Goodbye, Cairo

Posted by on Mar 30, 2007 in Egypt, Ethiopia | 8 Comments

My flight to Ethiopia is in a few hours and I don’t feel ready. Somehow when I travel overland the transition is easier. When I fly I feel like I’m just thrown in the middle of things and have to quickly figure everything out. I printed my Oanda cheat sheet so I know that the official interbank rate is 8.55 bir to the dollar. But I don’t know how to pronounce bir or if there’s an ATM at the airport. I’m not worried though, it will all work itself out in a few days.

I should have no problem buying a visa on arrival with US dollars and the embassy here told me I wouldn’t need proof of an onward ticket (because I don’t have one!). I always think it’s funny when third world countries ask for proof of onward ticket. It’s not like many people are trying to illegally immigrate to Ethiopia.

There is internet in Addis, but I’m not sure how connected the rest of the country is. I thought I’d have more time to finish up posting on Egypt (with it’s free, fast wifi) before I left but I spent my time on things like e-filing my 2006 federal taxes and transfering money to cover my 2006 IRA contribution before the deadlines hit—not so fun for you guys.

My hostel has also been distracting, with the drama between one long-term guest who likes to watch the news (usually in Arabic) all day while the staff wants to listen to music. When I left two weeks ago they were having a fun time about their differences but it’s grown ugly with each of them complaining about the other to me. I find that a smile does wonders and they always let me watch Prison Break when it’s on.

The other woman in my room is staying for a few months to study Arabic and it was nice to come home to a friendly face. The cleaning woman has also become a good friend and seems to like me a lot. When she gives me breakfast (two rolls, jam, one boiled egg and tea) she gives my shoulder a little squeeze before leaving with a smile. This morning she peeled my egg for me, so we’re best friends now. I had to say good bye when she left work today and she told me (through a translator) that I’d be missed and then shook my hand and gave me two kisses on my cheeks. I will miss my dysfunctional Cairo family.


  1. Elle
    March 30, 2007

    Enjoy Ethiopia. My friend, Sananaa just came back from there in January. She enjoyed her trip immensely.

    Be careful and have fun.

  2. Jan
    March 30, 2007

    Picture post from Cairo and Dahaub or somewhere did not come through.

  3. Anon
    March 30, 2007

    “…I always think it?s funny when third world countries ask for proof of onward ticket…”

    I am regular reader of your blog and I have really enjoyed reading it so far but please do not insult the so called “third-world”. You may not think that part of the world is worth living, I dont know abt Ethiopia in particular but many “first-world” citizens have s found home and peace in a thried world country.

    As a courtesy to your readers from “third-world”, please refrain from using such generalizations. I am all for picking at the lecherous men and other evils in this and every part of teh worls but people do live there out of their own choice. If you dont want to live there fine, but atleast don’t insult those who do. I live in your beloved USA but belive eyou me, I find it more peaceful in what you guys very fashionably call the “third-world”.

  4. anonymous
    March 30, 2007

    there is are reason they are called third world countries-Anon……

  5. Nancy
    March 31, 2007

    I cannot speak fir Megan, I am a total stranger, but in reading her post I did not get the idea that she meant any offence, in reading her blog she seems to me to always have nothing but respect for the places she visits!

  6. Megan
    March 31, 2007

    Okay, no fighting here. I see Anon’s point, but I certainly didn’t intend to insult anyone. The people here seem lovely and I’m sure there are many reasons to stay—just not for the reasons that most countries ask for an onward ticket.

    Don’t start about my “beloved USA.” Every country has good and bad and I don’t feel the need to prove myself as an openminded American after what I’ve seen and done.

  7. Megan
    March 31, 2007


    I see the pictures up… do you mean that you didn’t get an update email about them? Or are they not showing up for you?

  8. Nina
    April 15, 2007

    I can’t believe you actually got to watch Prison Break! Ha!