Egypt of my 20!
I had an once in a lifetime chance to join a volunteer program held by AIESEC FTU HANOI (Vietnam).
I had an once in a lifetime chance to join a volunteer program held by AIESEC FTU HANOI (Vietnam). It was also a magical thing getting a permission from my parents . I wrote 2 letters for my mom and dad, saying if I couldn’t make this now, I would never have a chance like this. I might go for more trips in the future, but Egypt of my 20s would not be the same. And after many “family meetings”, mom and dad did finally say YES! Yup, the trip began with soooo many “first times” of mine.
After my very first 19-hour long flight, I finally arrived in Cairo, Egypt – the 1st Muslim country I have ever been to. And Egypt welcomed me with an AC rain. No kidding! Though it was extremely dry, you can feel the “rain” aka water drops from AC of the old buildings. Never in my life had I written that much every day. I noted almost every single thing that I realized how different it is from the things I’ve already known. Let see...#Travel
“Your hair is beautiful” - said an #Egyptian girl
Egyptian time! This should be on the top list because almost activities during my trip are related to this special clock. No offense but Egyptians seem not to follow the natural time lol. I mean, if you tell your Egyptian friend “let’s meet up at 9 am”, you will probably see her at 12 pm :D. I’m not gonna take this serious cause I’m already this type of person lol. This term also means Egyptians have their own schedule. Let say, you wake up at about 7 am and you are craving for some food. Better be back to sleep cause there is no breakfast place opening that time. People are not ready to start their new day yet :D Also, the malls here close at about 2 am. You can easily see kids (even small babies) having fun or having...dinner with their parents at malls (or anywhere else) after 12 am. I tried to explain to myself that it was because the heat, they want to ignore it as much as possible. But hey, summer in my country is not so different from the Egypt’s heat. Hmmm....
“Can I take a picture with you?” SURE!
Egyptians are pretty cute! Let’s not talk about their impatience sometimes (bcuz of hot weather again, I guess). Locals here are kinda friendly. When in Alexandria, I woke up so late that I had to catch an Uber myself to the City Library (following the group’s itinerary). I was freaking at that time because not all drivers can speak English. Fortunately, there was a man standing there (I guess he’s the owner of the restaurant nearby) helped me with the direction and talked in Arabic with the driver to drop me off safely. When in Hurgada, another beach city, I unfortunately dropped a glass cup in a restaurant (not gonna excuse anything for my clumsiness). Guess what, the owner didn’t show any anger to me. He, in fact, kept comforting me “It’s okay. It’s okay. U don’t need to feel sorry” and even told me some jokes. *sight a relief*. In Cairo, there was a time when I bought a juice box, the shop owner smiley asked me “Where are you from?”, after I said “Vietnam” he gave me a chocolate bar. Aww, how sweet! Some girls at a mosque I visited also gave compliments on my hair :D When it comes to women, I believe Egyptian girls are beautiful no matter their faces are covered or not. They have characteristic features with deep and big eyes, dark and curved eye lashes, full lips. I saw some couples walking on streets with arms in arms in a very elegant way. One more interesting fact about Egyptians is that their taste is strong, at least compared to mine. If it comes to savory food, they’re gonna be extremely salty. Desserts? Extremely sweet lol. However, there are still some foods that I really enjoy, namely Kushari, “rice pudding” and Cairo street...pizza!
“From the heights of these pyramids, forty centuries look down on us”
We went through 10 cities in Egypt namely #Cairo, Luxor, #Dahab, Alexandria, Aswan, Giza, Minya,...with the ancient buildings, statues, tombs that I never thought I could be able to reach! Before coming here, I only knew about Egypt on the Japanese Manga called Crest of the Royal Family that I read since I was a kid. And here I am, in front of gorgeous Pyramids, witnessing 4000-year-old characters with my own eyes, touching the ancient giant columns with so many mixed feelings,... This is incredibly amazing! A truly once in life time moment of mine! P/s: I went to the Egyptian Museum twice and never got enough of it!!
A Dream came true!
A destiny to meet wonderful friends from India, China, Turkey, Bahrain and Tunisia!
We all first met at Cairo Kingdom Hostel. It is located at the 7th floor of an old building (actually in this downtown, I guess there are no “new” buildings lol) which we have to use an (of course) old elevator to reach our room. Everything here brought a sense of ancient you know. And guys, I had over 10 roommates lol. Luckily, all the girls are adorable. Some Chinese ones even thought I was one of them at first. That’s why they sometimes used their language to talk to me unintentionally lol. We also have other guys from Turkey, Tunisia, Bahrain and India. Lucky me, I rarely had to make any ice break to get closer with these friends. We were so natural that the group “Oh La La” was made as soon as we met lol . Still remember those hot summer midnights, we gathered at the balcony of the hostel, played Truth or Dare and even discussed on Ottoman, on Egypt Culture,...! To me, this must be one of the best memories I’m most proud of because I rarely talked about these topics in English when I was in Vietnam. Indeed, the trip has improved my English a lot! #crestcontest
The Sweetest and longest 20th #Birthday Ever!
It was so random that my 20th birthday came during the trip. To be honest. I did feel a little bit lonely and even cried when it seemed that nobody cared about it lol. And guess what, my “OH LA LA” group did make a BIG surprise birthday party for me! They bought a rainbow cake and a Nemo teddy for me since they know I’m obsessed with Dory lol. Everything was arranged so perfect that I couldn’t guess anything. OMG it was really touched when you have these amazing friends with you though you all just met 1 month ago( Once again, SHUKRAN AWE guys! #crestcontest
A Birthday song in German
Because of the time zone difference, I have 5 more hours everyday. So does my birthday! The next day we went on a trip to Black and #Whitedesert. Guess what, I had another surprise gift when my friends gathered and sang a birthday song for me in their language!! How lucky I am T_T! We slept outside, under the sky full of stars. Believe me, you won’t see any other places on Earth that has such gorgeous galaxy like the sky of the White dessert! We saw many shooting stars and made many wishes. Don’t know what they wished, but I know we all made a wish that “We will meet again!” #crestcontest
Amazing White desert
First Scuba Diving
Our last destination in the trip is Dahab, a charming city by the sea. Here, I had my very 1st time snorkeling and #scubadiving to see the colorful aqua World!
Sea view in Everyday Coffee, Dahab
Yup, I couldn’t control my excitement when I saw Dory, especially when I saw a pair of Nemo playing nearby coral reefs which is way harder than to see Dory ones :D Also here in Dahab, I got my very first crush confession from a guy whom I’m pretty close with.
Okay, 1st Kiss ever
LOL, can’t tell in detail but it was really special when you had your very 1st #kiss with a foreign guy (the guy I mentioned above) in Cairo at 5 am! So close yet so far now but I always appreciate what we’ve been through❤️ #crestcontest
Thank you #CRESTcontest for giving me a chance to write and let things out of my chest about this unforgettable #trip ❤️