Now that we’re done with finals, we’re in desperate need of a break from the stress, pressure and constant panic that we were put in, we deserve it. So, if you’re as shawar3eyya as I am, then you’d understand the dilemma I often experience when it comes to spending money between every outing and the other, especially that my shella is scattered all over the city. Everything right now, and I mean literally everything, is overpriced. You don’t need to spend over 400 LE on food and transportation to have a good time, habaybi that’s not normal. We’re too broke for that, but we still want to have a good time without feeling deprived of anything.
We don’t need to eat sushi every day, nor go on a shopping spree to have a good time. It’s really not about how fancy the place is, or about what you’re going to wear, or even about a few pictures for your Instagram feed. It’s about your company. So this is a list of low budget ideas for you and your friends that are spontaneous, fun, and affordable.
In all honesty, I stole this idea from Tiktok, but I did it with my friends and it was a success. Buy a canvas, or a sketch (will be cheaper than a canvas and has more pages for you to use later on, but it’s thinner) and a bunch of colors of any type (personally I recommend acrylic) and just…let loose. You don’t have to be a painter to try it out, express yourself however you want, use colors that don’t match, forget about the brushes and just use your hands. It’s therapeutic and relaxing. Listen to music, sing together, talk.
You can either choose a park to do this at (or any midan with some greenery), or just crash at one of your places.
If you love baking, or if you have a few simple low-budget dishes you love preparing and making at 3 AM, make them and let your friends cook something else and go for a picnic. No need for charcuterie boards or frog cakes, just good food, chill vibes with some music under a tree. Basically a dish party but snack edition. A free space for you to dance, play some cardboard games, watch the sunset and spend quality time together.
You can even turn it into a cook off between you guys, and may the best plate win!
Go for walks
If you love exploring, wandering around, looking at various shops aimlessly with no exact plan, this is a cool idea! An outing isn’t defined by a restaurant you go to and stay at for hours, you get to decide how you and your friends will have fun. Visit a foreign area to you for a morning walk, with your backpack, comfy sneakers and worn out sweats. It’s also a good workout!
If you need a suggestion, I adore Zamalek. First time I went there, me and my friends kept walking from street to street, playing a game of guessing the embassy. We entered countless shops and checked out its restaurants, ended up eating shawarma sitting on the pavement watching as people passed by. You can also do that at Maadi, Korba, West El Balad and use the metro to go around. It won’t take you more than 50 pounds for food and transportation for a lovely experience like this. Maybe add an extra 100 for a few books, the prices of which you can bargain at local stands on the street.
Aisha Fahmy’s Palace, the Egyptian Museum, the Grand Egyptian Museum, the Child Museum and innumerable Mosques, Churches, and Synagogues are all over the city. You’re more than welcome to explore those places, walking the streets of Old Cairo and visiting a Church with a Coptic friend, indulging in learning about your heritage, exploring nooks and crannies, and talking to people on the street. Shed the skin of the bourgeois life for a minute as much as possible, and just, talk to the people.
Best place for a nam session with your girlies if that’s something you’re into. You can go to the pool there, ride your bikes or just chill in a room with an AC on. Take a dance class, grab your tennis rackets for old times’ sake, rollerblade your way around the nadi alleys, grab a basket or soccer ball and have a match. Hell, grab your laptops or books and order a cold lamoon na’na’ and chill until lunch, nothing beats the nadi’s escalope and fries by the pool after a long day.
More COVID friendly because it’s open air! Divide the feluka fees between your friends, bring a few pizzas or chips and dips, bluetooth speakers and partaaaaay. It’s so fun and you get to look at houses by the Nile, which look amazing.
Don’t forget your bikes, skateboards and speakers. But most importantly, your masks, alcohol sprays and gels, we wanna have a blast safely babes!
If you want to have fun, have fun. Don’t confine yourself to stupid traditional ideas that sound exotic and make you look chic. Tozz!