What will the Egyptians do to Get One's Attention?


From the beginning of our stay in Cairo, the Egyptian people were fascinated with obtaining our attention. They would yell at us, make catchy remarks, and sometimes even walk up to us, continuing to follow us as we tried to walk away. They seemed very happy to have US citizens in their country. As we would pass they would yell, AMERICAN! AMERICAN! Even more often they yelled, OBAMA! You could easily tell that the Egyptians were big fans of our President Barack Obama. The interesting thing is that it was not only the adults who were attempting to catch our attention, but also the children. It was almost as if they were programmed to attract our attention.

If it did not work for them to yell American at us they would often come up with catchy phrases that would be sure to catch our attention and for the large part encourage us to shop at their market. One of the phrases I commonly heard was " Hello Madame, you dropped something." Each time this occured I thought they were being truthful with me because I was carrying so much stuff at once. When the next line came , I knew I was an easy catch for them. They would then proceed to say. "It's just my heart, you stole it right from my heart." Each time I could only walk away and laugh. They also would often call us girls "Spicy Lady", or "Baby Spice".

When we first heard the comments we were frightened and felt like we were being hit on. As we continued our stay we noticed that the same patterns repeated with many of the local people. We learned that they were just doing whatever they could to attract our attention. Everything in Egypt for the locals revolves around making money. Because tourists are so popular in Egypt they work very hard for the tourists to notice them and to try to stand out more than the next merchant.

I have to say that I felt like we were in a huge parade for the entire trip. It gave us a small feel of how celebrities must feel when people are so excited to be in their presence. It was a great experience and I believe we all got served a cheesy line at some point. The trip to Egypt was overall Amazing and well worth it. A trip of a LIFETIME!!!

Jennifer Bohrer

Posted at 8:42 AM by Jennifer Bohrer