Tuesday, 30 September 2014

Egypt - Kebabs, Roadblocks, and graffiti. A trip to Cairo.

Original story - Ilovegraffiti
Translated by NotGuilty

This summer, a team of German writers attempted to repeat the feat of Rider, Hard and Tibak, who
painted the Cairo Metro in Egypt. But that was 2010, and now it's 2014, the situation in Egypt has
clearly changed. ILG recounts the story of their adventure.

After passing roadblocks, heavily guarded army bases, and endless passport checks, we arrived in
Cairo after a journy of 460km, and a $100 taxi ride through the desert of Hurghada.

First impressions, people EVERYWHERE, carts pulled by donkeys, noise, motorcycles, camels,
buses, and an incomprehensible chaos.

We arrived at the hotel, and decided to spend time getting an overview of the situation. While in the
vicinity of stations and depots, a simple look through the fence immediately attracts attention, over
and over again, angry Egyptians wondering why we were there, you can't even take a pic of a train
without a problem, we had to repeatedly remove every photo that was taken, it proved extremely
difficult to get an overview of the potential layups in the city.

People's behaviour is inevitably linked to the local tension and political climate, during our stay,
many explosions took place in Cairo. On our way home, on a pedestrian bridge, a security guard was
heard shouting at us in Arabic, with his gun sight pointed straight at as, a sign that this definitely isn't
the time to paint. Nobody thinks about graffiti here, if anyone enters the confines of a depot or layup,
they immediately think you are there with a bomb.

After several unsuccesful attempted, we decided to give up and leave this exotic
subway system on our list for the future.

We finally managed to enter a train depot, a pack of dogs barking at our
presence, it took an eternity for them to get used to us before we dared to paint, stomach completely
overturned. What if someone arrives? Flee knowing that security is armed with Kalashnikovs, or
hide? It seemed wise to conceal our bags of paint, to avoid being spotted and taken for bombers. It
took us much longer than expected but the action was finally completed in time. Shortly after, we
managed again, another commuter within the city.

After the actions were done and dusted, we were finally able to take advantage of Cairo and
Egyptian culture to the maximum - especially local foods, like Kebab, baba ganousch, lentil
soup and all the spices, all so good and so cheap.