40 for 40: Day 25 – Cairo to Fiumicino


Yesterday, in spite of all its craziness, was the proper sendoff for Cairo. Culture, insanity, good food, drinks in a historic building. Of course, Cairo has to try one more thing, this time, at an airport Burger King off all places.

Check-in and security was smooth enough, though I had to check a paperweight I bought at the Bibliotheca Alexandria due to it being a solid (but blunt) piece of metal. I had 300 LE left in my wallet and, with no currency exchange, it was enough for burgers. Huge, time wasting mistake.

Order came to 250 LE, they didn’t have change so the girl working the counter gave one 100 to a guy, presumably to make change. They messed up one our orders – a Double Whopper, so nothing crazy – and Daina went back to fix it. At this point, we decided to get two waters, 22 LE each so 44 LE, since she hadn’t given our 50 back yet. Girl behind the counter then asks us to pay another 50, and then we have to explain that she never gave us change. She then proceeds to give Daina one water, show us the 5 LE that would have been our change, then TAKES THAT 5 LE away, again saying “taxes” and hands Daina a receipt for TWO waters at 44 LE.

I go back up and try to reexplain, with the receipts, and she again tries to explain “taxes” and there was an “extra tax” on the water (even though the receipt showed the taxes FOR the water, same as the other ones), so I take out my phone and ADD THE THINGS TOGETHER, subtract from 300, and ask for the second water. She says “oh, okay” and then CRUMPLES UP THE RECEIPTS and throws them out!!! Then, she goes to the next guy in the line and starts to take his order, so I have to interrupt to remind her she still owes me a water which, after specifically pointing to the fridge, she agrees.

There are language barriers, and then there was whatever this was, either ignorance or straight-up attempted theft. Freaking ridiculous.

Let’s add an extra obstacle of needing to switch planes, delaying us by an hour and a half, and holy smokes, Cairo, we love you, but could this at least be easy?

Landing in Fiumicino, we immediately smelled the clean air and noticed the more laid back atmosphere. That adventure is over, and it was great, but something about not immediately sweating and feeling you’re covered in dirt. Our car took us to he clean, spacious Aquilla Di Mare B & B, and then we wandered down streets with no cars to drink and eat at La Panzanella, a fantastic Italian restaurant. A civil way to end the joint part of the trip.

Tomorrow, Daina heads back to Canada, and I hit day 26 of the celebration. I’ll miss the guy, for sure, but looking forward to the next stage of the “I Am Old” celebration and experience.

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