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What were some of the helpful tips you were given when moving to Egypt? What are some that you would pass along to others moving here?
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 · (Edited)
When flying over and you want to bring a lot of stuff on the plane with you because the additional luggage fee is cheaper then using DHL or Fedex. However you don't want to invest a ton of $$ on a heap of extra luggage that you are going to have to store...find out what your exact dimensions and weight restrictions are for your airline and ask the question if you can use cardboard boxes. We brought 12 pieces of luggage with us and many of them were cardboard boxes that you can get from Uhaul storage facilities. They have one that is almost perfect with the size restrictions. All of our stuff arrived in perfect condition with out any problems even after TSA opened them to investiage all our toys.

If you are going to use boxes just make sure you tape your infomation (luggage tag) on more than one side of the box and I would put at least one in the inside of the box.
 

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So you haven't learned anything since coming and living here for a while that would be beneficial information about living here or making it easier to adjust? Nothing?

When the person just told you "Don't" that wasn't very helpful in your decision process as there was no reasoning behind the advice. If you really feel that way explain why you dislike it so much that you still stay here.


There are trade offs to living anywhere even the country you come from. There are expats here that would never be able to afford to have a maid, driver, cook, personal assistant in their own county but here they can have all of that. There can be a learning curve on how to manage the help if you have never managed personel before but either you will learn or you can just go back to doing things for yourself.

Here you can spend the same amount of money on living expenses as you would in the USA and have a better lifestyle or you can be a bit more frugal and save a ton of money. It is up to you. I have seen 2 bed/1bath townhouses that are in an exceptionally clean neighborhood, with small back yard, and many green areas to play in; for less than $17,000. It is what I call a shell of an apartment as you get only the bath fixtures and a sink in the kitchen but if you are willing to spend a little to finish it off with kitchen cabinets and your own appliances it is a very nice place. Is this in Maadi no but happiness can be found outside of the expat community.

When packing don't forget an open mind and patience. If you forget either you will be in a miserable state. If you have disdain for Islam, Muslims, anything that is different from the way you live or believe or want to live maybe you shouldn't take a possition here. The opportunity to experience a different culture is a wonderful opportunity to widening the horizons of a child's brain but if the parents can not see a single thing possitive with this opportunity the children just feel as tortured to be here as the parents.
 

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So you haven't learned anything since coming and living here for a while that would be beneficial information about living here or making it easier to adjust? Nothing?

When the person just told you "Don't" that wasn't very helpful in your decision process as there was no reasoning behind the advice. If you really feel that way explain why you dislike it so much that you still stay here.


There are trade offs to living anywhere even the country you come from. There are expats here that would never be able to afford to have a maid, driver, cook, personal assistant in their own county but here they can have all of that. There can be a learning curve on how to manage the help if you have never managed personel before but either you will learn or you can just go back to doing things for yourself.

Here you can spend the same amount of money on living expenses as you would in the USA and have a better lifestyle or you can be a bit more frugal and save a ton of money. It is up to you. I have seen 2 bed/1bath townhouses that are in an exceptionally clean neighborhood, with small back yard, and many green areas to play in; for less than $17,000. It is what I call a shell of an apartment as you get only the bath fixtures and a sink in the kitchen but if you are willing to spend a little to finish it off with kitchen cabinets and your own appliances it is a very nice place. Is this in Maadi no but happiness can be found outside of the expat community.

When packing don't forget an open mind and patience. If you forget either you will be in a miserable state. If you have disdain for Islam, Muslims, anything that is different from the way you live or believe or want to live maybe you shouldn't take a possition here. The opportunity to experience a different culture is a wonderful opportunity to widening the horizons of a child's brain but if the parents can not see a single thing possitive with this opportunity the children just feel as tortured to be here as the parents.

Tinytraveler,

Don't take offence, I think Maiden & I are just rather tired of trying to help people or give advice unless specifically asked. Experience has shown people don't want to listen to anything other than what suits their already fixed opinions.

If someone posts a question asking something we (as well as many other members) will do our best to help where possible. But unless asked for advice and opinions seem not to get well received and is better left unsaid.
 

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So you haven't learned anything since coming and living here for a while that would be beneficial information about living here or making it easier to adjust? Nothing?

When the person just told you "Don't" that wasn't very helpful in your decision process as there was no reasoning behind the advice. If you really feel that way explain why you dislike it so much that you still stay here.


There are trade offs to living anywhere even the country you come from. There are expats here that would never be able to afford to have a maid, driver, cook, personal assistant in their own county but here they can have all of that. There can be a learning curve on how to manage the help if you have never managed personel before but either you will learn or you can just go back to doing things for yourself.

Here you can spend the same amount of money on living expenses as you would in the USA and have a better lifestyle or you can be a bit more frugal and save a ton of money. It is up to you. I have seen 2 bed/1bath townhouses that are in an exceptionally clean neighborhood, with small back yard, and many green areas to play in; for less than $17,000. It is what I call a shell of an apartment as you get only the bath fixtures and a sink in the kitchen but if you are willing to spend a little to finish it off with kitchen cabinets and your own appliances it is a very nice place. Is this in Maadi no but happiness can be found outside of the expat community.

When packing don't forget an open mind and patience. If you forget either you will be in a miserable state. If you have disdain for Islam, Muslims, anything that is different from the way you live or believe or want to live maybe you shouldn't take a possition here. The opportunity to experience a different culture is a wonderful opportunity to widening the horizons of a child's brain but if the parents can not see a single thing possitive with this opportunity the children just feel as tortured to be here as the parents.
I enjoyed your post - it's nice to read a positive take on life in Egypt.

What do I thnk would have been helpful: I wish I'd thought to bring things by paying excess luggage on the airlines. Just learning a few words of Egyptian Arabic can make all the difference in taxis, in shops etc. There is a knack to crossing roads - I use to get taxis in Cairo in the early days as I was too scared to cross roads like Gameat al Dowal! Obviously be cautious when dealing with people you don't know (as in any country) but also understand that there are people who are trying to help with no ulterior motive. If in doubt about what to pay about anything, just ask either other expats or Egyptian friends - prices for most things are much more open to negotiation in Egypt.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Tinytraveler,

Don't take offence, I think Maiden & I are just rather tired of trying to help people or give advice unless specifically asked. Experience has shown people don't want to listen to anything other than what suits their already fixed opinions.

If someone posts a question asking something we (as well as many other members) will do our best to help where possible. But unless asked for advice and opinions seem not to get well received and is better left unsaid.
Actually I see there are several people that have come here asking for advice and are open to hearing the views of people that are living the lifestyle. Sometimes when you are trying to investigate a new endevor you don't know enough to even know what questions to ask so that is why I was trying to get people to give the priceless gift of their first hand knowledge.
Now with that said just because one persons experience is horrible or expectionally wonderful doesn't mean that the next persons will be.

The expat that married an egyptian and is moving in with her MIL could be awesome if her MIL is a saint but more often then not living with your Egyptian MIL is a most misserable affair.
Now if you are 2 American expats that come to work at AUC it could be wonderful as they have quite a nice set up for easing the transition for newcomers. However if you come as a SAHM to a man that is working for some smaller company and there are no other foreigners in the firm there may be a horrible time trying to make friends especially if you are not used to being an out going world traveler or being out of your comfort zone.

What I am saying is give your opinion and then let others give theirs and don't worry about what others thinks.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Beatle: Crossing streets... I will still pay extra money to get a taxi to go out of his way to make a U-turn to be able to get me on the right side of the street of a busy street.
 

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I just wanted to thanks everyone who puts time into this forum as the way I see it all views and opinions are valuable because it allows you to see good and bad things and the pros and cons of situations. Thanks guys. :)
 

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I just wanted to thanks everyone who puts time into this forum as the way I see it all views and opinions are valuable because it allows you to see good and bad things and the pros and cons of situations. Thanks guys. :)
Thanks Jos.

Yes we may concentrate on the negative side of living here but only because we do not want people coming out thinking this is paradise.. Lets be honest no one is making a decision on coming here based on what is written on this forum.
They generally come for
Work... and all the benefits they get by being here.
Men.... Women coming back for a man they met on holiday.
Study.... When I was 20 I would put up with anything as well.
Holiday home.... based on a two week holiday they had.

The people who have work contracts generally ask about the cost of living because they have heard it is so cheap..... it is cheap for Egyptians.. expats never get an Egyptian price other than supermarkets who have the price already printed. Someone will come on and say ohhh its so cheap if you eat here and shop there. I haven't come here to lower my standards nor has the majority of people who come out here on an expat contract.
Women coming back to meet Mohammed or worse coming out to someone they met online... and it happens daily... well there is no point in telling them anything cos they are in love and he is different. We never have men asking about Egyptian woman!!..
Yes when your are in your 20s generally life is just one great big party and you are not too worried about your living conditions as long as you can pay the rent and have money left over for beer.
Two weeks a year in Sharm is heaven.. there is not a place in the world bar Jamacia that I have not said... oh I would love to live here and then gone to the estate agents.. lol I have two holiday homes in France that I have not visited for 7 years.

Having lived here for a good number of years, being a single blond woman, living alone... I feel I have a angle on life here, if you don't like my opinion after asking for it well Im sorry it is your problem not mine". ( a quote not aimed at anyone in particular)"

Maiden
 

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Thanks Jos.

Yes we may concentrate on the negative side of living here but only because we do not want people coming out thinking this is paradise.. Lets be honest no one is making a decision on coming here based on what is written on this forum.
They generally come for
Work... and all the benefits they get by being here.
Men.... Women coming back for a man they met on holiday.
Study.... When I was 20 I would put up with anything as well.
Holiday home.... based on a two week holiday they had.

..... We never have men asking about Egyptian woman!!.. ....


Maiden
Why cause us men are happy with our "Egyptain women"....:p
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
>> Lets be honest no one is making a decision on coming here based on what is >>written on this forum.
Actually that is exactly how I made the decision to move here. I didn't just hit one website, forum or blog before deciding to sell everything and move to a country I have never been to before nor spoke the language of.

>>The people who have work contracts generally ask about the cost of living >>because they have heard it is so cheap..... it is cheap for Egyptians.. expats >>never get an Egyptian price other than supermarkets who have the price >>already printed.
I still find even with the "foreigner tax" I still am getting a bargain in Egypt as compaired to the states. Ask around what things should cost and you will not have to pay such a high foreigner tax. If you are looking at property and want in a specific neighborhood visit several different realtors in the neighborhood. You may get several different prices for the exact same apartment, but this happens to Egyptians too.
As far as a day to day purchase; I love to buy my fruits and veggies at the old market because I find it fun but I also get a great bargain. $11 for several grocery bags full of fresh veggies and fruits that don't have wax on them like produce does in the states. I enjoy the fact that I don't have to pay the high price of organic produce in order for my fruits to taste good. By the way you can get organic stuff here if you really want it and it will taste just as good as the organic you got in the state because a lot of organic produce comes from foreign countries,Egypt being one of them.
Now to get a box of Betty Crocker cake/brownie mix was like $5. For the prospective expat you can get some convience food like cookies, cracker, chips that are brands form the western world but they will cost you dearly. A box of Teddy Grahmans crackers are 35LE (about $6.50). I bought a box because I only see them about once a year in my grocery store. There are no microwave meals, and box meals like hamburger helper are next to none as well. It just doesn't make sense here. Fresh foods and a cook are less expensive and deliver better tasting meals then the high in salt, preservatives and fats boxed or frozen meals. However if you don't plan on hiring a cook and you are not experienced at cooking from scratch bring a good cook book that doesn't tell you to use "a package of yeast" or "a can of pumpkin" because yeast doesn't come the same way as it does in the states and to find a can of pumpkin is way over priced and only sold at Thanksgiving in choice grocery stores. However a nice pumpkin may cost $2 and you will end up with puree for several pumpkin pies. Just Ziplock bag the rest and freeze for a later date. If neither of those options excites you McDonald, Little Ceasers, Pizza Hut, Dominoes, KFC, Hardees, and Chilis all deliver. There is an easy website called Otlob to make sure you get your order right.
A tank of gas for the car (mid size sedan) only costs $15. You can also get cars that run on natural gas and gasoline which will save you even more.

>>worse coming out to someone they met online... and it happens daily... well >>there is no point in telling them anything cos they are in love and he is >>different.
Ha ha ha I laugh because I did meet my DH online and have been married 12 happy years. He is not from Egypt but is of a different culture than mine. Yes there are horror stories out there but if a person does their homework it can work out. If a person is foolish to rush into something then it wouldn't matter if they met a person in the bar around the corner or online; they would still be foolish.

>>We never have men asking about Egyptian woman!!
Wow I would think you would know why this is since you lived here for so long. I will explain since you don't seem to understand. Most of the population is Muslim or Coptic in Egypt. Muslim women can only marry a Muslim man according to their religion. Now how many men come to Egypt on holiday or for work are Muslim? Now a guy can convert for a woman but I really can't think of one family I know that would allow their daughter to marry a man that just converted for marriage. I am sure they exist but I just don't know any. Also how many foreigners are Coptic that come here? Coptic Chrisitanity is significantly different from Christianity practiced in the States or Europe. It also could be as NZCowboy said the men that do get together with Egyptian women are so happy why complain? Makes you wonder why they are so happy doesn't it? Is it because the women here typically follow the traditional role of homemakers even if they do have a degree? Now I am all curious NZCowboy. :)
 

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>>We never have men asking about Egyptian woman!!
Wow I would think you would know why this is since you lived here for so long. I will explain since you don't seem to understand. Most of the population is Muslim or Coptic in Egypt. Muslim women can only marry a Muslim man according to their religion. Now how many men come to Egypt on holiday or for work are Muslim? Now a guy can convert for a woman but I really can't think of one family I know that would allow their daughter to marry a man that just converted for marriage. I am sure they exist but I just don't know any. Also how many foreigners are Coptic that come here? Coptic Chrisitanity is significantly different from Christianity practiced in the States or Europe.
:noidea:

It's not expat men we have coming in here asking for women... so I don't think that's the reason - although thank you anyway for such an enlightening post :) .

Now.... what could be the reason that all these Egyptian men come into a forum not looking for Egyptian women....:spy:

It must be because the Egyptian women already know how to speak Arabic and so they don't need to be taught...

Or that the Egyptian women already know their way around Cairo and where to buy kids toys and nice shoes...

I mean it can't possibly be because Egyptian women cannot provide a visa and flight ticket outta here?! :plane:

:confused2:
 

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>> Lets be honest no one is making a decision on coming here based on what is >>written on this forum.
Actually that is exactly how I made the decision to move here. I didn't just hit one website, forum or blog before deciding to sell everything and move to a country I have never been to before nor spoke the language of.

>>The people who have work contracts generally ask about the cost of living >>because they have heard it is so cheap..... it is cheap for Egyptians.. expats >>never get an Egyptian price other than supermarkets who have the price >>already printed.
I still find even with the "foreigner tax" I still am getting a bargain in Egypt as compaired to the states. Ask around what things should cost and you will not have to pay such a high foreigner tax. If you are looking at property and want in a specific neighborhood visit several different realtors in the neighborhood. You may get several different prices for the exact same apartment, but this happens to Egyptians too.
As far as a day to day purchase; I love to buy my fruits and veggies at the old market because I find it fun but I also get a great bargain. $11 for several grocery bags full of fresh veggies and fruits that don't have wax on them like produce does in the states. I enjoy the fact that I don't have to pay the high price of organic produce in order for my fruits to taste good. By the way you can get organic stuff here if you really want it and it will taste just as good as the organic you got in the state because a lot of organic produce comes from foreign countries,Egypt being one of them.
Now to get a box of Betty Crocker cake/brownie mix was like $5. For the prospective expat you can get some convience food like cookies, cracker, chips that are brands form the western world but they will cost you dearly. A box of Teddy Grahmans crackers are 35LE (about $6.50). I bought a box because I only see them about once a year in my grocery store. There are no microwave meals, and box meals like hamburger helper are next to none as well. It just doesn't make sense here. Fresh foods and a cook are less expensive and deliver better tasting meals then the high in salt, preservatives and fats boxed or frozen meals. However if you don't plan on hiring a cook and you are not experienced at cooking from scratch bring a good cook book that doesn't tell you to use "a package of yeast" or "a can of pumpkin" because yeast doesn't come the same way as it does in the states and to find a can of pumpkin is way over priced and only sold at Thanksgiving in choice grocery stores. However a nice pumpkin may cost $2 and you will end up with puree for several pumpkin pies. Just Ziplock bag the rest and freeze for a later date. If neither of those options excites you McDonald, Little Ceasers, Pizza Hut, Dominoes, KFC, Hardees, and Chilis all deliver. There is an easy website called Otlob to make sure you get your order right.
A tank of gas for the car (mid size sedan) only costs $15. You can also get cars that run on natural gas and gasoline which will save you even more.

>>worse coming out to someone they met online... and it happens daily... well >>there is no point in telling them anything cos they are in love and he is >>different.
Ha ha ha I laugh because I did meet my DH online and have been married 12 happy years. He is not from Egypt but is of a different culture than mine. Yes there are horror stories out there but if a person does their homework it can work out. If a person is foolish to rush into something then it wouldn't matter if they met a person in the bar around the corner or online; they would still be foolish.

>>We never have men asking about Egyptian woman!!
Wow I would think you would know why this is since you lived here for so long. I will explain since you don't seem to understand. Most of the population is Muslim or Coptic in Egypt. Muslim women can only marry a Muslim man according to their religion. Now how many men come to Egypt on holiday or for work are Muslim? Now a guy can convert for a woman but I really can't think of one family I know that would allow their daughter to marry a man that just converted for marriage. I am sure they exist but I just don't know any. Also how many foreigners are Coptic that come here? Coptic Chrisitanity is significantly different from Christianity practiced in the States or Europe. It also could be as NZCowboy said the men that do get together with Egyptian women are so happy why complain? Makes you wonder why they are so happy doesn't it? Is it because the women here typically follow the traditional role of homemakers even if they do have a degree? Now I am all curious NZCowboy. :)


Yes I understand why men are not asking about Egyptian women and it;s not for the reason you think.
I know lots of men married to Muslim women and yes they do just convert for the marriage the same as I know Christian women who have converted so that they have some say over their children if their husband dies

Maiden
 

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Curious Tinytraveller
My wife currently isn't the traditional homemaker....... even though she enjoys that role, and has played that role. To achieve our objectives while in Egypt we decided a role reversal was our best option. I'm enjoying the chance to spend some quality time with our childern in their informative years.

"Coptic Chrisitanity is significantly different from Christianity practiced in the States or Europe" ..... what makes you say this? Is it cause one has services in coptic and the other latin? There are many orthodox churchs in Europe and the States.
They only differ on one word ... Council of Chalcedon
 

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Curious Tinytraveller
My wife currently isn't the traditional homemaker....... even though she enjoys that role, and has played that role. To achieve our objectives while in Egypt we decided a role reversal was our best option. I'm enjoying the chance to spend some quality time with our childern in their informative years.

"Coptic Chrisitanity is significantly different from Christianity practiced in the States or Europe" ..... what makes you say this? Is it cause one has services in coptic and the other latin? There are many orthodox churchs in Europe and the States.
They only differ on one word ... Council of Chalcedon

Coptic is merely a word meaning Egyptian, no reference to religion whatsoever.
NZCowboy - I don't know too much about the practices or Christianity here, but I have to agree with you that I don't see much difference from their religious practices to other practising Christians I know - whether Orthodox or Catholic. And I also know plenty of Christian Egyptians married to foreign women. I do remember something about divorce being a problem for the Coptic Christians, something along the lines of a married couple can divorce by law but it's unacceptable within the church, but I can't remember exactly. That's about the only difference I remember though (and I can't even remember that :rolleyes: )
 

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Coptic is merely a word meaning Egyptian, no reference to religion whatsoever.
NZCowboy - I don't know too much about the practices or Christianity here, but I have to agree with you that I don't see much difference from their religious practices to other practising Christians I know - whether Orthodox or Catholic. And I also know plenty of Christian Egyptians married to foreign women. I do remember something about divorce being a problem for the Coptic Christians, something along the lines of a married couple can divorce by law but it's unacceptable within the church, but I can't remember exactly. That's about the only difference I remember though (and I can't even remember that :rolleyes: )
Yes is the true meaning of the word Coptic = Egyptian, but if you called Egyptain Muslim a Coptic you would offend them. Just as many Egyptain Christians are deeply offended by being called a Arab.
Coptic now infers religion, its now an abreviation of Coptic Orthodox Church of Alexandria. Read any local media articles on the Christmas slayings and its Muslims v Coptics.
 

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Yes is the true meaning of the word Coptic = Egyptian, but if you called Egyptain Muslim a Coptic you would offend them. Just as many Egyptain Christians are deeply offended by being called a Arab.
Coptic now infers religion, its now an abreviation of Coptic Orthodox Church of Alexandria. Read any local media articles on the Christmas slayings and its Muslims v Coptics.
It's not just the Christians you offend by calling them Arabs. And yes, you are right that an Egyptian Muslim would be offended by being called a Copt as many do not realise the true meaning of the word - a great shame considering it's part of their heritage.

I had read about the Christmas killings (by read I should say my other half translated for me :rolleyes: ) but it was my understanding the killings were blamed on the Muslims and the battle between the religions, but actually the truth behind the story was much deeper. Some kind of police conspiracy or something, though I can't really remember where I heard that.
 
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