Fun Facts About Egypt

Those of you who have been following my Twitter when I was travelling would know that I often update it with my observations of the quirky way Egyptians live.
For those who have missed it, these are the best ones and I’ve put them here again. This time with pictures.

There is a lot of sand in Egypt.

From the airplane, the country looks like one freaking huge sand box. These huge expanse of North African desert is lifeless yet beautiful.

The currency in Egypt is the Egyptian Pound. 1 Egyptian Pound equals 100 Egyptian Piastres. Mmm… piastres. 😉
1 Egyptian pound is about 60 cents Malaysian.

You gotta have plenty of these as baksheesh (tips), else you can’t get service anywhere in the country. They carry your bags, you pay them tips. They open the door for you, you pay them tips. Even when they pose for photos for you, you gotta pay them tips.
The quality of Egyptian banknotes is pretty bad. They feel like cloth more than the plastic kind we’re used to. My mom said they look like “kiam chai”.

In Egypt, their payphones are also called “Ringo”

They must really like Cheesie over there.

Because of my size, the Egyptians have given me a nickname. They call me “Rambo”.

Egyptians have a wicked sense of humour. I was wearing this tight adidas sleeveless top during one of my visits to a historical site and while I was walking back, I caught the attention of the tourist trap merchants. The whole stretch of them were yelling out to me “Bruce Lee! Bruce Lee!” Then one of them shouted “HEY RAMBO!” and everyone cracked up laughing.
Our local tour guide eventually got wind of it and for the rest of the trip, my nickname was “Rambo”.

I played arm wrestling with an Egyptian merchant. I lost. The bugger cheated!

After witnessing all the commotion that me (aka Rambo) had caused at the markets, one of the local guys challenged me to an impromptu game of arm wrestling.
You don’t see our two countries sizing up in many of the sport events. But for once, this is Egypt Vs Malaysia.

Early on I was dominating. With 300 loud Egyptian guys firmly behind their boy, and only 2 of my mates cheering me on, sad to say, I lost. 😛
Not to say I’m a sore loser, but he did lift his whole elbow up halfway through the match.

When I said the way Kuching people park their cars is bad, I obviously hadn’t seen the way Egyptians park.
This is one quirk I find most interesting.
Kuching people are expert when it comes to parking their cars. It doesn’t matter if it is a pedestrian walk, a yellow line or a No Parking sign, as long as there’s space to fit in a car you WILL find a Kuching car on it. Heck, if they could, Kuching people might even park their cars on trees.

But you know what? After seeing the way Egyptian park their cars, I am left speechless.

They just park sooooo close to each other. How the hell is ANY of those cars gonna get out without getting scratched?! Now THAT’S a mystery greater than the Pyramids of Giza.

I mean, I’ve heard of the term “bumper to bumper”. But this is ridiculous.
Of all the cars you see in Egypt, 99.9% has scratches on them. You have a better chance at winning 4D than you have finding a perfectly undamaged car in Egypt. For that reason, you’re almost never gonna see a brand new car in the country.

Seriously, who teaches these people how to park their cars? Mr Bean?

You know this black rapper Xzibit? He’s the one who hosts MTV’s “Pimp My Ride”.
Someone told me he’s now doing commentary for a porno video over there in the US. I think that one is called “Ride My Pimp”.

126 Replies to “Fun Facts About Egypt”

  1. Man! Don’t those people love their cars? What the heck are they thinking? Anyway…love your blog…keep the love flowing man, no matter what people throw at ya! Peace!

  2. I once read before that to gain an Egyptian Driving license you just needed to drive a car 15m forward, 15m backwards and park between two cones.
    If that is still true today, it might explain why the cars are so beautifully decorated with eau de dent.

  3. Rambo’s American, Kenny. You’re Malaysian Chinese. Thus, LAMBO.
    Hot damn, the parking’s tight there. They may be trying make a statement about the quality of their virgins. Or camels. Whatever makes them happy.

  4. wahhahahahahahaha.. good one dude.. u seriously looked like an overweight bruce lee but still good lar.. Rambo? i dont think so, u dont have a funny looking face or a west-facing nose Sly does. hahaha!

  5. OMG Kenny you should have tried to take a video of how they actually get in/out of the parking spaces!
    That would have been one helluva video 😀

  6. hahaha. hilarious man but the car thing is so bloody true. Here in MMU melaka most foreigner from the middle east drive and park like crap!

  7. My dad went to Egypt and the tour guide told him that when Egyptians park their cars, they never put on their handbrakes. WHy? because, they park bumper to bumper TO BUMPER, like a tic tac toe of cars, and when the one in the middle wants to get out, he just starts his car, and begins to bump the car in front of him, or behind him, out. serious. my father saw it happen a few times.

  8. wah lao….i am seriously questioning how did their government approve the driving licences wei! its madness and brawling session if these kind of parking styles take place in our country lolz

  9. Rambo! :[
    Ewww, is that a dead frog on the back windscreen of the yellow car? Or is that how they ‘salai’ their exotic lunch?

  10. Bruce Lee suit u best not Rambo, yeah u’ve got the style. I feel sorry for the eqyptian ppl, they don’t value what they’ve got, maybe cars are cheap there.

  11. dead frog on the back windscreen, that reminds me of an ancient story of God’s 10 plagues. One of them is the frog. Maybe that’s the reminder of Egyptians during Moses’ time. Cool yo!

  12. when i was in france & italy, the cars were parked like this too (approx 1 inches apart). but nearly all were scratch & dent free wor..

  13. Dang! I’m gonna be so heartbroken if I go to Egypt cause I love cars so much. You’re already looking slimmer Kenny!

  14. the bugger looked like a vampire to me, were u afraid of his FANGS? the fangs made u lost? poor thing Kenny, i saw u strained urself in the match.
    lucky u let him win. if not, the 300 men will MELT u… heehee 😀

  15. Wow, Kenny through your blog i have gained more knowledge on Egypt. That is such horrible parking style that i ever heard. Damn scary. SO there must be does not have any branded car right?
    I have become more and more interesting on your Egypt trip.

  16. Traffic lights are solely for decoration purposes in eygpt, according to my guide. and it’s true. -.-” Egyptians have the most insane road system in the city. I will never ever attempt jaywalking there again.

  17. Hey Kenny, are on the ‘roids??? Pity the fool who took you on in arm wrestling. Smart move to let him win though with 300 of his pals looking on. And here I though driving in Kuching is bad, it is worst in Cairo.


  19. haha, this is so refreshing, here in singapore cars are so expensive that people see it as a status symbol: I’ve a 1.6 you’ve a 1.5 ha I’m superior! It’s good to see at least some place where things are in perspective – a car is just a car! No need to bother about 1 scratch – and cry buckets for it! Way to go Egypt! Woo Hoo!!!

  20. hey, kenny have u been to hurgada. the best place i guess is LUXOR !!! beautiful historical place. i got one of those gallabiyas to :0 .

  21. Ive never left comments before…but the cars part got me laughing so badly i need to let you know.
    you da best.


  23. Heck, even Mr.Bean can’t do that! Wonder how they get their driving license though. Another thing, they park so close so how the hell they gona get themselve outta the damn car? Shit lar…they climb out from the window?

  24. Goodness gracious me…
    I crack my head thinking how these fellas go out of their car.
    After spending my precious time pondering, I jump into a conclusion that MAYBE someone rub their car…. and they can go up like genie using the smoke…
    Well, we are talking about Egypt after all…

  25. Welcome Back Rambo…………Hahaha so you finally found “more skilled” drivers in Egypt then in Kuching eh?? haha

  26. Hm.. I don’t think you look alot like Bruce Lee… Young Jackie Chan, maybe… but Rambo? Not even close 😛
    Wow.. I never know that Egypt’s a giant bumper car arena..
    Great Post!

  27. hey rambo…
    The currencies kinda lower than ours ha..
    Neway even Mr Bean drives better than the Egyptians..His car doesnt have THAT much scratches and dents.haha

  28. Hi, Kenny ! You better take care of your weight you’re not that tall ! Short and fat will turn out like a “Round-bowl” instead of Rambo !
    No !

  29. Posted by: wendy at 18 April 2007 12:50 PM | Link to comment
    when i was in france & italy, the cars were parked like this too (approx 1 inches apart). but nearly all were scratch & dent free wor..
    hhahha… u dun see egyptians coming out with supercars and such now do u?

  30. yo kenny, you look damn fugly fat, so full of lard around you, so please stop wearing tight fitting tops, damn disgusting..
    if you got lean muscles, then wear tight tops but not at this state.. work on it,lard!

  31. I wonder how much an average car will cost (vs. their income) in Egypt that they really dont have heartache over the scratches on their car…

  32. kanneh, you know this is Egypt vs Malaysia and you go and lose it. he lifts his hand and you don’t know how to do the same???

  33. I feel sorry for nicole, maybe she requested kenny to take out the post bcos some of kenny’s blog fan are just ridiculously nasty, disgustingly dirty… poor Nicole….

  34. maybe the competition doesnt allow the pulling of votes via the mass media (eg. internet)… so if the entry was kept, she may be stripped of her title?!?! :\

  35. I remember reading Lat’s comic on his tour to Egypt (during the 1980s or 1990s?). I guess he wasn’t wrong at all about the cars there looking like junkheaps.

  36. Well i’m an Egyptian guy.. the facts u will get from me are the right ones 😛 . Well Mr. rambo first thanks for visiting my country, hope u had a pleasure visit there. Don’t worry about the loss. Sportsmanship is cool :P. Anyway i would like to tell u all something. What u find wierd in a culture or a society others might find it something normal. About the Gallabya. Well i don’t have one and i never had one. So its not all the egyptains wear it. Its only some ppl who r mostly the Kampung guys. and if it looks funny to u, u want to wear it in a haloween party or something. Don’t u think a PINK baju Melayu worn by a guy looks funny to us?!?! and about the cars. Well Cairo is the 3 crowdest city in the world. So if they don’t park like this, how do u expect them to park?!?! For us Malaysian drivers are just too slow. We can’t imagine how do they get their work done sometimes. And one more thing. For the dumbass who mentioned camels. Well dude, we stopped using camels in the age of pharoes themselves, try to get urself updated. You wouldn’t like me to comment and say… Malaysians method of eating is from Monkeys!!! and then comes the word Ne’ama. This word has a letter “ain” which is only in arabic where most of the other races can’t even pronounce it. It means “pleasure” in english letters we use the charachter “3” to represent it. so we would write Ne3ma. But since it is informal they can’t put it on a sign board. And then the same goes to us, if u guys just know wat does the word “kosong” means to us. anyway, i’m not offended and i hope no one gets offended by me. But for rambo, u just have a great blog. Thanks

  37. err Egyptian guy dude man.. Err.. what ever u call urself(no offence intended) Well Im living in Abu Dhabi ~A malaysian~ And yeah about the parking thing its not thqat we’re critisicing or anything but seriously its close. Though I think the drivers in Abu Dhabi are worst. One of those drivers nearly caused me and my family our lives. Though almost is an understatement. I’ve met quite a few Egyptians here and they’re nice but seriously the way you guys drive cars here (not only egyptians also the local arabs and crazy taxi drivers ) is totally well crazy.. Almost like once a month or twice I’d see a car on the way to school in an accident and survivors 0. I guess what im tryin to imply is that drivin (mainly im taklin bout drivin) to us in malaysia shouldnt be rushed or we die and here it should be slowed down to a more laid back pace or else well yea u know the ending. No offence intended.

  38. Yo Aodian, I think we have alot of things in common :P. Though i’m Egyptian, but I live in AD too :P, and guess what?? i study in Malaysia, in Melaka :P. Well let me say something. You guys have a great country. I really love it here. The things i said was just a reply to some ignorants around here who really woke the patriotic inside me :P. And i do agree about the “arabs” driving thing. It suX sometimes. But i wanted ur help to reply to those ppl who think we still ride camels to go back to our tents in the desert. Thanks!

  39. I feel that Malaysians should be the last people to make fun of anybody else. I sometimes wonder why people from Singapore and Malaysia try to act like they are from UK or US, they ape way too much and they are so NOT Original.
    I wish I could underline and bold that “NOT.”
    Be nice and humble, you will go much longer.

  40. I went to Egypt a few years ago. I can see that things haven’t changed.
    The first thing that greeted me at my cousin’s apartment (my cousin studied in Egypt), was a car whose bumper was tied to the car using nylon ropes.
    I actually witnessed an accident taking place before crossing the road last time.
    Not to mention how they can manage to fit 5 lanes of car in a 3 lane road.
    Actually, the reason why you almost couldn’t see a new car is because there’s no such thing as insurance over there.

  41. Sid, don’t shoot yourself in the foot.
    Your “I sometimes wonder why people from Singapore and Malaysia try to act like they are from UK or US, they ape way too much and they are so NOT Original.” is smacks of white worship.
    Are you trying to say that the U.S and the U.K are somehow ‘higher’ than us by using them as examples?
    It just sounds ridiculous. I’ve been to the U.S & U.K before and by that same rhetoric don’t you think the U.S are “aping” the Black American rappers and black sub-culture by mimicking their horrible grammatical errors and their dress sense?
    And what exactly defines “acting like people from the U.S and the U.K?”
    So we must be “humble” like how the west perceive Asians should be while they can act the way they do no problem?
    Everyone makes fun of everyone else and as long as the humour isn’t maliciously remarked I don’t think it’s cause for the big hoo-hah u’re making out of it.

  42. the things haven’t changed a bit i like egypt i came i year ago but anybody who makes fun egypt makes mad i really miss my friends my teacher i wish i could say hi to them agian

  43. you have an awesoome website. the cars being parked so close was funny. go and get some more funny pictures for the website.

  44. Ok, I’m three years too late, but I was in egypt not too long ago and a local egyptian showed us why they park that way and how they get out of their lot. egyptians do not lift the hand break when they park so that the other drivers can move their cars around, front & back.

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