Saturday, September 20, 2008


I'm starting to get the hang of shopping here in Cairo. I know there are some of you who can't believe it took me this long. I should say that I haven't come CLOSE to getting the hang of haggling. So for those of you picturing me in a "Souk" (marketplace) talking some shopkeeper into giving me a pashmina for 10 LE instead of 20, think again. My shopping has, most often, taken place in stores with price tags. I wish I could say that the places I'm most fond of are truly Egyptian, but they're honestly more American with a little Egypt thrown in. There's "& Co.", which is a store that specializes in Egyptian cotton and handmade soaps and pottery. They have the most amazing sheets, towels, pajamas, and comfy clothes, as well as soaps, shampoo, jewelry...basically everything I like. I've been getting a few things for the flat to make it a little more homey. The prices are comparable to what we would pay in the States for those items. The sheets and towels are of especially good quality and would probably actually cost more at home. They have a store in Connecticut, I can only imagine what they charge for this stuff there! The other shop I like is a bookstore called Al Kotob Khan which means "bookstore", haha. It's very cool, it reminds me of a New York bookstore. They have a lot of English and Arabic titles and lots of very unique journals, cards, etc. My reading list is huge these days, thanks mostly to the "Visual Bookshelf" application on Facebook. My friends Shara and Kendra have been reading way to many interesting books! So I worked my way through the list just to see what they did have, I would say about half of the titles were available and I'm sure I could get the rest if I ordered them. They are A LOT more expensive though. I bought the "Omnivore's Dilema" and it was 112LE which is about $20.50. According to the back of the book it would have cost $16.00 in the States. Where as Ira bought a book on the History of Maadi that was only 55LE, about $10. But that book was published in Egypt. So unless it's printed here, I think I'll be stocking up on books while I'm at home, but the shop does have a lovely little cafe and the staff are very nice and welcoming. And the other items in the store will make great gifts!

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