Flying toward Cairo, imagining all my research thoroughly done, I slept for a while ...
I woke to find two blank forms on the empty seat next to me, to be filled out in preparation for passing through Customs.
I dug out a pen and started working on them. Suddenly there was this ‘moment’ ... one of those heart-stopping ones. The questionnaire asked me to write the country I had purchased my visa in.
I hadn’t, instead I had read, on all the best websites, that you purchased a visa on landing.
Oddly enough, it made the flight a little bit longer, wondering what would happen if this New Zealander was caught trying to enter Egypt without a visa. How stupid would that seem ...
Cairo Airport knocked me off-balance after the frozen 4am departure from down-town Antwerpen, the sanitised high-tech ride through a snowy Zurich airport. Arrivals was my first taste of the big Middle Eastern city; the muggy heat and the exchange rate for the Egyptian pound only added to the surreal nature of my journey however ... I joined one of the many queues leading to the banks where you purchased your visa and exchanged euro for pounds, so quietly thankful.
To give you an idea, the exchange rate at the moment is 1 EUR = 7.78750 EGP
My 50 euro became approximately 390 Egyptian pounds, a difference I never really managed to get during my 5 days in the city.