Cairo is one of the biggest cities in the World, nevertheless finding a bigger store was a real adventure. We wanted to do some shopping as we were ready to leave Cairo and we thought that it could be the best place to refill our supplies. After few hours we finally found Carrefour and big shopping centre – on the outskirts of the city. The size of the store and variety of products were pretty impressive.
When we finished shopping it was sort of late and Charlie got brilliant idea. He suggested that we could sleep on the city centre parking. It was free, secured and safe. Charlie even went to the parking guy and asked him if staying just for one night at shopping mall premises would be ok to. The guard said no problem so we were more than happy to stay at the parking. Nevertheless our happiness and peaceful night were interrupted as we heard a noise of glass bottle, which was kicked under Rusty’s wheel. Then we started hearing conversation of two males in Arabic. Charlie immediately moved on the driver‘s seat and politely asked those guys what was happening. We were trying to be nice, while those guys were arrogant from the beginning. The conversation between us looked like that:
Guys: -What u do here?
Us: -Sleeping, the other guy said that we can stay overnight here.
G: -No, you cannot be here, it is not allowed
Us: -But we were told that it was ok to stay here, your friend probably forgot to mention about us staying here
G: – What friend?
Us: – He is not here, he was the other parking guard, we asked him yesterday evening
G: -Your passports
To be honest we didn’t have to show them our documents as they were only parking guys, not government officials or police, but due to situation was really tense, we showed them our passports. They did few steps back from our van and examined every single page in our papers. They came back and it started again
G: -What you do here?
U: -We were sleeping because it was too late to drive further
G: -You not wife and husband, what you do in car, you f**k, f**k…
U: -No, we were sleeping, can we stay here till morning and go back to sleep now?
G: -Do you have whisky?
U: -No we don’t have whisky, we don’t have any alcohol.
One of the guys smiled insolentlyand started showing who was the boss and said:
G: -You cannot stay here…
U: -But it is a middle of the night we don’t know where to go.
G: – No my problem, First of all you must go…
And after his huge consideration he added again…
G: -And first of all and you cannot stay here you must go … go…
Charlie got pissed off, ironically thanked for “amazing hospitality” and we left at 4am the Shopping Centre Mall.
We were back on the road…It was dark but we knew where we wanted to go – we wanted to be back at the Red Sea Coast. It was not even 20 minutes of driving when an unidentified flying object (UFO) flew towards our windscreen and smashed it. Yeah sounds like a horrible and it was horrible. The UFO was really a wooden chicken box, which was never ever supposed to fly, but because a huge truck drove on this with an appropriate speed, it just went up and flu. We somehow managed to pull the truck driver over, but there was no communication with him – language barrier. We decided to call our Polish Embassy located in Cairo and asked for help.
After a short conversation Charlie only heard from the guy: – “Why I should call too our lawyer that early and wake him up”
Charlie was really angry, but answered politely: – “Because polish citizen is in need and you are here to help in cases like this”
The guy hearing this changed his attitude a bit, explained that at the same time people who worked in Polish Embassy were helping other tourists to return to Poland as some tourist agencies collapsed, and he said that he would ask their lawyer to call us back.
We wanted to talk with police, but we didn’t know where the nearest police station was and besides…leaving the place of “car crush”? The truck driver was all the time hanging on the phone. Few moments later we noticed that one of the cars driving on the opposite side turned around and our “guilty” truck driver jumped inside it… We thought that he ran away, but he came back in 30 minutes or so. During those 30 minutes we were still expecting a phone call from our Embassy, plus we didn’t want to move from the bay we already stopped. Luckily, the lawyer from Polish Embassy called us back, when the truck driver returned. We passed him our cell phone and they were talking and talking. After a long while, we got our phone back and the lawyer said that there was nothing he could do, police would not come and we had to deal with it somehow and he was very sorry. While we were talking over the phone, the truck driver got back to his truck and he was gone, but this time he never came back…We were left alone, thinking what we would do…Charlie thought that we should come back to Cairo and find the nearest police station.
So that was the plan, while suddenly a weird car stopped close to us asking what had happened. First thing what crossed our minds was that they were policemen in unmarked police car. We of course inquired whether they were police officers. They confirmed and one of them very quickly showed us some kind ID. Charlie was showing them the windscreen, the crush…but they were not keen on, they were more interested to see what we had inside the van. Charlie got suspicious and said that it would be better to talked about this car incident at police station. They said: “ok, ok…police station” and very quickly got back to their car and drove off. It was one of those weird and pretty scary situations!!! Fortunately nothing happened and we decided to stick to our plan of finding police station on our own.
In Cairo we finally found a police station, where Charlie explained everything, but they couldn’t help and sent us to another police office. On another police station they said that they need to translate everything and we need to organize someone who would translate our evidence and pay him for it…We got so frustrated and we didn’t want to have more problems than we already had. We didn’t want to get involved more people in that situation and we decided to just drive at the seaside.