Egypt Travel Stories, Page 5

Telephone Call Cairo to USA -One Dollar Per Minute

It cost 5 Egyptian Pounds per minute in a call center I have not located, however the boys in the internet Cafe are telling me about.

They are converting for about 5.75 to one dollars here, however this says more, however for sure exchange rates are never predictable.
http://www.oanda.com/convert/classic

I passed a pay phone on the street, all the letter are Arabic, this language looks like worms on a table and the pay phone is maybe an option, however the learning curve on a telephone call to the USA can be two days.

I will try to find the call center, I think they are saying I can make a call from the Internet Cafe however I am thinking they mean an over-the-internet call and not a normal line. The noise level of Cairo is very high, even in the Internet Cafe, between the calls to prayers, the music, and the loud boys, honking of horns hard to find silence enough to talk on a telephone.

Cairo is probably on line with Mumbai or Bombay, India, however a little more than Khao San Road in Bangkok, Thailand.

Contrary to any misconceptions only the rich speak good English and they are not working in the Internet Cafe or driving the Taxis. Today I had problem because many of the Taxi Drivers cannot read Arabic writing, and have to stop and have people translate, however they then cannot remember the address.

I just checked to call Mark Souders and Richard Lugar I have 8 possible number and for sure I will get a touch tone mess, or some person that ask too many questions and does not understand and recommends a new number. I have to find a way for them to call me back, I have discovered when people use the internet in the Hotel the main line is busy, so nobody can call.

I am in the Ismailia House Hotel in Cairo, I will try to see if I can find another way for them to return a call, I am getting the very annoying feeling I must buy a cell phone to travel around the planet, it is becoming impossible, everyone even in Cairo has one in their ear. The use of normal phones is almost gone.

Ismailie House.. aaagh, none of these sites give a number.
Hostelz.com is very good, however I do not see it.
http://www.hostelz.com/display.php/34504+Ismailia+House+Hotel

I will think about this, and try to find solutions, for sure I am going to the Nigeria Embassy tomorrow to see about a Visa, maybe I can bypass this problem, however I will still need to get a Visa to Niger in Nigeria.


Please call Richard Lugar and Mark Souders

I am from the State of Indiana, however it is a big problem to make these phone calls.

I am Andy Graham from Orland, Indiana in the County of Steuben.
Say that HoboTraveler.com needs a fax from the USA embassy to Niger in Cairo.

Please help and call Richard Lugar:
http://lugar.senate.gov/contact.html

Or Call
Mark Sounders
http://souder.house.gov/contact/

Time Zones for people outside the USA.
http://www.hobotraveler.com/time.php

If you know red tape, then look at all these telephone number, and you can see that sitting in a telephone booth in a city of millions with honking horns, talking Arabic and trying to talk my ear off makes this difficult.

TELEPHONE NUMBERS OF RICHARD LUGAR

You may either
fax your request to:(202) 228-0360 or email to:
senator_lugar@lugar.senate.gov

WASHINGTON, D.C.
306 Hart Senate Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20510-1401
(202) 224-4814

INDIANAPOLIS
1180 Market Tower
10 West Market Street
Indianapolis, Indiana 46204
(317) 226-5555

NORTHEAST
1300 South Harrison Street
Room 3158
Fort Wayne, Indiana 46802
(260) 422-1505 NORTHWEST
175 West Lincolnway
Suite G-1
Valparaiso, Indiana 46383
ph: (219) 548-8035

SOUTHEAST
1201 East 10th Street
Room 103
Jeffersonville, Indiana 47130
(812) 288-3377 SOUTHWEST
101 NW Martin Luther King Boulevard
Room 122
Evansville, Indiana 47708
(812) 465-6313

CALL MARK SOUNDER

Congressman Souder can be contacted toll-free (within the Third District) at 1-800-959-3041, by email at souder@mail.house.gov , via his staff mobile office, or through one of the following four offices:

Fort Wayne Office:
E. Ross Adair Federal Building, Room 3105
1300 South Harrison Street
Fort Wayne, IN 46802
Phone: (260) 424-3041 or 1-800-959-3041
Fax: (260) 424-4042

Winona Lake Office:
The Boathouse, Suite D
700 Park Avenue
Winona Lake, IN 46590
Phone: (574) 269-1940 or 1-800-959-3041
Fax: (574) 269-3112

Goshen Office:
1st Source Building, Suite 250
102 West Lincoln Avenue
Goshen, IN 46526
Phone: (574) 533-5802 or 1-800-959-3041
Fax: (574) 534-2669

Washington Office:
U.S. House of Representatives
2231 Rayburn House Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20515
Phone: (202) 225-4436
Fax: (202) 225-3479

Read the post below for more information:
http://www.hobotraveler.com/2005/08/your-problem-is-not-high-priority.html

I am going tomorrow, I had a girl in the airplane ticket office write the address to the Nigerian Embassy in Arabic so I can use a taxi, so maybe I try Nigeria.


Your Problem is Not High Priority

Everyone that has ever read my blog would say I am a rip roaring support the USA person.

"Your problem is not a high priority."
Said to me today at the USA Embassy.

This is also saying the Niger Famine is not a high priority.

I am wanting to go and see what the situation is, good or bad, and just explain in simple words, I have one reader that even offered to help pay the cost, not a little cost for me, it will be 900 dollars U.S. just for the ticket from Cairo to Niamey Niger.

I have told him I want to go and take photos and explain to my readers the situation, it is to help the people of Niger and to help people of the world to understand.

TODAY
Started at 9 today.
Sat in the USA Citizens Services Area waiting for Chrisopher Rich to call the Niger Embassy and say the USA has a policy against writing letters for Citizens.

He cannot call or reach the Embassy, he says he has been trying all day.

I need a fax saying the USA has a citizen who wants a Visa faxed to the Niger Embassy in Cairo.

10:20 I leave for the Niger Embassy to ask the Niger guy to call Chris.

He does not call Chris, finally says if I get a letter from my HoboTraveler.com company asking for me to enter, then I can get a Visa.

I get this done, present and then the Niger Embassy and they still say either the Cairo USA Embassy needs to fax or the Niamey USA Embassy needs to fax a letter.

I take a taxi back to the USA embassy, in about 100 Degree temperature and about 45 minutes in a taxi each way and the bottom line the USA Embassy and the Niger Embassy cannot speak on the telephone or will not.

Chris is not there, then I say, I NEED TO TALK TO SOMEONE, and they see I am angry and get all excited, then Chris is suddenly there.

He want to throw me out, I say,
"I am trying to do a good thing, go and help or explain to people about the famine."

He finally calms down when I say my blog is one of the Forbes.com top 5 travel blogs, and on the Guardian Newspaper Blog Watch.

Starts to say he will help, I explain to him that I am a very good citizen, and it is embarrassing to say the person in the Embassy was not able to call the Niger Embassy.

I then say, maybe the USA embassy in Niger would fax the paper if you called or wrote them. I know that for me to write and Embassy of the USA is like pulling teeth, however I am sitting in Cairo and the sign did say American Citizens Services.

Niger seems ready go give me a Visa, I think if a Fax came into them on anything they would give me the Visa.

I am separating from the small boys and becoming one of the bigger boys, this means I am getting closer to becoming CNN and less of just being nothing. It is easy to see how CNN or BBC can report anything however when a normal person just want help we are put on the far back shelf... or... as he said,

"Your problem is not high priority."

It is now 3:25 in Cairo, I am hot and tired, the bottom line is the USA says they have a policy of not sending letters or faxes to other Embassies.

He says he will call the Niger embassy, however says he is no able to reach them.

Niger Embassy
+202 3865607/17
Mobile: 01275721460
Fax: +202 3865690

USA Embassy in Cairo
(02) 797 2301
Fax: (02) 797 2472

I have already wrote Chris on the Email on his card, he is suppose to call me with the contact information for Niamey, Niger Embassy of the USA.

All this is quite difficult, I suppose in the Hilton I could make phone calls easily, however I keep thinking the sign says,
"American Citizen Services."

I am an American Citizen.
More so than anyone else I seen in the Embassy... A small guy at the front counter whisped to me...
"Are you really an American Citizen."
I think he was happy to meet one.

I need some service.
The problem is also compounded because they are only open in the mornings.
Who knows, I am frustrated, all they want is a Fax from the USA embassy and they cannot even call to say they cannot fax or write. Something is fishy, I think it is on the American side and not the Niger side.

I keep remembering,
"Your problem is not high priority."


Trying to get Visa to Niger in Cairo

I am down the street from the Niger Embassy, this day has been wait and do nothing, I arrived at the American Embassy at 9:00, then proceeded to do nothing and no results until I finally left at 10:20 to go to the Niger Embassy.

Mr. Rich at the Embassy said he tried to call the Niger Embassy with the telephone number he had and it just rang and nobody answered.

I decided to take a taxi to the Niger Embassy and have or ask him to call Mr. Rich.

I have just left the Embassy of Niger, however he did not call Mr. Rich, he did... the (Premier Secrataire) called the Niger Ambassador and he said I should go back to the USA and apply.

I said there must be a way, I want to go and take photos of the Famine and hopefully help.

He said I need a letter from the company, so I now in the internet cafe down the street trying to get a letter printed from myself to the Embassy of Niger.

This is really silly, however what is the use in fighting, I give them the papers they need and I will hopefully get a Visa. This type of confusion is normal for Embassies and I am sad to say the USA embassy had done nothing, he does not seem to be able to call the Niger Embassy or does not know the way to call the Embassy of Niger.

Now I am dealing with an Egyptian Printer system that does not like the USA files I have on my thumbdrive memory so I had to make the letterhead again, just jumping through hoops.

The guy in the Embassy of Niger is nice, however who knows what they want, I will persist until I walk out with a Visa, this is the secret to getting a Visa sometimes, be nice, friendly, shake hands, and never stop or quit.


Niger Visa

Niger Visa

The Niger Embassy told me that I could get a Visa to Niger if I got a letter from the American Embassy saying I am a tourist. I went to the American Embassy and they said they do not give such letters, some man who is helpful however very formal by the name of Christopher Rich tried to telephone or call the man in the Niger Embassy to say they will not give letters. The Niger Embassy was already closed for the day.

I pushed for about 45 minutes telling the American Embassy I am an American Citizen and I need help, they are sort of helping and this is silly as it was offered.

“You can go back to the USA and get the Visa.’
“You can forget going to Niger.”

I am amazed at how many times I hear No, luckily, I do not understand the word.

I will be at the Embassy tomorrow at 8:00 AM when it opens to try again and to waddle around speaking English fast, making sure they hear that made in the USA English born and raised, This makes Embassies of the USA workers nervous as they cannot speak English good enough and there is normally in Embassies only a couple of token Americans in the Embassy all the others are made in Egypt.

I heard some gossip today, they say you can get USA Citizenship if they will go and work in the U.S. Embassy in Iraq, sounds like a good deal for them, as they would look Arab and blend in, not like me.

In addition, the other gossip was there is an exception to the no-letter policy of the USA for people going to Saudi Arabia.

I hope we clear this up tomorrow, as I do not wish to say that the American Embassy is the reason I cannot get a Visa to Niger.

I can be annoying and tell everyone in the USA to call Mark Souders the Representative from Indiana who would have probably the most pull, this is the way you one-up or push an embassy, you call your Congressmen or State Politicians in your state.

It would be fun to be annoying, however we should hold off on being pushy until after tomorrow and I can see if I can muster some telephone calls from the USA to Mark to get some reverse push.

Hehehe…

A Hobo in Cairo needs help!
What is a Hobotraveler.com and what is he doing in Cairo, and why does he want to go to Niger?

I can tell you this; Niger is not on the short list of many tourists, just not a place visited by American Citizens.

Peanut Trivia
Israel and now also Egypt have the saltiest Peanuts I have ever eaten, the are like eating pure salt, hard to understand, almost better to get the unsalted kind and add your own salt. It takes a long time to eat these peanuts as I can only handle the salt for a few mouthfuls.


Jerusalem to Cairo Photos

Jerusalem to Cairo Photos

I went from Jerusalem Israel or Palestine to Cairo Egypt by bus, then upon arriving went to the Niger Embassy, then to the American Embassy trying to get a Visa to the country of Niger. Here are photos of day one in Cairo and all the adjoining heat and excitement.

Well Come to Cairo!



This guy drove up next to the taxi I was in, and stopped, however very easy to stop next to the taxi because we were in a never-ending line of cars in Cairo Egypt, then he says.

“Wellll COME to Cairo.”

This is what always makes my day, when a person is just excited to say Hello, in a strange sort of English.



Palestine and Israel is supposed to be a refugee camp, this implies tents in the imagination of most people, however I was not stopped or did not have to go through any check from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem and from Jerusalem to Tel Aviv, however for sure I was in a Palestine area in Jerusalem, then on the way out of the city I see these three business name together.

Toy’s R US
Best Buys
And
McDonalds,

I need to go look for the Refugee Camps when I return so I can prove or disprove the opinion of one Iranian, California Girl who said,
“It is easier for a Palestinian person to go to America than to go to Jerusalem.”

I have not seem poverty and no tents.

However, it looks like this Refugee camp can go to Best Buys and Toy’s R Us.

There is an average of wealth in any country, and sometimes there is a huge difference between the Rich Class and the Poor Class, however I am not getting the picture and for sure I need to investigate better because I have not found the poor in Israel, I am still looking… and will return to Israel to look for poor, however I am now in Cairo and much easier to find, however still a big and on and on city.



Israel Hummer at the border, not a very organized border and full of stops and questions, however they did not search me going out of the country.

Funny part is we had an armed escort with the tourist van all the way from the border of Egypt to Cairo, this is not a normal thing for me, I have never had an armed… automatic weapons and such, you know boys with guns, in a separate vehicle, something you would think you would have in Israel, however we did not, however we did have this in Egypt.



Cairo in the morning looking out my balcony window, from a Hotel that cost 40 Egyptian Pounds or maybe 8-10 Dollars U.S. per night, a dorm bed cost 16 Pounds.



This is the desert along the way from Israel to Cairo Egypt.



Well Come! To Cairo!



My balcony, the carpet is old, the room is old, the ceilings are 12-foot tall, full-length French doors leading to the balcony and this feel like the Brits used to be here to add flavors to the day.



The KFC close to Hotel and the Wonder Tourist Agency, it is a wonder they sell a ticket, they have the personality of a rock.



This is not a bum; this is probably a worker who also has a cell telephone as I caught him talking on it later, a while after I took this photo. In many countries, workers will pull up a spot and live or sleep close to work.



Very cool elevator like a trip into history of buildings, I have a really nasty photo of the emergency stairs, however opted to leave off, Cairo is half as dirty as India and more modern than South America, hard to describe clearly, a former British Colony they speak pretty good English and seem Friendly and more Honest than Israel, however hard to say.

The Arab world is a short-change you, talk too much, follow me, or give you orders world. I had to walk away from a guy today as he said,
“Follow me,” and I said,
“No,” and walked away.

In sales it is called the assumed close and in a culture that understands the tourist is afraid to annoy a culture they can get people to follow, except for me and I enjoy walking away, as I see this demanding of my time and good will as bad manners, and they are not looking out for my best good.



Rats, I did not capture the colorful beauty of this girl, however for sure I was trying to sneak a photo, she was nice.

I think her name was Shemilia or something like that, she made me promise I would come back and find out the price on a plane to Niger, I did return and as I suspected she had made zero progress.

Always better to sit and force a travel agent to search around the planet and they do nothing when you leave.



My computer locked up three times while trying to blog, so I took a photo of the keyboard. For those of you who think the USA or some countries are polluted, get a life, this is probably the result of the air in the room and for sure, their lungs are full of stuff, no wonder the world spits.



This is a photo of three girls in the back of a car sharing in a flirtatious looks and waves as I ride in Taxi.



The small buses where the next photo was taken.



A good photo if I say so myself, now if I had a really good camera I would say… yippee.


Here is a really rare photo, I asked for permission to take a photo of the two guards in front of the Niger Embassy and they said or nodded their head yes.

Normally Embassies are not too keen on you taking embassies, I am not sure why, it is pretty easy to walk around one and see what is up, or how you could be a bad person, you can enter an embassy and act stupid real easily.


Cairo Egypt to Niamey Niger Flight

There is a Famine in Niger, I am trying to buy a ticket to the area.

Not an easy task and confusing, I will go to the Niger Embassy this afternoon here in Cairo and try to figure out the Visa. The cost of a plane ticket is now at 5500 Egypt Pounds and this is a lot for a round trip ticket, about 860 Dollars US. Land transportation could take days, plus the Visas could take days also, so to go fast is a huge problem.



NIGER
Famine regions-Niger
Mainly North, North East and East of country
Keita, near Tahoua (one of most affected regions, 600km north of Niamey)
Loudou in Tahoua (there is a feeding station there)
Maradi
Zinder region- 1000km east of Niamey
Villages around Ouallam, 90km north of Niamey

Kim collected this, a women from England.
I am targeting the city of Keita as the place to visit.

This computer has crashed or locked three times, I am not doing any spell check.


Cairo

Hello,
I have arrived in Cairo, it is now the next morning and I am sort of comfortable, the place is steaming with activity. Big city with many horns and reminds me very much of India, I guess this is a former British Colony until 1952 this lady said last night. This means the speak better English.

I am on the 8th floor of a Hostel and the smog or mist is rising into the morning sun. Israel is very modern in comparison and now I am in an ancient time of Windows 98, and a dial up connection. I will go peruse the lower parts of the city, I am very high looking down on the city from the 8th floor, so I feel on top of the world. I am looking down into the clutter of Cairo, painted with smog, fog, and reflected by the morning sun.

It is a good day, Life is Good!