My summer holidays this year took me off to Egypt, the land of the Pharaohs.
During my travels I witnessed some amazing sights, the Great Pyramids of Giza, diving in the Red sea, camel treks in the desert but I think one of the things that will stay with me most about this country is the standards of both safety and hygiene.
Starting with hygiene my advice to anyone ever planning to visit there for either a holiday but more importantly work purposes is please be prepared for difference between our accepted standards of cleanliness and those of the local facilities.
First tip: always carry some tissue or loo roll, many of the toilets are grossly understocked in this area, hand sanitizer is also a good recommendation.
Tip two: only drink bottled water and avoid food washed in local water. Most tourist resorts have filtered water that means the food is fine to eat but you should still stick to bottled water for drinking on the resorts also. Outside of the resorts however things become a bit more dicey, both my wife and I suffered from upset stomach’s after eating minimal amounts of food at an outlet in Cairo during a day trip even though we were advised by our guide that we would be OK, sadly not the case!
Moving onto the safety side of the country…
Well, having been witness to some of the busiest road networks in the world (London, New York, Las Vegas) I have to say by far Egypt top’s my bill as the scariest place to drive. Our guide told us there was only ‘1 rule’ of the road and that was ’whoever gets there first…WINS!’ The Egyptian’s live (and potentially die) by this rule The 2nd language of the country appears to be BEEP BEEP (car horns) as there wasn’t a moment that goes by without someone apparently feeling upset they had been cut up or nearly crashed into.
These standards of apparently ‘life is cheap’ attitude were echoed elsewhere during the dive trips when complete novices were allowed to delve beneath the waves without suitable experience, also when operating jet ski’s / quad bike’s etc all at novice level.
In summary if venturing to Egypt for work purposes, please be extra vigilant and look out for your own safety.