Life In Cairo

Not So Surprising Surprise Party… Lesson Learnt!

Yet again I learnt another Egyptian lesson. Do not organise a surprise party in Egypt… Surprised? I bet you are, so was I, but not surprised in a good way…

My boyfriend (now fiancée) and I got engaged a few weeks ago… Everyone was asking about the engagement party… Here in Egypt the engagement party is just like a wedding except the woman wears an evening dress and not a wedding dress. They are just as extravagant and over the top as weddings… We decided not to have an engagement party because we are not planning to be engaged for an eternity and it would be pointless spending so much money on 2 parties within a year of each other… The wedding will be so amazingly beautiful and expensive that we wont have money for a menu at McDonald’s afterwards, let alone an engagement party…

So right before our engagement my fiancée got promoted to a heavier aircraft (yes, you guessed it, he is a pilot!)… I wanted to celebrate this with him, but he was in complete study study study mode… I therefore took the matter into my own hands (very small and petite ones!) and decided to combine an engagement party and a party to celebrate his promotion! Wow aint that a smart idea… Both cost-effective and time-saving (Yes I do have a bachelor in business!)…

I therefore decided to invite all his friends to a party and not tell my fiancée about anything… That is where the surprise comes in… I wanted a surprise party…

So I started contacting a few of his pilot friends that I knew… Before I sat a date and place I needed to know when people were free… I then needed to check my fiancée schedule to make sure he was available at the time of the party… Would be a great surprise party if the main person didn’t come!

I managed to find the perfect time for my fiancée and then told several of his friends. They started a group on whatsapp and invited more than 60 people… My brain went into panic mode… The venue I booked was the Kempinski Nile Hotels rooftop restaurant… Max number of people allowed was 35… Hmmm great… organize a surprise party where more than 20 people will have to be denied entry due to lack of chairs!

I made sure everyone knew the party would start at 8… I would make sure my fiancée and I turned up at 9, an hour to give people time to get there… So when we enter they all yell SURPRISE! Just like in the movies…

Anyways most of his friends claimed that not all the people who were invited to this whatsapp group would come…

The night before the party arrives… I have everything planned… His best friend has flown in from Oman, his brother is coming, my 2 close friends are coming, a deposit has been paid at the venue, event booked for about 30 people, two cakes have been ordered… Everything is all fluffy, pink and sparkly!

Then I ask my fiancée what time he would like to go on our COUPLES date tomorrow at the Kempinski…. He explodes… He is not going on no date… He hasn’t been able to study for all this time and now he needs to study, I want to go out and party!??! I don’t support him and his studying, and he really needs to study for this promotion… If I supported him I would cancel the date… I said I aint cancelling no date… He later apologized for exploding and agreed to go for a dinner… Very romantic indeed!

The day arrives… My fiancée and I get into a taxi destined to Kempinski… We leave my place at 8, which meant we would arrive about an hour AFTER the party was set to start… I start getting a bit nervous… We start talking about his friends… He reveals to me that he doesn’t like many of the people invited (OH GREAT!!)…

We arrive, get out of the taxi and head to the rooftop… BOOM BANG SPLAT!!! WHAT A PARTY!!! Let me remind you, we arrived ONE HOUR LATE… There was a waiter, 2 loosers sat in the corner of the terrace watching a football game.. THAT WAS IT!

I told the waiter we have a reservation for Kristine.. Oh YES, it is for 25 people? There you go! SURPRISE ruined! My fiancée looked at me weirdly, but I told him the waiter meant table 25… We sat down at a table… The waiter comes up to our table and whispers in arabic to my fiancée: You reserved a party for 25 people, and 2 cakes… how would you like everything prepared, each one order when they arrive!?

My boyfriend looks at me and says WHO IS COMING!!! Who are these 25 people??


Thank you stupid 25 people who confirmed that you were coming to the party and DIDNT COME! Not disrespectful at all!!! Completely fine!

The surprise was ruined, no one turned up on time, and in the end only 3 of my fiancée friends turned up!

It was still a great night because the most important people DID turn up, and I just say SCREW ALL OF YOU, to the ones that decided to confirm and not bother to drive for 30 min to attend an engagement/promotion party… His best friend flew 4 hours ONLY to attend the party… Thank you to the people who did come!

The people who didn’t come had some amazing excuses… the best one was that he thought the party was a birthday! Wow you really looked deep for that excuse…

So in conclusion do not ask people to confirm, because it means shit all to them… Come 4 hours late to a surprise party, to make sure the people who do come, are there… Tell all waiters to SHUT UP when you arrive… I looked like a huge idiot when I booked a party for 35 people at 8pm, and a total of 12 people arrive 3 hours late….

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4 thoughts on “Not So Surprising Surprise Party… Lesson Learnt!”

    1. Thank you for your lovely comment… Im glad people appreciate my ‘making a fool of myself’ enough to read about it! Hope you continue reading about my foolish events…

  1. Omg, love your blog! I enjoy reading every single one of them… I have a quick question if you don’t mind me asking. What is the price to rent for a small engagement such as yours at the rooftop of kempinski?? Sorry I don’t mean to be rude, its just that I have been looking for a small venue n Cairo with no success. Thanks

    1. Aww thank you so much for your comment! No problem, I love questions! I know what you mean, I spent ages finding a ‘smallish’ place in Cairo… We are having the same problem with wedding venues… I paid about 200LE without tax per person and then each cake was 1000LE. Congratulations on your engagement and I hope you find a suitable place. I highly recommend Kempinski because it was quite intimate and the service was excellent. Thank you for reading my blog! 🙂 Much love!

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