Land of the Philthos

The land of the pharaohs is filthy. Perhaps it’s because men are in charge. Everyone knows men don’t notice dirt.

The sandstorm that descended on our second day in Cairo obscured the city and created a dusty itch at the back of my throat. But it didn’t seem to make things any dirtier than they already were.

View from our rooftop terrace on day 1


View from our rooftop terrace on day 2

Our hotel room was grimy, yet there was no soap. The halls, carpeted in aging astroturf, had a suspiciously Sphinxy stink.

On day two, the day of the sandstorm, there was a special gift from the Sphinx outside our door.

Even breakfast was dirty. I was thrilled to get a “traditional” Egyptian breakfast of bread, egg, cheese and fig jam – and grime.

So, of course, Miss M kicked off her shoes and ran around barefoot. And dragged her hands along every possible surface.

Because of the sandstorm, we hid in our room all morning, watching The Tale of Despereaux DVD for the 400th time, in the company of four persistent flies.

Finally, we decided to brave the sandstorm, heading off for a glimpse of the River Nile.

It was very very cool to see the river during a sandstorm. However, I think on our way back through Cairo we will stay at a slightly more upmarket hotel.

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7 years ago

By: Barbara

A career girl who dropped out, traveled, found love, and never got around to going home again. Now wrangling a cross-cultural relationship and two third culture kids.


  1. EJ says:

    You have my sympathy. I hope things improve a lot!

  2. Snap says:

    Looks and sounds a trifle depressing 🙁 Horrible feeling when you don’t want to touch anything in your hotel room…I remember that feeling.

    At least it’s only a stopover!
    Snap recently posted..Georgetown, Penang – Part 1

    • Barbara says:

      Only a stopover. And we saw the pyramids from the air!!! We didn’t make it to the pyramids on our short stopover because jetlag knocked us both out too early!

  3. robin says:

    No, Cairo isn’t clean.

    It is my favourite city though – so magnificently unboring – but then I am a man…
    robin recently posted..Los Mapas

    • Barbara says:

      Because you are a man, I’m actually surprised you noticed it wasn’t clean. Perhaps a grimy mirror stopped you from admiring your immaculate hair, hmmm?

  4. I cannot believe something shat outside your hotel room door. You should publish the name of the hotel, so people know not to stay there.

    You photos of the sandstorm are crazy.
    Stephanie – The Travel Chica recently posted..Eating My Way Through BA Part 1: Making Dinner a Social Event

    • Barbara says:

      I didn’t publish the name of the hotel because even though it was grimy, the staff were really lovely.

      The sandstorm was pretty amazing. Something I didn’t expect!

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