1. The weather
Believe it or not, the whole four-seasons-a-year thing is not a myth. They have actual snow abroad but, while it’s nice and pretty, the niceness only lasts the first day. Then when you have to trudge through mounds of snow, it just becomes another workout you want to avoid.
2. Your nagging family
Living on my own and having to actually feed myself was a struggle I never saw coming. We all complain about how our families basically shove food down our throats (then later comment on how we’ve gained weight) but, trust me, being overfed beats starving half to death because it’s too cold to go outside or you’re too lazy to make something (in my case, it’s usually both).
3. El Shatafa
It baffles me how countries can be considered “developed” without this miraculous invention. Savor it while you can. Wet wipes just don’t cut it.
4. The generosity
Despite being an extremely poor country, you’ll always see people getting into pretty serious fights about who’s going to pay the bill. On the other hand, in countries drowning in riches, you’ll never fail to hear: “so…about those 75 cents I lent you nine weeks ago?”
5. The language
Some words simply do not have English equivalents: ya3ni, fakis, aslan. I find myself constantly dropping one or two of these in every conversation I have, which are met by bewildered looks from the person in front of me. On the other hand, you’ll find yourself throwing up a little in your mouth whenever you hear any of their slang: ”ballin’,” “ratchet,” “turn up.” No…just no.
6. The social life
Even though it takes hours to get from point A to B in Cairo, the abundance of point Bs more than makes up for it. Cairo is a city that never sleeps…and if you’re underage in a foreign country, your options for outings are quite limited.
7. The culture
That is, having a culture. You’ll appreciate being in a country where everyone has a common history and a rich culture that goes back hundreds of years. On the other hand, you’ll find that countries like the U.S. or Canada have people from so many different backgrounds it’ll make you feel like you’re a hundred places at once.
8. The sense of community
Especially after the revolution(s), Egypt has experienced a growing sense of nationalism and unity. Everyone’s proud to be Egyptian and you’ll start to feel like you’re missing out on everything that’s going on right now.
9. The chaos
Yep, you read it right the first time. I never thought I’d say this but the chaos of the hectic streets of Cairo during rush hour is one of the things I truly miss about living in Egypt. The casual khena2a here and there or people’s morbid curiosity when there’s an accident. Turning two lanes into fifty, hearing people swearing and joking, or simply stepping out of their car f nos el da2ery to take a breather is a sight you’ll rarely find elsewhere.
10. Delivery for everything and anything!