15/50.- Cairo, blue mosque


Cairo is the "friendliest" city I have ever visited. Everyone wanted to be my "friend".

In some tourist areas local people will ask you where you are from, and will offer their "help". First they will say they only want to practice English, or that they want to help you because you are a "good man". As you can guess, all they want is to sell you something or/and earn some easy money.

I found several locals who wanted to be my guide in Cairo. They insisted they didn't want any money. And actually they never asked me for money. The trick is to take you to some tourist attraction, like this blue mosque. One of the locals who took me here was a policeman (or at least this is what he told me). He was a very nice guy, but he insisted I had to visit the blue mosque. Once there I was asked six pounds to visit the temple and six more to visit the minaret. I only paid for the entrance, the policeman showed me the temple and told me he was studying history. When I told him I wanted to go to the hotel, he left. Then the guy who sold the entrance tickets told me I could visit the minaret for two pounds! Now I know why the "policeman" insisted so much. I guess this is the way they make money.

My tip: don't trust any local. I do not like saying this, but I have to: if you need help you better not ask a local; look for a foreigner and ask him. Most locals are nice and eager to help, but a few of them only want your money. Specially to be avoided are the ones who speak English and look friendly.

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