|WORLDCOOK'S TRAVELS - DAILY LIFE in EGYPT|
|Recipes from Egypt||Travel to Egypt||Travel to other countries|
and tea play a big role in Egyptian life. Tea can be normal tea, mint tea
or karkade, hibiscus tea, cold or warm. With regards to coffee, the choice
is either "Nescafe" or
kahwa, which is called Arabic coffee or Turkish
coffee, for me the choice is easy, as I don't think Nescafe even deserves
the name coffee. Kahwa
is "brewed" by softly
boiling in a very small
special metal pan with a long handle. sometimes with cardamom. It is
served in tiny cups, with part of the coffee itself still on the bottom.
It is invariably served with a large glass of water and always very sweet.
If you order "mazbut" which should mean "little", the most optimistic
thing you can say about it is that the sugar content is "normal". But the
taste is great and it certainly helps you to wake up and put your mind in
order in the morning.
The grey building to the right
above houses chickens, There are many of them in rural areas, and when I
saw the first, I thought it might be a school. But unless the chickens are
extremely intelligent, there will be no teaching taking place there. There
are only chickens, sitting side by side and producing their eggs.
On the 25th of April, Sinai Day is celebrated. The
Egyptians celebrate their victory in 1972 on the Israelis, at which
occasion they obtained the Sinai peninsula, the biggest beach area in the
world. Each year, Coptic Easter is celebrated by the Copts. About 15% of
the Egyptian population consists of Copts, and they claim to be the
descendants of the Pharaohs. They have to fast 55 days before Easter,
meaning that they are not allowed to eat certain things like meat, fish
and eggs. Of the Copts I have met, there was not even one who performed
the whole 55 days of fast. Some did a week, some did one day, and some
felt that God would not love them less for not having fasted at all.
Nonetheless, the Coptic Easter Sunday starts for many at 12.01 midnight
with an enormous buffet, full of beautiful dishes, almost all of them
Also in the rural areas, Sham El Nessim is celebrated abundantly, and families move to riversides and other green spots with their food, drink and kids. But on other aspects there are huge differences between urban and rural life. Even cities Cairo and Fayoum, barely 90 kilometers apart, are totally different. Where Cairo is totally full of cars, in Fayoum a lot of transport takes place on foot or by donkey. The pace of life is much slower and sometimes it feels like they are not only separated by distance in place but also in time. Cairo has large supermarkets, whereas in Fayoum there are only small shops, with an average size of 25 square meters, where you can buy bare necessities like rice, pasta, beans and sugar. My bare necessities (Dutch cheese, wine) are seldom available here. The dress code if different: whereas in Cairo you see women often wearing jeans and latest fashion, in rural areas many women as well as men were long dresses. The women often do their clothes and dishes in the rivers, the lakes and canals, which becomes a social event as well. It is a pity that the water is not always clean. Not only are their plastic bags and other solid waste heaped up on the border, there si also invisible pollution and from time to time you even see a dead cow floating past, its swollen belly discouraging you from looking at it, let alone washing your dishes..