The (Somewhat) Perfect Shella Day Out If You’re Stuck in Cairo and Kinda Broke

By: Malak Atwa

Stuck in Cairo? Don’t know what to do or where to go? Luckily for you, I’ve been there and here is my advice to you: you don’t need to travel to make memories. It doesn’t matter where you are or what you’re doing as long as you have the right people by your side. However if it does matter with you then here’re things you could do that are affordable, but fun.

The day starts at 10:00am it’s really early, it’s too hot to go anywhere, and most likely everywhere that you could go for breakfast isn’t open yet. What do you do? Go to one of your friends’ houses. Make breakfast together. Whether it be pancakes, omelettes, cookies or even ordering Mcdonalds for crying out loud. It doesn’t matter as long as you stay inside. Watch some tv, drink your morning coffee, talk about what y’all did last night, gossip a little even. Next thing you know its 12:00 pm.

You’re bored, it’s still hot, you want to leave the house, but where should you go? You’re local nady. Why you may ask? Because every nady has a pool, so going there to cool off for a bit is just the perfect thing to do. And, it’s free.

You’re at the pool, you’re getting hungry and just a tad bit sunburnt. Its 4:00pm. You take a shower and now it’s time for lunch. Where do you go? Depending on what your mood is, you’re probably tired and starving because swimming and long exposure to the sun wears you out. It’s probably best you eat something that’s nourishing and filling but not too filling because you don’t want to get tired even more, it’s also best to eat in a well ventilated area that’s indoors preferably. 

After having lunch, regaining some of your energy back. Its 6:00pm-yes it took you 2 hours – probably even more – to leave the nady to the restaurant because Cairo traffic. Now, you have two options. First option being going to the movies. Second option being doing a fun activity, like going to an escape room, or maybe even laser tag and paintball. But you soon realize that in order to do any of that you’d need a reservation and if you’re lucky you can get a reservation, but if you’re not, movies it is! 

Finally, you get your tickets and watch the movie. Now it’s probably 2 or 3 hours later – depending on the movie you chose- it’s 9:00pm. From here on your options are limited depending on what kind of person you are. If you have an early curfew my best advice to you and your friends would be to get some ice cream, sit in the ice cream store and just chat. Like genuinely talk about life and everything really. If you’re saye3 then here is where things get kind of wild. Actually things don’t get wild here because ana msh say3a so I don’t really know what to tell you, go home. 

Once you’re done with your ice cream and talked, your parents are probably calling you nonstop right now telling you “kfaya sya3a fel shaware3 w raw7y ana marbbetsh ra2asa”. If not, then you can stay a while longer just hanging out with your friends. If your parents are calling you then it’s probably time you head on home. Whether someone picks you up or you uber home – please don’t get kidnapped – you have reached the end of the night. You go home, change into your pajamas, post some of the pictures you took that day. And finally, you go to bed and maybe do it again the next day.

P.S other ideas include: walking down Zamalek, visiting old palaces and homes of celebrities long gone turned open-museums. Taking a felucca in the Nile and then having lunch somewhere at the Corniche. Picnic-ing at the Azhar Park all day. Exploring the streets of Old Cairo, stopping by mosques and churches, talking to people. Or even, for those of you who are sustainable, going shopping in Wekalet El Balah. Among many other ideas, maybe we can make a part 2.

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