It's Monday morning and my last day in Cairo. I head home tomorrow and it will be nice just to have the downtime on the airplane for a day. It's a total of 24 hours travel time to get home so I'm trying to block that part of the trip from my brain.

Yesterday we drove out to Maadi which is 75 minutes from Cairo during rush hour or 25 minutes with no traffic. This was the best drive of the trip! I was able to see the other side of life up close and if not personal at least through the car window. There were people selling everything all along the road. The fish were freshly caught and the sellers were holding the fish out for our view. It was a bit disturbing to see the fish gasping for air but at least they were fresh. There were donkey carts, and horse drawn buggies. The main produce was watermelon and I have to wonder where is there space to grow so much watermelon? All I see for miles are buildings and concrete. We passed a goatherd and a flock of 15 or so goats, right on the main street. Then we got to a really fun area where some major fight was going on but the car driver decided that this was a good time to speed up and get out of the area so I don't know who won.
We passed armed guards, we drove off the road, and eventually we ended up in Maadi. I never saw any pyramids or famous Egyptian monuments but I had the best tour that money could never buy!

Because there are so many tourists and people living here from all over the world, the laws regarding Ramadan are not as strict. You can eat in public and restaurants are allowed to open. For the first time on the trip I am not thinking of food. I am still thinking of how good a beer would be but that's a continent away.

For better or worse, this is now part of my life. In two weeks, I have been enveloped by the craziness of the region and I accept it. Everyone has asked if I stand out a blonde or as a Western woman. The only place where I really felt out of place was Kuwait. I was okay at work but in the hotel or about town, I was the only businesswoman around. Dubai, Jordan, Lebanon, and Egypt are all used to multi-cultural customs. No one gave me a second look. In Cairo, there are so many different people that I blend into the scenery. Kuwait will be where I spend the most time so I figure I might as well get used to the country and the concept of life there. I look forward to my return to Beirut and Amman. I know that LJ is waiting for an extended trip to Cairo so she can tag along. I'm pretty sure that will happen and I want to take the time to go to Luxor.

The trip has been good. Part of me is ready to leave and part of me feels that I have unfinished business here. Of course, the day is young. I could be ready to run to the airport at the end of the day. I just never know what will happen once I walk out the hotel doors!