The first thing you picture when you first walk in to Cairo’s train station is a Scene from an old black and white egyptian movie – when Shadya or Fatin Hamama runs through the crowd trying to get to the platform just in time before her lover leaves town. I closed my eyes and imagined myself in the scene, My old movie scene dream was quickly interrupted when I got distracted by the shouting and yelling around from the masses of people rushing to their trains with their luggage, baskets, sacs or whatever they used to carry their belongings in. Mothers dragging their crying children while being yelled at by their husbands ordering them to keep up. It was a complete chaos. People bumped into you not acknowledging your presence.
So much for my 2 sec starring role in my own movie. I snapped out of my pretend world and headed to the train that was en route to Alexandria. This is the best train available with the best service, air conditioned and fastest with no stops, or so I was told. I got to the platform, looked for the First Class entrance and boarded. A wave of pungent air hit me the second I got on, I didn’t want to be picky so I tried breathing in through my mouth, almost passing out. I got to my seat and it was FILTHY, not wanting to act like a spoilt brat I decided to go with the flow out of respect for the group I was with. It was so bad to the point I started laughing at every incident that took place. I took a window seat and stared out throughout the whole trip. We passed by farm fields, a lot of cows, donkeys, ducks and chicken along the way.” Old Mcdonald had a farm e yay e yay oo, and on his farm he had some cows, eyay eyay o, with a moo moo here and a moo moo there, here a moo there a moo everywhere a moo moo” kept playing in my head. The moment we reached Alexandria I was first out the door!
What an adventure it was and I’m glad i went through it, a funny one I must say. I strongly recommend that you go through one of these experiences just for the fun of it.