Tuesday, June 24, 2008

June 21, 2008


Earlier today we decided to once again brave the craziness of Khanak aheleli (the biggest open air market in Cairo). We actually didn’t even have a chance to get overwhelmed because as soon as our taxi pulled up to a market a young Egyptian man asked us if we were Americans and offered to help us. He was wearing an American flag on his shirt and spoke very good English, so we figured why not. He took us all around to his friend’s shops but we ended up with pretty good deals in the end. I spent about 30 US dollars and ended up with quite a pile of merchandise. It’s amazing how the prices differ from the hugely touristy spots in the market and then those of the beaten track. Naturally, Mido took us to the lesser known areas because he’s a native. He also said that his family also owned a business there so he practically grew up in the market.


Then this evening Sam and I went adventuring again in Dokki. She’s set on finding the supposed Starbucks that is somewhere around here and I’ve just been going along even though I’m not really dying for a cup of coffee that isn’t instant. A side note on coffee: Egyptians drink a lot of a mix called 3-in-1, which is a blend of instant coffee granules, milk, and sugar. It’s delicious. I don’t drink much coffee at home, though, so to the average coffee drinker it might not be the best.


Now, onto the food we’ve been eating. I feel like I eat so much more healthily here than I do at home. I suppose because so few of the usual junk foods are available. Additionally, fruits and vegetables are cheaper than the imported goodies, so we’ve been directing our attention more to the fresh produce. I feel like I’m on the Mediterranean Diet with all the pitas, fruit, olives, vegetables I’ve been eating. It feels good, actually! I should probably just stay here. Our current favorite meal has been a mix of tomatoes, yellow peppers, onions, cucumbers, oil and vinegar. Sometimes we add chickpeas or some other beans. It’s quite delicious. We’ve also been eating a lot of eggs and cheese for more protein.


Now that I’ve bored the world with eating habits (although I’m sure some are inteterested), I end this entry.



1 comment:

ibrahim said...

since i became a regular commutator on your blog, I'll get straight to the points:

1) yes, in "khan el khalili " ( the right spelling & pronunciation ) you will find better deals of the beaten tracks specially with a native beside you BUT NOT one that is from the market ! i.e. he wants also a good deal for himself as he takes a commission from the shops he brings customers to, and specially that you don't know the prices, but anyways 30 dollars isn't alot ( you got away this time but next time be careful :-)

another tip is that almost all prices are negotiable (in these places), you should try the experience of arguing with the seller about the price and trying to lower it down and he refuses then make the most famous trick which is walking away calling the deal off as if you don't want to buy anymore and as ALWAYS he'll follow you agreeing at your price !! try sometime,it'll be fun !

2) Egyptians (and i am one of them so you should listen to me !) drink all kinds of coffee: hard ones (or heavy or whatever) and soft ones .... the " 3 in 1 " you are talking about is a new product of Nestle company which is the regular Nescafe added to it milk and sugar in one pack just to be handy with you anywhere, moreover most Egyptians drink tea in the first place!

3)Egyptian cooked food is so delicious but also anti-diet as most of our food is cooked with oil or "samna" (i don't know it in english but it's something like butter) which have alot of carbohydrates and calories. In addition to that, alot of our recipes are a mix of 2 or more items ... like "koshary" that aminah told you about, a mix of rice, macaroni, onions, adass....etc

so good for you that you are eating vegetables, a healthy and a good diet !!