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Beer Run

Cairo, Egypt

Part of the appeal of travel for me is that you tend to find yourself in really strange situations from time to time. Big cities in the third world seem to be especially good for this. Cairo has not disappointed.

I've only been here a few hours now, but already I've found myself in a custody battle between two pensionnes in the same building, each claiming to be the Dahab Hotel. One of them is actually correct, but that is no matter, as the other is convinced that it is in fact a new addition to the real place. Good for bargaining though. I've got AC and a balcony for five bucks a night.

So I'm eating my Shawarma in the lobby, talking to the manager (who now claims that he used to manage the real Dahab and thus the misunderstanding) and his "brother", and it turns out that there is a big wedding party tomorrow night and they need a huge favor, as the only place in town where you can get imported liquor is the duty free shop at the Sheraton. Of course they're lying, but I've been lied to all day and I'm used to it. And besides, what could possibly go wrong?

As a newly arrived visitor, my passport is a valuable thing. It contains a dated stamp that entitles me to bring 3 liters of alcohol and 3 cartons of cigarettes into the country. I'm finally getting to repay karma for mooching off upperclassmen for all those beer runs back at school. I'm expecting to be handed some cash and a list, then be inserted quietly into the lobby and return a hero, but no. It's easier than that. All I gotta do is hang out while our brother goes shopping, then produce my passport at the proper moment. Kind of a let down.

Anyway, my services netted me a couple warm cans of beer to enjoy on the rooftop deck of the hotel. So much sweeter because of how they were earned. I woulda done it just for the story.

permalink written by  Jason Kester on May 23, 2003 from Cairo, Egypt
from the travel blog: Middle East, 2003
tagged Scam

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Jason Kester Jason Kester
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Hey! I wrote Blogabond so I guess that makes me your host. Welcome!

I spend about 9 months a year on the road, chasing the sun around the world in search of good climbing and surfing. I carry a laptop along with me, and take on small programming contracts to take care of expenses.

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