When I made this blog I figured I'd update every few days, so I feel like I'm letting myself down in terms of recording things with a week in between like this. Still, stuff happens and I keep getting busy, so here's a short update!
I'm now hustling like hell to find a nice place before the middle of August when my rent is up in Zamalek. This SUCKS. Finding an apartment in Cairo by yourself without at least one committed room mate sucks majorly because of a distinct lack of one bedroom places in the area I want. I think it's probably best to team up with someone and try to find a place together, providing your budgets and desired area are the same. For me, I'm going at it alone, as usual, which has so far had the following results:
-Looked at many mediocre flats in THE perfect neighborhood
-Found the flat of my dreams, begged the bawwabs to hold it for me for a week to get the funds and roomies together, pranced around happily
-Attempted to get roomies
-Everyone balked at the price, or turned me down, and the hold was up yesterday so bye, bye to the perfect place
-I ate a lot of chocolate cake and grumbled about the lack of one-bedroom places in said perfect neighborhood
So now what? I don't know, I'm going to keep looking in the Maadi area, because I have my heart set on living there, but it's really tough without having a person committed to rooming with me. My Egyptian friends say I should just rent a place anyway and deal with the roomies later, but I can't leave my parents out however many hundreds of dollars if things don't come together. I'm just going to keep hustling and see what happens. Keep an eye on the blog because once I find a place I will be more in the mood to write about finding a place in Cairo, because it is an interesting process and I have some pointers to offer at this point. I just am a little too on edge about the topic now to elaborate at length in my blog!
Getting Really, Actually Sick in Egypt
A week and a half ago now I got sick, as in "not-gonna-get-over-this-one-at-home-and-it's-been-a-week" kinda sick. I don't particularly want to go into details, but it was just getting to the point where I was exasperated enough to put on my big, brave girl panties and let my friend take me to a real live Egyptian hospital to see a doctor...which turned out to be fine. So there.
Everyone is afraid of the medical system in Egypt it seems like, but my experience was nothing but pleasant, fairly quick, and cheap. It cost me $20 total to get examined, and get some meds to fix the problem. I can't even get my over-the-counter allergy meds in the US for so cheap! The trick is, and listen up here: go to a private hospital. There, that's all, just go to a private hospital that has a stellar reputation. Yes, there are some around, they're easy to find, and the one I went to in Heliopolis gave me great medical treatment. Hell, it was more quiet and calm than any medical institution I've set foot in back home. The staff were friendly and helpful, especially since I had an Egyptian friend with me to translate (and looked like a clueless, sick, foreign dork) and the doctor spoke English fairly well. Now I'm fine, but still weaning myself back on to a normal diet as mine had to be restricted for 5 days during my course of meds--not fun.
Another note before anyone runs off to any conclusions: it is NOT common to get as sick as I did in Egypt, don't worry. The biggest medical problem travelers have is that many people get some digestive issues here, but you get over them in a matter of days or hours, and it's seriously not that bad. I was not so lucky this time around!
Oh and PS, everyone--it wasn't Egyptian food that made me ill, I can thank McDonald's for that particular honor.