Hello Dear Reader and Welcome back to the blog!
I’m currently sitting in front of the Red Sea, drinking in the salty, fresh breezes absolutely relishing the weather, and honestly I wish you were here with me. We could sit with a cold beer in our hands, and chat about today’s topic. I was seriously contemplating writing an itinerary for Egypt, but I felt a bit….. Uninspired? I was MUCH more excited thinking about this topic!
I like deep topics, especially about personal growth, so I thought I would share with you today a few cultural things that I’ve learned while living here, and have since adopted into my routine!
Laser Hair Removal
I hope this first one made you laugh, because it makes me laugh thinking of this as a thing, but it’s actually a thing! In the US we shave, in Portugal they wax, and in Egypt they just burn those bad boys off! Just kidding, it’s not actually that painful. Seriously though, this has been one of the best investments I’ve ever made! Most women have been lasered from teenage years and are pretty hairless now, and it’s seriously amazing! Super affordable, convenient and time saving. It was a win-win for me!
Growing up, we ate most of our meals at home, and my mom is Greek so she was already an excellent cook, however we would still sometimes buy things ready made for convenience, and really if I’m short on time I really appreciate anything I can pop into the air fryer. However, in Egypt they really try to make everything at home, and I mean everything. A traditional household will ALWAYS prefer to make a dish at home rather than to buy it outside. Here they don’t mind to spend the time more than money. I really appreciate this concept and have since adopted it into my life. This can range from craving a certain Chinese dish to baking at home and not with boxed cake! Anyways it has led me to be more creative and explore what can be done with a little patience and hard work.
This kind of ties into the food topic, but it also carries over into others and that is to buy/cook in larger quantities to save time and money. I learned all about freezer prepped meals from Karim’s mother, Gigi and it’s something I would really like to adopt going forward. The idea here is basically you shop as if going to Costco, but without Costco. Buy in bulk, and it will save you money as prices increase over time especially with staples you know you will need like toilet paper, paper towels, etc. This also applies to gifts! If there is a sale on sheets, crystal necklaces, pots or pans, they buy in bulk and then give it to someone as a wedding gift later!
Love for Gold
I know it sounds so bougie right? But I grew up convinced that gold was for old people and not for young people. My view about this has completely changed! In Arabic culture, getting gold jewelry as a gift for special occasions is common! Once I saw how gold doesn’t turn green or need much shining and can be worn in the shower I was hooked! I still love silver pieces, but now I know gold is not only for older ones haha! Although it’s expensive, it holds it’s value, and it’s viewed as an investment for the family. Egyptians don’t always view it as a purchase so much as saving their money from inflation. Even you will find a very poor woman wearing gold earrings, that’s how common it is.
For the most part, marriages are very traditionally based here in Egypt, and family is very important. By traditional I mean that often the husband is the breadwinner and the women pioneer or look after their families. I’ve also noticed many women are very respectful of their husbands and HOW they speak about them. I grew up extremely independent, and took care of myself in many ways from a young age, but I have really appreciated this concept and learned to depend on Karim. I also tend to jump to decisions very quickly while he takes his time to think about things. The combination has been very complimentary by letting him take care of me. We both still have our own hobbies and friendships and moments of autonomy, but with double the joy.
Dressing up for weddings
To say that Egyptians dress up for weddings would truly be an understatement. It’s more that they get RED CARPET ready! And I have to admit, there is a part of me that absolutely loves how over the top they do it! And it’s not just the bride that really gets ready, ALL the sisters will get their hair and nails done, ALL of them. Some will even get their makeup professionally done even if they are not related or anything. The dresses are full on glam and soiree and sparkly! As someone who wishes to dress like Princess Leia or Padme Amidala in my leisure time in the New World, it’s made me even MORE excited for other’s weddings!
Taking Things Slower
I think all Arab people are really good at slowing down, and enjoying their tea. Egyptians KNOW how to relax and rest, sometimes maybe too much lol. However this has been something as a rather anxious person this has helped me learn to enjoy quiet, and rest, and also just conversation! I’ve always loved a good coffee chat, but it’s very relaxing to just sit and talk for more than a half hour. Western countries are efficient, but rushed always. Here I’ve learned that there is really only so much that can be done in a day, and I’ve become more modest and realistic with what I can do so I would say that’s a plus!
Using Trays for Tea and Coffee
Lol I know! Any grandma will laugh at this one because it’s something most cultures have used for centuries but in our modern world for some odd reason has become less common at home? Not in Egypt though! A friend of mine provided the inspiration for this and she’s is completely right! I never, ever used a tray before coming to Egypt, not at home at least! But they are SO SO convenient for serving others drinks or cake or even breakfast in bed for yourself! I will never go back!
Alright, that’s all for today my friends! I hope you enjoyed this light and cheery read! Please comment down below anything you would be curious about living in Egypt or moving here!