Monday, April 14, 2008

Cairo - Anecdotes

Okay before you guys complain "Tak habis-habis lagi ke cerita pasal cairo???", I promise you, this is the absolutely. last. one.

These are bits and pieces that happened that I didnt think fit in any of the other posts.

Jumpa Pelakon Melayu
When we were in Saqqara, we saw that there were a bunch of Malays. We knew they were Malays coz there was a makcik pakai tudung macam melayu (bukan style indonesia) and she was saying "eeehhh best aje dengar pakcik tu cakap arab shuey shuey shuey". They were walking past us while we were climbing up a slope so we couldnt say hi.
Anyways, when we climbed down on the other side of the slope, we met a couple melayu who sengih sengih at us. The guy looked really familiar and he was acting really friendly and smiling at us and he said Hi so we stopped to chat with him.
Taufik was like trying to figure out where he knew him. "where are you from?", "Where did you go to school?", "Do you work for Petr0nas?", Taufik asked. The guy's impatient frizzy haired friend offered, "He's on TV", and the first thing that came to my mind was, "Oh do you work for TV3?", you know, maybe he was mokciknab's colleague and we had met him at her house or something. Nope. The friend laughed and finally said "Dia pelakon" (he's an actor) and the guy gave a humble smile and said "I'm Khairil Anuar".

and we were like,


It was so embarassing. Taufik even managed to muster up a "sorry, but we've been out of the country for a while" as an apology (for recognizing him, but not recognizing him).
Anyways, Encik Khairil Anuar (I dont even know if I spelt his name correctly, coz seriously, I do not know who he is), if you're reading this, I would like to apologize if we had inadvertantly hurt your feelings. I mean, if you looked familiar to us, you must be quite a prolific actor lah kan? Our bad.

Panic in The Street
We were walking down one of the streets in town in mid afternoon when most of the shops are closed and most egyptians are having their siesta, when we heard a loud screech. An old black taxi (for there were so many in Cairo) which had been barelling down the street a moment ago, had actually suddenly screeched to a halt about a meter in front of us.
The taxi driver jumped out , shouting angrily at someone. That someone turned out to be one of his passengers, who also jumped out of the one of the back doors. They continued shouting at each other and were only stopped from lunging at each other when a passerby intervened. We watched this commotion in amazement.
What amazed us more was that after the sounds of quarelling died down from both of these men, both driver and passenger got back into the taxi and the taxi drove off.
I don't know what they were arguing about, but if I were the passenger, I would not have gotten back into the taxi.
Now I wonder if the taxi screeched to a halt again further up the street.

Poor Doctors
We met some Malaysian medical students from Alexandria a day before we left Cairo. We chatted a bit, asking about what life was like in Alexandria and they were really friendly and happy to meet another Malaysian. We asked them how much allowance they got from their scholarship/loan and they told us it was between USD200 - USD300, which I thought was reasonable in Egypt, considering the cost of living there. I only got USD500 when I was studying in Illinois (that was to cover rent+utility, food, stationaries etc.).
The next morning we read an article in the paper about Egyptian doctors threatening to go on strike unless they get a pay raise. The article stated that the starting pay for doctors is LE300 per month. That means that medical doctors are making less than what Malaysian medical students get every month.
I thought that was amazing and apalling at the same time.

dah, finish.


  1. fwow seriously? medic students get more than doctors... that is just.. fwow.

  2. heheehee.. kesian Khairil Anuar tu.. by the way, camane rupa dia? hehe.. mesti tak glamour sangat kot..

    I heard about the scholarship yang our medical students got and they are among the richest malaysian students kat sana. Tapi tak tahu pulak gaji doctor egypt rendah cam tu sekali. Patut lah ramai yang datang s@udi ni.. hehehe..

  3. ellie8:31 PM

    Happy 2 year old Birthday to cute little (but big) Izani...on the 15th of April. May Allah showers you with His blessings all the time.

    Makcik ellie
    (my youngest is also 2 on the same date)

  4. elisa...:-)
    di saudi dan juga di uae - cukup ramai docs from negara mesir sana...hehehe.
    bukan docs jer, jurujual pun ramai.
    cuma mereka ni, di pendang serong sikit la oleh bangsa arab yang lain....tak tahu la kenapa.. ;)


  5. nadia - yea.. like, for shore.

    neeza - i tengok2lah jugak, kot2 dia tengah filming something dengan afdlin shauki ke, hans isaac ke, brad pitt ke.. tapi takdelah pulak.. ha ha ha

    Ellie - Thankyou auntie ellie!!! And happy birthday to your youngest too! *huggies*
    *wonders which 'Ellie' this is*

    Pak Payne - that was the first thing we thought of too.. "patutlah ramai egyptian doctors kat saudi". But why they dipandang serong, ek? Maybe coz they're a little rought kot. I pernah borak with my egyptian friend's husband once.. eeeh garang gila, takut dah nak telpon lagi. ;)

  6. well, money is always good to have more lah kan. ada sikit idup macam ada duit sikit, ada duit lebih boleh le bernafas lega sikit. on the scholarship amount and the gaji ... similar to indonesia i think, when my sister was studying in surabaya, she's getting much more than the average population of ind0nesia. siap mampu ada maid lagiii.