Al-Qahirah

Working and living in Cairo, Egypt.

Monthly Archives: January 2012

First day in Cairo

Our journey to Cairo began on 6th of January. First we flew from Helsinki-Vantaa to Frankfurt where we waited 15 hours for our next flight. The airport was really huge and it was quite difficult to find a place to sleep because of the noise but finally we saw two little couches which were just perfect for us 😀 After sleeping a few hours we continued our journey by getting on a plane to Cairo.

When we arrived Cairo airport, got our luggages and found our taxi driver, we went outside and got a first view of the metropolis and multitude. There were so many cars and lots of noise everywhere and we heard ”welcome to Egypt” many times. After sitting into our taxi we started our first crazy car trip in Cairo. We noticed that traffic here is totally different compared to Finland’s. There are no traffic lights, no lanes and no crosswalks! Goal is to drive as fast as possible and use horn every chance you get. 🙂 Finally we managed to find our apartment which is located in verdant area of Maadi. Our roommates were waiting for us and it was such a kind gesture from them to make a welcoming dinner for us. After travelling about 30 hours we were exhausted and almost right away after dinner we fell into our beds.

On the next day we woke up feeling rested after sleeping 12 hours. That’s why we managed to go out with our roommate, who introduced Maadi to us for example which are good stores and where  to get the best cupcakes. 😉 She also helped how to get prepaids and USB modems. After buying lots of food we returned to our apartment and started to prepare our first meal here in Cairo, which was regular student food. 😀

-Pia & Saara-

Practical arrangements before going to Cairo

is-Salaamu alaikum! Here we are, in Cairo, Egypt. We arrived here ten days ago and so far everything’s okay and we have had many interesting experiences. But before we tell more about life in here, let’s start from the beginning, in other words practical arrangements and feelings before going abroad.

We found our host organization, Kulttuurikameleontit ry, last summer when we were looking for a practical training place from the Internet. We contacted Kulttuurikameleontit by e-mail and that’s how we strated our co-operation with the organization. Behalf of school we had many forms to fill in, for example learning agreement, practical training plan and grant agreement. We also filled in one form for the Social Insurance Institution of Finland, so that we could have higher student grant.

In addition to these we had to take care of many other things concerning this trip. First we had to make sure that we had required vaccinations, here in Egypt it is good to have A- and B-hepatitis vaccinations. We really want to highlight the importance of taking the vaccinations on time because other of us left it ”a little bit” late but fortunately there is a chance to take hastened hepatitis vaccination. Another important thing that we had to take care of was a visa application. It was quite easy to do but it was surprising that we had to mail our passports and also the payment which was 20 euros, but luckily passports came back safely. After these we booked flights and searched and found an apartment in Cairo. We also took travel insurance which covers everything. We think it’s important to have it in case you for example get sick or your luggage disappear.

During the autumn we had so many things to do that we didn’t actually have time to think about going abroad. Only after booking the flights, which was a day before Christmas, we realized that our journey to Egypt is really close. Autumn was quite stressing because in addition to these trip arrangements we had studying assignments and thesis to do. After getting through all of this we got really excited. We are actually going to Cairo! 🙂

-Saara & Pia-