Overview of Egypt for a Brazilian Resident
Obviously not to say that we face many curious situations, unusual, colorful, many of them up funny, because of the difficulty of the language and customs. . .
Reason for change Egypt
As a child I always had a great fascination with the “Ancient Egypt” and all that was, the Pharaohs, Cleopatra, temples, pyramids, architecture, and even the theory behind the possibility of an eternal life that they brought to their mummification deceptively people.
By fate or order of chance as an adult, I lived in the Egyptian capital Cairo, a place that has seen every one universe.
The mid-80s, the Egyptian government has acquired some aircraft of military origin, the “TUCANO” manufacturing company EMBRAER – Brazilian Aeronautics Company (the plane used by our “Smoke Squadron” in their presentations).
As this acquisition was associated with a strong interest on the part of Egyptians who had to transfer the Know How of the Brazilian company, was established in the contract that the aircraft would be produced in Cairo.
Continuing the work, the EMBRAER sent a team of officials to Egypt, and my husband at the time was responsible for quality control of the project / Egypt.
Arrival to Cairo late 1984
After long hours of flight we arrived at Cairo airport at night. Cairo is the largest city in the Arab world and Africa, besides being in a strategic position between Africa and Asia. Mubarak was in the beginning of his fourth year as president of Egypt.
The official language of Egypt is Arabic, so you can imagine our degree of difficulty for us to understand “writing.” Most traders Egyptians speak English sufficiently to attend to its line of business.
I soon realized that to survive and have some independence should speak English. I enrolled in a British school, I remember well my first day was New Year’s Eve (31/Dez/1984 day / Monday). For a normal day the Egyptian commemorative dates on the calendar of Muslims have different dates (started in 632 AD of our calendar), they celebrate on June 6, when Mohammed made his pilgrimage to Mecca. In my class my teacher Britain, I the only foreigner among the Arabs. No one spoke Portuguese.
Search for a place to live:
It seemed that there was no understanding by the real estate brokers because of the language, we visited all the properties taken by them, did not correspond to what we were seeking.
Because of the difficulty of finding a property lived three months in a hotel. It was necessary to learn Arabic words relevant to ask yourself when building found some I liked. Vespers moving day my husband and I were so excited by the possibility of doing a Brazilian food in our own way, which can not even sleep.
Difficulties because of language
The spice highly appreciated and used by the Egyptians is the “cumin”. Believe me, it was useless to ask for something without cumin, cumin came with no use. We laugh a lot at times we did a request to waiters in restaurants, cafeterias, and hotels. One of them happened when we were still living at the hotel, all Brazilians who worked in the program were staying on the same floor. At the end of the day after returning from work, the entire floor the same sandwich called the “cheese chicken” .. The cook was already used to the routine preparation of many cheese chicken every day. Nobody sick!
He turned to a general preference and habit among us, after a long day tasting the cheese chicken one day the group was surprised by the refusal of staff Cup strange that our request, saying, not only does not exist on the menu as never have been part of it. . Nobody got nothing and had to be without our lovely “cheese chicken.”
Tea domestic preference
Tea is the national preference for corners everywhere imaginable and unimaginable, likely and unlikely, at any time and space, it’s time to drink tea. It was common witness in traffic to keep drinking your tea or going through with his tray between the cars. Also frequent when the guard was blocking traffic, drivers impatiently threatened boot cars, no other alternative but to release them as if the real intention of the guard.
As time passed we were learning a bit of local life. Nothing seemed to work in Cairo without that “bakixixi”, the “tip”, there bakixixi!
Moab (custodian), one of my building there was an expert, a PHD in creating situations to ensure your bakixixi. Imagine, we were anxious (without internet) to receive letters from Brazil, so the postman delivered the letters he hid them to swap them with us for bakixixi. On the streets makers has exerted the same pressure to acquire them.
Beer was sold in Cairo without alcohol. Only foreigners could buy in supermarkets by presentation of a passport.
A curious thing happened when hanging clothes on the line, usually when finished hanging the last piece of clothing, the first was dry. Unbelievable! I believe it is due to the dry air of Cairo. A necessary feature was the use of fabric softener, because; let his lack clothes looking paper even at times biting.
Rain was a rarity, when it came to the distance between the dots was so great that we could pass between the raindrops without getting wet.
The winter was very cold and extremely hot summer. Eventually going a phenomenon called “ramassim” a sandstorm. The heat that preceded the ramassim was distinct and allowed us prior to the phenomenon. Even with the windows closed dust penetrated homes and the furniture were covered with a fine dust.
I knew that stateless Palestinians with no option lived in a cemetery in Cairo. They left behind family, property, life stories, and lived precariously.
Following the books we were exploring in situ the locations of the monuments of Ancient Egypt, the pyramids, the Valley of the Kings, Sakara, Luxor, etc… The Resort of Sharm El Sheikh is a paradise place not misses visiting.
I got to witness the recent discovery of a mummy, whose tracks were loose, so I could observe in detail, the skin dark in color and hard as a wooden consistent. In the Cairo museum I saw mummies of children who were mummified with an erect penis.
Since the beginning caught my attention over the horn in traffic. Even without any apparent reason to the order that prevailed seemed to be “beep.” I even think that the horn functioned as a “code of communication” between the local populations.
A very flesh was consumed mutton. The buffalo meat was substituted for the beef. We chose the chicken originally exported from France (as the French chickens were fed fish meal had a dubious taste, sometimes chicken taste like fish either. Fortunately, after a certain period, Brazil won the competition and started to export to Egypt, so we began to taste the genuine flavor of the chicken.
I keep good memories of the time I lived there.