Everybody who has spent time in a different country knows that expat life is not quite like anything else in the world. The confusion of the first few days and weeks, the slow, but steady process of acclimation, the little peculiarities and quirks that might strike you about your new surroundings: almost any situation you encounter can make for a great story. If you are so inclined and want to blog about it, of course!
Our InterNations recommended blog section features talented expat bloggers from around the world. Their offerings to the blogosphere have been selected for their great entries and high quality, whether they may be funny, informative, interesting, deeply personal or a combination of all of the above.
Let’s hear from our featured bloggers in Cairo:
My editor at Arab West Report encouraged me to keep a blog for several reasons. One, it would be a permanent record of our experiences, to draw back upon for all future writings. Two, it would expand awareness for our publication. Third, and most important, it would share our experiences from Egypt in service of increased understanding between cultures.
When I made the decision to relocate to Cairo, I researched various blogs in order to gain a better understanding of what to expect from a real person. I remember only being able to find one person’s blog who discussed taking Arabic classes and documenting how often his power went out. Others painted Egypt as a rose garden without thorns, but nothing on real life. None of this helped me prepare or remotely acclimate. I didn’t know anyone upon arriving here. I didn’t speak any Arabic. I didn’t know how to do the basics from where to buy groceries or simply ordering take out, hence why I list the most popular medicines, my favorite eateries, simple Arabic and tips for females.
I wasn’t fully prepared for a revolution, as we had moved to Egypt just a couple of months before. Although it was a terrifying time, I loved how people came together to defend their homes against thugs, protest against the status quo, and clean the streets after it! I had never seen hope, determination, love of one’s country, and strength of community like that before, which made it a valuable experience for me.
Keep your sense of humor handy. Life in Cairo is absurd, amusing, frustrating, confusing and hectic. Egyptians admire what they call light blood…the ability to laugh at the craziness of life.
One accumulates many crazy experiences while living in Egypt. As a belly dancer, I accumulate even more. The things that would happen to me on a daily basis were just so absurd and fascinating that most people wouldn’t believe them. I thus realized that my life in Cairo has great entertainment value.
Aside from having my luggage packed and a plane ticket, I was almost completely unprepared for life in Cairo. Looking back at my preparations, I wish I had packed more pairs shorts, and better walking shoes.