Cairo – Day 18

Saturday was my last day in Cairo, and I was determined to make the most of it!  I still had not had the chance to visit Khan El Khalili, which is the big market in Cairo, so that was the plan for the day.  Mahmoud and his family and I spent a few hours at Khan El Khalili, where I was able to buy souvenirs for everyone.  The market was very cool! There were shops and shops of hand-crafted souvenirs that included everything from Galabayas and Belly-Dancing Costumes to lutes and miniature Pyramids.

Khan El Khalili

The shop keepers would stand at the open door to their shop and constantly shout out at passersby hoping for them to buy something.  They loved seeing an American walking by, because they thought I was an easy target! However, they didn’t count on me having an Egyptian friend that could bargain with them. J I got the best deals, thanks to Mahmoud!

After we had finished shopping, I got to try an Egyptian Pancake, which was delicious! The consistency of the pancake is quite different from ours; it is denser and flaky.  The one that I tried was considered the “dessert” version; it was topped with cream cheese and honey. Yummy!  At the café where we were, the tables were literally on the street and huge tour buses would drive right by, so close that I could reach out my hand and touch them if I tried.  Also when you eat outside, the stray cats will come up to your table and beg for food.

While we were eating, an old Egyptian woman came up to our table offering Henna tattoos so the girls and I got one!  She just did a free-hand design on my hand and arm.  I was amazed, because it only took her about a minute to completely draw it out.  The girls were so excited about theirs, except Habiba couldn’t leave hers alone long enough for it to dry!  When I got back to the flat and showed Aunt Deborah, the first thing that she said was “You better make sure that your dad knows that I had nothing to do with this!” LOL

My Henna tattoo
Habiba and her Henna tattoo
Haneen’s Henna

By the time, we finished at the market, it was about 6pm.  I then had to go back to the flat and finish packing for our flight that night.  I had to figure out where to pack my souvenirs that I just bought.  Thankfully, Aunt Deborah had room in her boxes that she brought or else I would have been bringing back an extra bag!

It was so sad to say goodbye to Mahmoud and his family! I truly had an amazing time in large part to their friendship.  The girls looked so sad when I had to hug them goodbye. L  I hope to someday have the opportunity to visit them again.

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