Sunday, December 27, 2009

Letters from Egypt: Tis’ the Relationship Season

One year ago, Christmas found me in a not-so holiday mood. I didn’t even realize it was Christmas time until Dec. 24 – pretty sad eh? This year was much different. I’m unsure if it was because I had my fill of family during Thanksgiving or if it was just because I got that much needed break from Egypt.

Don’t get me wrong, I love my family, but my brother had it right when he said how I reminded him of the single life away from home, just relaxing watching Christmas movies and not worrying about the hustle and bustle that family holiday time entails. Let’s be honest here, avoiding a family dispute on Christmas is like the NY Mets winning the World Series – rare.

And in with the holiday spirit, I guess I should hit on the one question I get asked often – what’s the dating scene like (because you all know the holidays make you want to be in a relationship or remain in the unhappy one you’re in just to get through the holidays)? Now, some people might argue with me on this, but I suppose it just depends on how picky (or desperate for that matter) you really are. In fact, I’m not even sure if I can fit this all into one blog post, so there might have to be sequels.

First of all, Egypt provides many females with self-confidence that perhaps they didn’t previously have. Imagine how it feels if you’re from a small town, never really traveled and you arrive in Egypt with a flood of guys staring, telling you how beautiful you are, willing to bend over backwards (for a short time at least), etc. And men, don’t even try to compete with these smooth Egyptian talkers, they certainly know how to feed a few lines of BS (hint hint ladies, it is almost ALWAYS BS).

Here’s where it gets tricky (oh, I have not dated an Egyptian and will take this from my observations in addition to friends’ experiences): Unfortunately, many of the new arrivals (and some old) are so starved for attention that they buy into this. Now of course you have your male anomalies, but those are few and far in between. Let’s just put it out there like it is: if you have blonde hair, you look exotic. If you have blue eyes, beautiful. If you’re pale – great, you’d make perfect kids one day. Oh yeah, and you have a foreign passport, even better. Oh and I almost forgot, you might get paid a foreign salary – cha ching!

Men are men no matter their nationality. That being said, this advice falls in line with the previous posts of how difficult it may be to judge a new culture. I am not here to tell you the do’s and don’ts of dating in Egypt, so take my advice for what it’s worth. I will also tell you alternately that for those of us that had confidence before arriving here; the treatment that we endure actually has an adverse affect. You want to think men are genuinely interested and not just talking to you because of your passport or potential financial stability. And let me tell you ladies, the other expats aren’t that much better. Most of them are married and have numerous girlfriends all over the place and still have their eye on more.

My basic conclusion: men are men no matter where they’re from. And if you think the dating scene in Egypt is much better than your home country, you’re jaded.


  1. I am truly enjoying reading your blog! I am planning a visit with my Mother to Cairo in February. This will be our first visit and i was just doing some research on what to expect of the culture; that is when i happened upon your blog and i have learned alot from you. In fact I agree with a lot of your views. I really just wanted to say that you are inspiring. You fearlessly are living your life and reaching out for more than the norm! i would love to be able to follow my dreams so easily.Stay safe and keep writing!

  2. We Indians enjoying full freedom and liberty.
    Will wish the same for our Egyptian Friends.
    Visited Egypt From Dec 2009 to Jan 2010. Had the good fortune of meeting you through Ashish Khullar (My Son). All the news and views are published in the Indian Media. But your first hand experience and information is more informative and makes
    interesting news. Please take care and all
    the precautions and keep on writing.
    V. K. Khullar & Mrs. Kusum Khullar.