s close and well lit, I’ll consider it. Do I wear my shortest shorts and tightest tank tops? Absolutely not. That’s just plain rude and disrespectful to the local culture. If I did, would people stare — YES. Would it be my own fault? — YES. Does it scare me that the military walk around with guns? No. Cause they use the military around here like we use our police force. It is what it is.
The only thing in Egypt that makes me consistently uncomfortable is their complete lack of personal space. They don’t even remotely understand the concept of any kind of distance. Ha. But — they do this to EVERYBODY. It’s not like they are just trying to get close to me. It’s not personal and I don’t fell unsafe — I feel annoyed.
Generally, I stick out like a sore thumb. That being said, I also try not to drawn undue attention to myself. I pay attention to where I am and the general atmosphere. For the most part, the people are nice and helpful and if they talk to you it’s because they want to know where you are from or why you’re in Egypt. They are curious.
So, we are back to common sense. Don’t put yourself in a dangerous situation and you should be fine. Do bad things happen? Sometimes. (that “sometimes” applies to everywhere in the world, btw) You use common sense everyday where you live —- If you come to Egypt, use it here too. It’s that simple.
Ya know, now that I think about it …… the felling I experience the most in Egypt is Sensory Overload. It can be uncomfortable and, if you are a panicky kind of person, you will get panicky, but it’s not a matter of safety.
And, just so we can end on a personal note ….. I find it really quite insulting that anyone would think I would bring my children here to live in some horribly dangerous situation. Is it different? YES. Am I scared? Nope.