Life In Cairo, travelling

Having To Speak Government Spanish, Empadronarse, And Being Welcomed Back To Egypt In Style!

And I’m back in Crazy Town… Ironically that used to be my favourite band EVER, and my favourite song was butterfly! BUT I never thought my love for that band would make me move to a Crazy town or rather city, actually Cairo is so big you could call it a country… The Egyptians call Cairo ‘Egypt’ for some reason and it confused me for many years when everyone was talking about coming back to Egypt after being on holiday in Sharm or Hurghada… Like HELLLOOOO, you didn’t actually leave the country!?

So yeah we are back in Cairo after a few rainy days in London where I got to see my older brother (LOVE) and then a week in Spain… Spain was absolutely CHAOS!!! NEVER ever go on holiday somewhere you have things to do… It was up at 6 am everyday and out til late running around fixing paperwork, getting furniture for the new place… YES YES, don’t worry I will be sharing the stunning photos of our new place in Spain with you soon.. We just need to finish the renovations and fill the place with furniture…

The place is located in Benahavis, in Malaga, near Marbella… Probably more people have heard of Marbella than Benahavis lol… Anyways we were encouraged by our lawyer to register our names in the town hall to let them know we are here! The whole thought of dealing with the town hall, government, official stuff makes me want to vomit.. Probably because we have been to long in Egypt, and here when someone mentions ‘go to the government and get this paper’, you just go outside and get a shovel and start digging your grave… Either because the process will kill you or because you wont receive the paper before you die (Things take FOREVER!!) And before you can get the paper DONT FORGET THE STAMPS!!! Egypt LOVES stamps…

So I was dreading this process, and had been putting it off for like 6 months… I kinda just had to force myself to get in the car and go, get it over with… Oh and my Spanish is horrible, so imagine speaking to official people about registering my name, bla bla… I feel like my brain is collapsing just thinking about all the difficult words I have to deal with… I mean the word to register in the town hall is Empadronarse… WHAAAAT…. So we go to the town hall and my knees are shaking, I have to say this empadron word correctly and not collapse… The woman in the reception kinda laughs at my fake attempt to say it and tells us to pass through to her office. She asks for our passports and documents to prove that we own the place or electricity bill or contract or anything… WHOOOOOPS!!! We had our passports, but nothing to prove we have a place! I immediately thought I had to go through the same process of nearly collapsing from government nerves again and say this empadron word AGAIN!

In Egypt this would mean a slap in the face after 3 hours of waiting and told to come back with the right documents and then a kick on the backside on the way out… Only to return next time and they will have changed the necessary documents list and you are again kicked out of the office, a constant struggle… So as Egypt is my country now, my mentality is in this chaos mode… So there I am panicking about how we are supposed to get empadronised this time, we don’t have the purchase contract, it is in Norway… We will have to get someone to send them over or scan them, maybe they only accept originals, maybe I can show them my emails with the bank, or our lawyer…. HELP ME…. I don’t want to come back again, I don’t want to leave here not empadronised, I don’t want to speak government Spanish again…. PLEASE let me empadron… 4 minutes later, while im lying on the floor in a collapsed state from all the panic thinking, the lady comes back and says okey done… I just have to take a copy of your passport, I need the name of your street, and we are done…

WAIT WHAT?!? I don’t have to fly to Norway to pick up some papers? I don’t have to scan them? I don’t have to get electricity bills? I don’t have to go home and get all the missing papers? I don’t have to come back? I don’t have to say empadronarse again? I don’t have to deal with the government in the near future? I don’t have to speak government Spanish? SAY WHAAAT? This was too easy… It took less than 25 minutes, with the main paper missing to prove we have a place… Thank God for Spain and its amazing town hall!!!

On a side note, I don’t usually stress that much, but me and governments hate each other… I don’t think I ever had to deal with government papers until the age of 25 or something when we were supposed to get married… and then my first meeting with a government was with the Egyptian… Obviously not the ideal situation but that is why I now have governmentfobia…

We had a lovely stay in Spain and were welcomed back to Egypt proper Egyptian style… At the airport in Madrid we were confronted with the standard situation of being issued tickets that first are not valid as my son is an infant travelling on another ‘class’ than me… Then our tickets had been deleted from the system by someone in Cairo, so the tickets we had were actually not valid… So yeah someone in Cairo decided that they didn’t want us to fly so with a click of a button cancelled our tickets… The station manager fixed everything though, and we were issued 3 fake boarding passes! Horrray!

All our suitcases had priority stickers on them… but here in Egypt that means put them on the belt last… It’s a fact that EVERY single time my suitcases have priority stickers on they ALWAYS come last… When they don’t they are most of the time one of the first bags on the belt…. We waited 30 minutes for our priority labelled suitcases to arrive… While several non-pritority people had already collected their 5 suitcases and left! We were missing one bag… so we waited, and waited, and waited, and waited… I was chasing after Yousef who was running around the luggage hall… I looked up and suddenly saw a suitcase that looked a lot like mine… It was on another belt, so I thought no way is that mine, probably someone who just has the same one… Then it turned the corner and I saw an Abu Dhabi security control sticker on it… No way does someone have the same turquoise suitcase with the same purple sticker…

Lets just take a deep breath and figure out what just happened… We flew from MADRID to Cairo, I have proof, the boarding ticket… I’m pretty sure it was in Madrid we checked in our luggage and boarded the plane… I swear to God im not making this shit up… Our suitcase was rolling along on the baggage belt with baggage from PARIS…. NO we did not come from Paris, we did not stop in Paris… Last time I was in Paris is more than a year ago… WHY THE HELL, is my suitcase on the Paris baggage belt?!?!?!?! HOW??!! WHY?!?!? My brain can’t even comprehend how and why they decided to take one suitcase from the Madrid flight and put it on Paris belt?! Was it a sick joke?! Can they not read??…. I don’t know, but thank God Yousef was running around the baggage hall or else we would have been stood there for hours waiting…

Egypt… Thank you for welcoming us back in proper crazy ass Egyptian style! Making my brain boil!


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