Life In Cairo, Salon Life

When Rats And Snails Collide They Throw S*** At You, And Your Dreams Are Over… The Closing Of A Business Not Open Yet!

The last month I’ve been super busy trying to get the salon finished and open.. I mean it’s about time right, 6 months to paint and lay some flooring in a 24m2 salon, should NOT take this long…

About two weeks ago the engineer (Lets call him a snail because he is so slow!), finally got a kick up his backside and decided to work on finishing the salon. The last two weeks he had been promising EVERY SINGLE day that it would be finished the next day… Then suddenly he had to paint outside the salon, then he needed to install the air-condition control, then he needed to clean (which he NEVER actually did), then bla bla bla… So until he was done and he wouldn’t give me the final key so I couldn’t order furniture until he was done.. I’m not going to spend thousands of pounds on furniture, get it delivered and then have him come and clean out the salon, and make some extra cash! In the end I just got so fed up of waiting that I went to Ikea and a few other shops, ordered all the furniture necessary for the salon and let him know he has a deadline…

He got the salon logo printed and hung up a few days ago, and then the shopping center (Lets call them rats because they are all up in your business like you got cheese and nibble at everything, destroying it piece by piece!) called my husband to let him know they don’t accept the sign. It should be a proper sign with lights, not printed… In other words the most expensive sign possible to get, not according to our budget… Which (our budget) BY THE WAY has been doubled since we started… We had a fixed budget and a back-up amount, in case… The snail that was supposed to finish the shop exploded the budget within days… Claiming that all the items he needed where so expensive… bla bla… Then when he started working on the salon, the budget increased about once every ‘period’ he worked for… He would work for about a week really hard and then he would disappear for about a month and not answer his phone… Like super professional… That is why its only taken more than 6 months to finish! He promised us it should only take about a week before he got the job! So the snail would do some stuff in the salon and then AFTER come to us and let us know the budget has increased by a few thousands because he had to do so and so… Another very professional trait, coming AFTER he’s spent the money and telling us he needs more!

Then from the rats side they have spent months making problems for us… they don’t accept the snails drawings.. They don’t accept the tubing for the air-condition.. They don’t accept the wiring system… They want us to install two super expensive speaker in the salon in the ceiling, even though we have our own sound system… I mean they were behaving as though we were trying to open a shit hole where people could buy shit or something… And from their side they had been postponing the opening of the shopping center every time we spoke to them, until we went on holiday, THEN they called us and told us to be ready by next week…. WHEN we didn’t even have our papers in order from them… I mean it seems like there was nooo communication what-so-ever between the like 5 people who worked in this shopping center… One person is not signing our snails drawings and accepting us to start work, and then the guy on the desk next to him is calling us to open by next week!??!?! Hello, could you guys maybe talk to each other over a cup of tea and not stress us out more than you are already doing… Sometimes they made me feel like they had to force us to open, like we were spending months chilling out saying to ourselves ‘we open when we open you know’, whilst smoking some marijuana!! I was sat at home pulling my hair out because all this was taking SUCH a long time.. Anyways shopping center, you opened in the shittiest way EVER… You open with one small supermarket, and NO shops and ONE cafe!!! WOW, and then no elevator, so I can’t even enter the shopping center alone with my son, because he sits in a pram…

Anyways I got all the furniture ready for delivery on saturday and delivery of chandelier on sunday… NO I still didn’t have all the sets of keys, the snail still had a copy, but if I was going to wait until he managed to give me MY freaking keys back then I think I would be picking up the keys with MY GRANDSON!!!

The story of what happened that day is a story for another post, as its such a knight in shining armour story, I have to give it its own post!! Anyways I was ready to go to the shopping center to wait for the delivery of the furniture… I unlock my front door and can’t get the key out of the door… The last lock doesn’t work, and doesn’t want to go back inside the door, therefore I can’t take the key nor can I close my door! PERFECT… PERFECT!!! So I can’t leave the home… I call my dad-in-law and let him know that im stuck at home and can’t go anywhere and the furniture is on its way… Anyways the furniture came to the salon and was installed and everything was going well… Training of employees was due to start on Wednesday… Well I say employees, but I mean employee, as we had many, but along the way we lost most of them… Not from our side, as we paid several employees salaries for the months of waiting, but unfortunately you cant trust everyone… Enough said about that, it just makes my skin crawl when I remember the lies that were told to my face and then what behaviour they exerted…

The salon was looking good and we were ready for the last inspection from the rats side and then connecting our air-condition unit with the shopping center air-condition system…. That was left for sunday…

Sunday morning my husband goes to get the final things fixed and calls me a few hours later..

  • There will be no salon… No more business in this country, we are done…

Words that cut your heart like a knife… Day and night I thought about this salon… Every single minute my son was sleeping I would work on something for the salon, website, flyers, facebook group, instagram, organising, buying products, contracts for employees, client cards, booking system, furniture… And suddenly in 3 seconds the last 9 months of working my ass of were over… My dream of opening a salon was over just like that… Before it has even really started… I could finally see the finish line and was in the super-excited-for-opening mode, but its over… The salon was like my baby number two… of course you can’t compare it to something living, but it was something I was living for… It gave me a purpose in life, not just being a mum (which is an amazing job!) but it gave me something that was mine, my little project, my dream… I don’t want to be known as the mother of Yousef, I want to be known for what I love aswell, for me, the owner of my dream….

Anyways what happened at the salon with my husband was that the rats engineer came to have a look at the salon and the following was wrong:

  • Air-condition unit is the wrong one… Another engineer in the shopping center approved this air-condition unit to be installed and said it would work with the shopping centers system… IT DOESNT…. Now who do we slap in the face for this? Nobody, we slap ourselves… Because we now have to throw the old one away, which is new, but installed and buy a completely new more expensive unit… We have to destroy the ceiling to make space for new unit and new tubes… On another note the engineer installed the control panel for the air-condition on the CEILING of the salon (4 METERS HIGH)… YES, apparently I can fly…
  • The rats want to see the electrical work before we finished… SO you want to see the wire work behind the ceiling and walls? YESSSS…. So why THE HELL are you telling us this NOW, when the salon is FINISHED!!!!!!!!!! Excuse me sir, do you have a brain? SO USE IT… So we have to destroy the ceiling and walls for them to check the electrical work is up to their STANDARD, you know the standard of the shopping center without any shops and no elevator!
  • We are missing electrical work for the fire system and it’s not installed the correct way… So snail, you are stupid, full stop!! You can’t even do your job… I mean honestly shopping center, if your system and criteria is sooooooo important, FINISH the FREAKING shop for us and we will pay more rent… THE END… Dont deliver an empty shell and then expect us to follow your dictatorship rules for opening a salon…

So our original budget was doubled along the course of the 5 months working on this salon by several factors, 90% of them coming from the rats (shopping center) and the wonderful and amazingly talented snail (engineer). Now we were hoping to open the salon, but instead we have to completely destroy both walls and ceiling, and who knows how long that is going to take… It took 5 months to do the walls and ceiling, so it will probably take double the time to first destroy and then rebuild… And this is supposed to be one of the best engineers in Egypt and it’s not a shitty shopping center either! We have increased and increased the budget, just so we can get to the opening part, and we have dealt with sooooo many problems and we STILL havent even gotten to the OPENING.. Most businesses have the problems after opening!

Anyways I don’t have to explain why this country will never get better… The people living here enjoy throwing shit at each other and all they do is accept it and throw some shit back… When you dont throw shit, you just end up standing there with your dreams covered in shit and tears coming out your eyes…. Im not going to accept anymore shit.. Im putting all the shit received in a suitcase and throwing away the key… Im done with doing anything but surviving in this country…

Trying to make Egypt better is like polishing a pile of SHIT… In the end its shit…

Thank you and good night…

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14 thoughts on “When Rats And Snails Collide They Throw S*** At You, And Your Dreams Are Over… The Closing Of A Business Not Open Yet!”

  1. I am so sorry to read this.. Egypt is a crappy place to do anything but holidays (I left last summer after 2 years in Cairo). Maybe you guys figure out a way to move somewhere else.. there must be airlines that are looking for smart pilots.. I wish you three all the best. Keep your spirit and your energy and don´t let the egyptian attitude drain you!

    1. Yeah i totally agree, sometimes its a crappy place to be on holiday too hahaha! You made a good decision leaving last year! Hopefully we can make that decision too soon! We are keeping our eyes open for offers! 😀 thank you so much for your kind words and checking out my blog!

  2. Dear Kristine, I’m so sorry for you…
    Mamma mia… : (((
    Things that don’t kill, make us stronger! ; )))
    I’m coming now in september and I was convinced to come to see you to the ‘beauty bar’, it’s a shame…
    But if you want, we can drink a coffee together and have a nice chat !
    Please smile !!!
    My mail :

    1. Thank you! That is very true, its definately made me stronger! Ive given up in this country but not given up on my dream! Yeah would love to have a coffee when u get here. 😍

      1. Thank you Kristine, but I don’t now how to contact you in private, for e-mail for example (so I can send you a picture of me e my family ) or a telephone number …
        But if you want, you can contact me by my mail on the top message.
        I’ll leave the 8 of september, but i’m not sure exactly what days I can use internet in suburb of Cairo, you know the line is a rulette russian !!! Ah Ah Ah !!!
        So, it will be a pleasure takes contact in this week !
        Ciao Ciao, FRANCESCA

      2. Hi Francesca, im so sorry I think i misunderstood your message! I thought you had my email and you were going to send me an email but i see now that you didnt have… my email is send me an email with your info and hopefully, please tell me yes, you are coming back soon so we can meet up! Im sorry for the misunderstanding and i hope you enjoyed your time in this crazy country. Love…

  3. I feel very sorry for all this effort spent to establish your project but as a business owner in Egypt you have to double everything in order to achieve the normal simplest fact and you have to be super patient to cope with huge problems and issues people have here.

    you should not give up give it one more try.

    best of luck.

    1. Thank you so much for your message, and im sorry for the extremely late reply.. I dont think mentally I was ready to deal with it until now! thank you for your encouraging words, but I dont think my sanity can take opening anything here in Egypt! lol… i hope all is going well with your beautiful little one, and your business! X

  4. Oh. My. God! I would have been beyond pissed and crying. I have never experienced anything remotely similar back home in the United States. And the shop was so cute! Ugh. I’m so happy you got out…for your damn sanity!

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