Living between time and space
Anisja Sonja G.
- 5 Posts
- Age 19
It's been exactly five months, eleven days, four hours and thirty-one minutes since I arrived to Cairo, Egypt.
“First impressions are wrong. Don't ever assume” - well, that's at least what some people said to me. So, the first impression I got about Cairo was that it is the city that never sleeps. As I was riding in a mini-van to my destination, I got a night view of the city's palaces, family homes, skyscrapers and open shops. The ride itself was exciting, yet terrifying, because as a European citizen I didn't get used to no-traffic-lights system, which today I connect to not only that, but also to the beat of this beautiful and enormous city.
The first day I was scared to go alone in the street. I needed simple things - such as water, and some food for the day. The cause of my fear was all the negative opinions I heard before I decided to come here. So, I texted one of my future colleagues to ask her 'How should I dress? Where should I go? What if I get lost?' In the end she convinced me that everything is safe and that I shouldn't feel scared at all. Some men might say a thing or two (such as 'pretty', 'hot' and 'welcome to Egypt'), but her advice was that I simply not listen to it and continue with my route. So, I decided to explore the neighborhood. Giza itself is a skyscraper city, in which you can see poverty and wealth meet in every street. And as I walked down the street, I met a huge square filled with taxis, buses, micro-buses, busy people rushing to their jobs (mostly men), and completely covered-up women. As much as I was in shock, I realized I would soon fall in love with this fast rhythm and huge buildings. For the first time in my life, I felt this veneration towards a city.
As my days passed, I got the chance to meet another even more beautiful and magical city, Alexandria, but I will write about it in another article.
Three months passed, and I did fall in love with Cairo. In that moment, the day that marked three months from my arrival, I decided to do something to make my day brighter. It was sunny, and I decided to go for a walk, all by myself, with my earphones. Just to wander, because I didn't get the chance before that day. So I went down to Qasr El Nil bridge, from where you can spot a beautiful view of the Nile River and its grandiose boats. The bridge lead me to a beautiful part of Cairo, Downtown Cairo and the famous Tahrir Square, the center of the revolution, and the beautiful building of The Egyptian Museum. On that day, I finally felt I became one with the city itself. Beauty, rhythm, sunshine and me, becoming one endlessly blissful creature. From that day, until now, I have discovered a lot of beautiful and magical places around Cairo, met wonderful people, and walked a lot (really, a lot). But this is just a part of my big adventure, just an introduction to it.
And my main point is that sometimes, that first impression are good ones. And yes, Cairo is safe, and even though sometimes it's hard to resist the urge to reply back to the men on the street - it's just a small, negative piece of a big, beautiful place. The perspective is the most important part of viewing life, everywhere, at any time.