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  • Writer's picture Ahmed Elkhouly

Thanks, We Don’t Need Help..

Spending utmost, only a couple of days in one city is considered not enough time to build a proper impression about a place. I do agree with that concept if you rarely engage with people or have only a few encounters during such visit. In my case, I believe things are a bit different, although the stay might seem short but the interactions are diverse enough to explain a good portion of what the place and its people are all about.

These interactions start at the point I decide the method of transport to the next city. You start dealing with local people right that instance and watch carefully for signs. Paying and receiving money back is a good measure of how people think about money and it’s an easy way to detect wealth, kindness, greed, and generosity. Once I arrive at my destination I start looking for a place to stay and since most low budget hotels aren’t available on or on google maps I have no other option but ask around and walk from one hotel to the other checking their rates.

The way people greet differs from one hotel to the other but there is always a common theme to the city in terms of hospitality. The general range of room prices along with how different hotels are maintained, are a reference to how a certain people value their investment and their guests. The level of cleanliness explains how much they care for another person’s welfare. All of this leads to a decent initial impression about the city but again this is usually common with most analytical people.

In my case it doesn’t end there since I’m forced to visit a number of restaurants all around the city explaining myself and offer them the free service. This is where I get a clearer image of the people residing in each city. To my own surprise the outcome of each consecutive visit I make to a restaurant builds up a stronger impression. I’ve simplified how I feel about most places to one of two things, either I feel welcomed or not welcomed.

As a stranger, its always a benefit when locals of a city are welcoming, and it would seem logical for a country like Egypt with its long history of tourism to possess a more welcoming strain of individuals. To be honest most places I’ve visited so far are extremely welcoming, if the ones that aren’t are still very acceptable. The plan of staying only a couple of days at one city was to have enough time to visit every major Egyptian city, but along the path I’ve decided to cut my stay short to one day in a number of places.

I go to great extents to keep this blog a source of positivity, honesty, and to maintain a clear perspective. For those reasons I will approach what I consider a negative impression in a more cynical manner as to sugar coat the somewhat bitter truth. I’ve recently discovered that city of Minya is an extremely wealthy city. It might not show its wealth with clean streets or lack of pollution or even non-crowded streets.

They show their wealth in other more stringent ways, like for instance how they don’t need any assistance. They don’t need marketing at all because they have it all figured out. They don't need any pictures for their businesses because they don’t need to market themselves as they already know better. They already know everything and need not a stranger to help improve their online image and strategies. And most of all they are so wealthy that they don’t accept charity or free service and would rather pay for it (which they obviously can’t afford).

They show no signs of stubbornness or arrogance in any way and are hospitable to the extent of never smiling or engaging in eye contact. Their level of tolerance not only to strangers but also to their fellow citizens is off the charts. No wonder this city gets almost no visitors.


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