• Ahmed Elkhouly

The Extreme Weather..



It was bound to happen, no matter how I tried to delay it. This whole trip sometimes feel like a bit inthe extreme side, a lot of aspects cause difficulty. The duration, large distances, the fasting, the low budget, extreme weather, and to be honest, 21 cities in 30 days is a bit harsh. I’ve had a sporadic fight with local food on different occasions, but nothing is capable of stopping me.



The extreme difference in temperature from 45+ degrees outside to the mellow air conditioned 22 degrees inside, it was bound to happen; I got sick. I take pride in living by a set of rules that somehow enhance my own immunity, but between the constant traveling and lack of sleep, my body had to give in. I‘m mostly upset because it happened in a city like Asyut, a city I was really looking forward to visiting, and although Ive spend the two days as planned, I feel like, only one of them is accounted for.



Since I‘ve slept almost 18 hours trying to fight this disrupting cold, I will have to merge the blog for both days into one. To continue the series of “I didn’t expect it to be like this”, Asyut is a big city and quite established as a matter of fact. It seems like it was built in the 40s and 50s, with some villas dating back to the 1910s. Its urban design is on point and properly structured and gives a feeling order to its layout.



The architecture is somewhat mixed, but rarely modern, seems as if nothing was built beyond the 80s and 90s. The weather off course is a bit on the warm side during the summer but perfect for winter visits. Asyut is mostly on the western bank of the Nile with a few man made barrages to aid with irrigation and flow. As a well established city, a large number of brands are available in Asyut and apparently its considered a profitable market.



The people of Asyut are as expected, the common traits of upper Egyptians are evident. They are kind, cheerful, maybe a bit conservative, but in general they are happy people. They are quite hospitable and on the outside, a good portion of people seem on the better end of the socioeconomic scale. Its a fun city where walking around can prove very entertaining and most encounters end with the famous upper Egyptian smiles.



When it comes to dealing with money I’ve been told by people from Asyut that they are a bit cautious. I haven’t seen any signs to support these claims, at least nothing that is out of the ordinary. The only thing worth mentioning it that every time I would enter a restaurant to offer my services they would ask instantly “Are you sure its free?” And of course ask why its free, apparently with the possibility of scams they like to make sure.



Most local shops and restaurants are a bit on the basic side, maintaining their original design and even some of them date back to the late 80s. They seem to follow the rule of “If its not broken, don’t fix it”, leading to a bit of a aged look but maintaining lower costs. A lot of their restaurants needed modern marketing education, in terms of digital marketing, online presence and even shifting to digital accounting books instead of the traditional pen and paper. Asyut proved to be an interesting destination and definitely worth visiting again, but maybe during the winter next time.



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