Journal Entry: Day 237

(Nomad: Day 1394),
Doha, Qatar,

I am now in transit between Egypt and Kenya. The last few days in Cairo I visited various neighborhoods, in Nasr, new Cairo, and the old Cairo.
I am not impressed by this city. From what I understand Egypt got a large increase in population, from 60 million to 100 million in only one generation; and the urban development happened without any previous planning. Hence, it is once again a little chaotic in all aspects. I spent one entire day walking in old Cairo, it was Friday, the holy day; and thus it was crowded everywhere. I went through the pet market, and I walked in the Islamic Cairo, and adventure myself in small streets around. It was so crowded at some point, everybody bumped into each other, along with vehicles trying to pass through the thick crowd. It was quite intense. Also, It is funny to see that almost nobody wears a mask, maybe 1 out of 100 people. The pet market was the most hectic, people shouting all over, haggling, cars, and bikes honking, and animals adding another layer to the soundscape.
Roads and driving styles in Cairo are probably the worst I have seen throughout the world. There is something similar to the Indian driving style with lots of honking, but here they are more aggressive. The literal translation of most of the honking would be like that: “Get out of my way!”, and they do it every time there is someone in front, be it cars or pedestrians,… It got easily on my nerve. Moreover, since roads are in bad conditions, drivers often have to go zigzag around the obstacles. I was curious to see what looks like a normal street in old Cairo outside the touristic, and commercial path, I have to say it is not nice to see, Many buildings are in poor conditions, some are crumbling are completely collapsed, is all dusty and trashy everywhere. there are small mountains of garbage here and there and no space or greenery at all. What I noticed in Egypt, is that access to a good life quality (green space, exercise activity, good food,…) is pricey and reserved for the elite. Even for me, accessing this quality of life is costly, and almost the same price as living in Europe or America.
I am now going to a very different place, Kenya. I will still be in a big city, Nairobi, for a few weeks. I will discover Kenyan life.

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