Tag Archives: Cairo

Old Technology and New Technology

I realized  I haven’t done many pictures from Egypt in my little daily photo post. I’m not sure why, since I spent nearly two weeks there, but I seem to rely heavily on Chicago and Wisconsin pictures in this space (which really isn’t surprising since I live in one and grew up in the other). Anyway…

The above picture is a perfect example of timing.

While touring through Egypt, my friend and I stopped at a small facility making fine Egyptian rugs. While we were getting our stuff and getting ready to head inside the building, I noticed a small donkey-fueled buggy approaching. I stalled a bit and waited to take a picture of the passing cart. I held my camera to my face before the cart spotted me (I wanted to be stealth and looking like I was taking pictures of other things, not blatantly waiting to take a picture of them). As their donkey-pulled cart approached, I stood poised and ready to go. I fired off one shot, and looked at it after they passed.

At the time, I did not see the truck race by in the background, but it is amusing to me how much I think it makes the picture. The bright colors; driving in the opposite direction; the perfect framing. I couldn’t have timed it any better, and sadly, I didn’t time it out at all.

I guess it’s a fine example of being more lucky than good.

(0284) 0206.

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All of the tourists in Egypt flock to the Pyramids of Giza, located just outside of Cairo. Going where the tourists go, every “make a quick dollar” scam artist flocks to the pyramids as well.

The guy pictured above is one of those types of people.

One morning in Egypt I was wandering around the pyramids enjoying the peacefulness of the place when suddenly all of the camel jockeys noticed me. Their routines are all very similar, and since I was taking pictures, I was an easy target.

In some places the men will ride up on the camel and ask if you’d like to take a picture of their animal. If you say yes, you’ll owe them money. A lot of it. Other times, they’ll ask if you want a picture with the men themselves, on the camel or of the men on the camel. Sometimes they’ll tell you something random about the pyramids and then they’ll ask for a monetary tip for their knowledge. All of these things come unsolicited and it’s their way of getting the average tourists to give up some money.

Knowing this routine and probably seeing me wave off all of his buddies, the guy above didn’t bother asking.

He rode his camel quickly up while I was taking pictures and then demanded money since he was in my shot. If I protested, the camel guy make a scene and the police come over. The police then demand money for getting involved, and I’d still have to pay the camel rider.

It’s also a difficult situation anyway because a dollar to me means much more to them. While I’m complaining about their system of scamming tourists, the end result was I gave the guy less than two US dollars. (“One for me,” said the guy, “and one for sweets for my camel.”) I didn’t travel all the way around the world only to haggle with some guy over US$1.32, but I despise being taken advantage of.

On the other hand, I probably gave the money to the smartest guy in the group. All of his buddies were quickly waved off at the first chance I had. The above-pictured guy, however, came storming in and, essentially, forced his way into the picture. That’s pretty smart to see everyone else failing, but still finding a way to make it work.

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Pyramid with Sphinx Profile

The Great Sphinx of Giza has become one of the national emblems of Egypt, frequently appearing on its stamps, coins, and official documents (sans its nose, of course).

February 2006. (0189)

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Pyramid-View Futbol

Last weekend I posted a photoblog entry about how I’d be willing to take up playing basketball regularly (you can read it by clicking here). Much like that location, I’d play soccer everyday if I had a field with this view.

February 2006. (0230)

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Camels Crossing the Desert

While in Egypt, we were enjoying the view of the pyramids when (what appeared to be) a school group wandered by on camels. Their destination was the Pyramids of Giza, and the students’ starting point was about 200 yards/meters behind me.

In Egypt, most everything with tourists is based on bartering.  For example, if I wanted to ride a camel through the desert, I’d have to haggle with the camel’s owner for a lengthy period of time before we agreed upon a suitable price. I couldn’t image bartering for a camel ride for 30 kids.

February 2006. (0130)

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Pyramids of Giza

This picture popped up on my screen saver, and I figured it’d be a good blog post for today.

As the post heading states, these are the Pyramids of Giza.  This was our second attempt at seeing the pyramids, but the first was a faint picture of the pyramids through a sandstorm, so we went back on a clearer day.

February 2006. (0081)

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Market in Cairo

Several years ago a buddy and I decided to go to Egypt together.  One of our day trips to the market in Cairo.  As much as I enjoy our food inspectors doing their jobs, I’m a sucker for markets in other countries.

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