Anyone in Cairo?

(24 Posts)

Hi all,

Moving back to Cairo in a month and wondered if there are any other MNers there? I have lived in Cairo before and speak good Arabic but am keen to have more English speaking friends because sometimes cultural differences and unexpected reactions make me question my sanity! I also have a 3 year old DD with, let's say, interesting English, so the more English she hears the better.

I don't know how many expats are still around given the tension but if you are out there and fancy a coffee or even just a chat on the phone please do PM me.

CaptWingoBings Wed 30-Apr-14 16:38:00

Think a poster called Alligatorpie is around in Egypt somewhere, you could pm her.

MasterOfTheYoniverse Wed 30-Apr-14 17:04:19

Not sure about the name but there definitely is a correspondent in Cairo and she's been there for a while I think.
keep bumping!

MasterOfTheYoniverse Wed 30-Apr-14 17:06:33

Funny how the mind works ( my jetlagged brain anyway!). Meant to say a mumsnetter….I guess I remember her from the foreign correspondent's thread?

Thanks CaptWingoBings and MasterOfTheYoniverse. I will try PMing Alligatorpie and keep bumping!

SomeSunnySunday Thu 01-May-14 12:20:33

Slightly off topic but Alligatorpie gave me some good advice when we moved to another North African country, I have always wondered if she stayed in Cairo? Think she / her husband taught in one of the international schools, and I know that some of these closed.

Oh really? I knew things weren't great but didn't realise it had reached the point where schools are closing. I guess I just assumed Egyptian children would take the place of the foreign pupils leaving.

I have PMed Alligatorpie so hopefully if she is still there she will get in touch. In the meantime, if anyone else is around, let me know!

SomeSunnySunday Thu 01-May-14 15:32:54

I think it's OK again now. DH has been there recently with no problems, there was just the really unstable time a year or so ago where I think some schools shut (at least temporarily) and certainly a lot of expats were evacuated (quite a few have ended up where we are now). I get the impression that it's blowing over at least a bit though - here's hoping. We loved our time in North Africa.

Alligatorpie Thu 01-May-14 20:30:02

I am surprised people remember me smile - I don't mn that much any more. Yes, I am still here, but we are leaving next month. We came for 3 years and it is amazing how fast the time has gone.

This last year has definitely been less chaotic than the previous two years, ( apart from the four months of curfew - but that is long over!) but with Presidential elections coming up (again) who knows what will happen. Yes the international schools were shut for a few weeks in Sept, but everything has been fine since then. The year after the revolution we had loads of time off. This year we seem to be at school every day!

As I said in my pm OP feel free to contact me if you have other questions - and all the best with your move!

CaptWingoBings Thu 01-May-14 21:04:12

I keep a mental database of posters in interesting locations wink where are you moving on to?

Thanks for your message alligator, I have replied. smile

So guess it will just be me then? shock Who would have thought an ongoing economic crisis, random acts of violence and an impending military dictatorship free democratic process would be so unattractive? grin

Alligatorpie Fri 02-May-14 13:52:00

Lol....

I am moving to China...can't wait to get back to Asia!

IpanemaMeisje Mon 12-May-14 13:12:33

Hi altered, we might be joining you in Cairo! Just been informed by DH that's an option as we are leaving our current location in a few months.

I've visited for work but never lived in Cairo so I would be very interested to find out what its like to be there with children...

More than happy to talk about Cairo Ipanema. PM me if you have any questions.

I love Cairo and like being there but if you have young children and a choice of where to be I would not choose Cairo.

The traffic makes getting around difficult and there are not very many green spaces around. If you have the funds for a villa with a garden this may not matter so much, but otherwise it can make for some pretty hyper and frustrated kids.

Older children who would enjoy trips to the museum, boat trips, walking round Islamic Cairo would probably have a better time but for the under 5s it isn't great.

Sorry to be so downbeat, and I know I seem a total hypocrite as I am going back with two under fives, but if I didn't have family there and an unmissable career opportunity for DH I would be looking elsewhere.

If you do come though, I would be delighted to have a fellow MNer around! smile

IpanemaMeisje Tue 13-May-14 17:48:38

Thanks for the info, mine are between 10 and 4 years. I will pm you later with background info and a few questions!!

Alligatorpie Fri 16-May-14 06:08:16

Ipanema - I have to agree with what altered said, the lack of green space is a killer for many kids. There are private clubs you can join, but they vary in services and costs. I do have a villa with a garden, but we live in a more local area ( lots of wealthy Egyptians, but it is fairly conservative and it is dry)
Feel free to pm me too.

Update: I am now back in the Big Mango , so if anyone does show up, let me know! smile

So how is it so far?

To be honest, it is absolutely fine. Even the heat is fine once you have adjusted.

Traffic is still a bit of a killer, far bigger range of imported products available than I remember from the last time I was here 18 months ago. The major exception to this is car seats and "proper" children's shoes. These need to be brought from home.

Food prices have really risen, pretty much on a par with European prices now but wages lower. Property prices seem to be rising fast too, at least here in Maadi.

I had a shocking experience taking DS to be checked over out of hours at a local hospital last night. Really hope no one gets seriously sick.

I have been stuck indoors because I was ill and now DS is too, so I am a bit bored, but that aside, all is good. smile

Glad to hear! Never been to Cairo, only know the other tip of north Africa where no city is as big and densely populated. I would be overwhelmed ( & I live in Hong Kong grin)
Hope you are better.
Alligatorpie, moving to China proper?

Alligatorpie Sat 21-Jun-14 19:04:04

Altered, I am glad it is working out so far. I forgot about rising food prices. A few weeks ago I paid 18le for a kilo of bananas....now I by the baladi ones smile

The weather is fantastic this year, it is one of the many things I will miss about cairo!

Yes, Laptop, moving to Shanghai in August! Do you have any advice for me?

I hate black bananas so I don't buy them here! smile I did manage to pay 40le for two cartons of milk, a carton of juice and four yoghurts though. I think DH was right when he suggested we just buy a cow.

I hope your move goes smoothly alligator, enjoy China and eat some chicken feet in black bean sauce for me!

Random question, did you use a driver here, and if so how much did you pay him? I don't need an English speaking "fixer", just someone to get me from home to DD's school and back. The school bus is 6,700le a year and I am having visions of DD getting heatstroke on a two hour journey home or something.

Alligatorpie Wed 25-Jun-14 20:02:17

The school bus journeys are difficult, I know. We both teach, so both dds come with us on the (private) teacher bus....all the other teachers live in Maadi.
Where is your dd going to school? It is our last day today, so lots of teachers are leaving, but if you want I can ask for recommendations of drivers. Someone might be on fb.

Sorry I missed your post Alligator. I hope you are enjoying your new home and settling in well.

DD's school is also in Maadi.

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