An idiot’s guide to Egypt

Part one – Giza & Cairo

Since the tender age of eight, I have longed with all of my wistful might to visit the land of the pharaohs. Transfixed by the mysteries of the great, honking pyramids, the promise of exotic landscapes and uncovering the secret to Cleopatra’s winged eyeliner, I recently took the plunge and booked my sorry ass on the first flight to Cairo.

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Our first, mind blowing stop was the ever-glorious Giza.

I can’t recommend the soulful experience of waking up to a view of the pyramids highly enough. Chugging down sugary mint tea to a symphony of calls to prayer, the dusky beauty of a morning gaze at the pyramids gave me more of an am kick than caffeine ever could.

Street puppies of Giza
The no-nosed lady, Mrs Sphinx – a heck of a load smaller than I had imagined!

You’ll find a load of affordable spots to stay in Giza, all sporting wonderful staff who are more than eager to organise your entire trip for you, but we chose the Best View Pyramids Hotel. 

With comfortable rooms, a tasty price tag and even tastier stuffed pigeon (more appealing to some of us than others), this ripper hotel had the rooftop terrace of a lifetime.

One hell of a terrace view ✨

Treat yourself to a cold, local lager, have a puff at a shisha pipe and put your lazy feet up on the glorious rooftop. With a view you’ll never get sick of and a lentil soup to write home about, you’ll find all you ever needed right in front of you.

Ask for Saber, the hotels resident tour guide and bad ass, who’ll take you on an astounding camel ride through the Sahara Desert to explore the pyramids. Yep, pretty flipping amazing. The man even knows his way around your good side, working the angles for any and all photo shoots you may require – bona fide legend.

Zinger happy snap courtesy of Saber himself 👏🏻

You’ll need a few days to fully absorb the wonderment of the pyramids. Explore, climb and try not to get swindled into a $40 photo on a camel in front of the tombs – it’s a heap harder than you might think.

Take your walking shoes, some snacks and your own stash of that h2o goodness. Giza is where it’s at, so much so that I’d almost endorse you put at the end of your trip, nothing will ever quite live up to the splendour of le pyramids.

The magnificence of Uber means you’re a hop, skip and a sarcophagus away from the big smoke in Cairo. Make sure to grab a sim card at Cairo airport when you land and save a bunch on taxis, that is, unless you’re an adequate barterer and can fend for yourself.

The Egyptian Museum in Cairo and it’s startling Mummy Room are well worth a gander. None of the artifacts seem to have the usual explanatory plaques, so it’s a spiffy idea to take up one of the eager guides outside the museum on their offer to show you around – at a price, of course.

Tahrir Square lies just next to the Egyptian Museum, and was the base for the people’s revolution in 2011. Again, without the wonderful world wide web, you won’t find much information about the uprisings in the square itself. Do a little research, give yourself some context and soak it on up.

During your wanderings in the bustling streets of Cairo, don’t let the opportunity to sneak into any of the Koshary stores slip you by. Open windows displaying obnoxiously sized bowls of pasta, lentils, chickpeas and fried shallots dot the avenues. Make sure to venture inside and have yourself a carb loaded meal.

A traditional Egyptian meal, Koshary is a bowl of all of the above, paired with a delicious tomato sauce. You can add spice and vinegar to the delicious concoction and eat as the locals do. Vegetarian and the ultimate belly filler, I swear it resurrected me after a long hard slog at Khan el-Khalili.

Khan el-Khalili is one of Cairo’s largest souk’s and is a tourist hotspot. Potentially the only time I felt a little on edge security wise, in the depths of the market you’ll find an intricate maze of market stall after market stall. It was here I did my best work, dropping some cold hard on a jazzy artesian rug and a hoard of Egyptian gold jewellery. Just remember to put your hard ass hat on and only pay what you want to.

The final verdict on Cairo and Giza? Make Giza home base and enjoy the pyramids in all of their glory. Cairo’s big city vibes make for a brilliant day out, but can feel a little intense for the everyday traveller.

Talk to as many locals as you can and don’t let stern warnings from concerned friends back home, stop you from making a friend or two along the way.

Don’t be fooled into thinking the Pyramids are all Giza and Cairo really have to offer, with a mountain of wonderful day trips and adventures to be had – Memphis, Saqqara and the Sahara to mention a few – this little pocket of the world has your name scribbled all over it.

Bombshell

Bought about by my slow decline over the hill and my steady approach to an imminent quarter life crisis, I have been doing some serious searching of the soul lately. Journeying on as deep of a trail of self-discovery as my encumbered soul can muster, I have come to one important realisation.

My favourite colour is no longer yellow.

Having only just come to terms with this calibre of bombshell (measuring -1 on the bombshell metre, a bit like me), I am still finding it difficult to discuss openly. I am however, choosing to push through my fiery inner turmoil and break down the stigma, in the desperate hopes that my words help anyone else in a similar position.

I have spent the last 23 cushy years of my existence believing yellow, in all of its kind, warm hues was my numero uno – oh how wrong I was. I am now, after much internal assessment, announcing my allegiance with green and I encourage y’all to do the same.

If my laborious, overly-detailed and mildly-waffled explanation was not evidence enough, I bring before the court, my smoking gun – this Georgia Alice dress.

Ladies, gentlemen and our gender fluid friends, I rest my case.

Wearing: Georgia Alice dress found here, Celine necklace found here and jerky grin.

Sisterhood

These pants have magic powers and no, not the kind that bring America Ferrera and Blake Lively together after a long, difficult summer. No, these pants are the positive self-esteem heroes of our generation, in other words, not Blake Lively. They bring love handles and muffins tops together after long, over-indulgent summers and house them in one beautiful, corded flare pant – happy tears.

My college experience saw me gain the revered Freshmen 15lbs in six months after an onslaught of non-Mexican Mexican food and $1 screwdrivers and in the aftermath, these pants were my only salvation.

Let this be a lesson for you all, in times of need you must always, always turn to Gucci and teen movies highlighting the importance of female friendship and/or sisterhood.

Wearing: Gucci pants, Acne Studios tee and Balenciaga heels.

Minimalism

As you can tell, I’m a devout minimalist. With the help of Confucius, Socrates and of course, Ikea, I have transformed my cluttered, chaotic life into an austere and restrained existence. No longer do I indulge in the practices of materialism, exhibiting the finer qualities of the Minimalistic lifestyle, and it is just that, a lifestyle.

This emotional upheaval is a change that has transcended into my sartorial choices, with my clothing now representing the discreet nature of my minimalistic life. As you can see, my garmets adhere to a strict black, white and grey palate, and serving merely as practical, functional items of apparel.

If you two are looking to simplify your life and your fashion choices, feel free to contact me for tips, tricks and words of wisdom (bullshit).

Wearing: Rat and Boa dress & Josh Goot corset, similar here.

Dirty, stinkin’ toes

I have one rule I thought was never to be broken – if I’m wearing a jumpsuit and it’s not giving me a camel toe, it ain’t no jumpsuit of mine. You’d be as startled as me to find that this denim number has broken my cardinal rule, gasps. No camels or their dirty, stinkn’ toes in sight, who would’ve thunk it?!

In high school I was permanently settled up the asses of all of my teachers and was never a preacher of the ‘rules are meant to be broken’ passage, but as it turns out, not all jumpsuits give you camel toe – miraculous, hey?

Cotton On has me singing happy tunes of elation in this stretchy, denim onesie and boy does it feel good. Total comfort and all without a hefty price tag, you beauty.

Wearing: Cotton on jumpsuit, similar found here and here, vintage Chanel belt, similar found here and here, with affordable version here.

Good Juju

There is only one thing I like more than being a materialistic, fashion consumer and that is animals. I grew up with two dogs, two cats and two older brothers, so we always had a house full of smelly, halitosis suffering creatures – all of whom I adored wholeheartedly.

Fast forward a decade and while I don’t share living quarters with as many brothers, the animal count is still up there and healthy. I like my pets more than most people I know and in an attempt to bring some good juju to my family, I recently dropped by an RSPCA thrifty to find some threads.

I left with an armful of clothes, jewels and the good juju I had been so desperately searching for. Helping critters like my own find homes and health care, while replenishing my not-so-empty clothing stores, who could say no that?

Wearing: Thrifted tee, shorts and blazer, Lucy Folk clutch found here.

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Amicable breakup

I want to celebrate my brief, but non-the-less loving union with this Gucci backpack before I send it, well, packing. You see, as much as I L.O.V.E dropping a dollarydoo on a fancy-pants piece of fashun, I have champagne taste on a beer budget. My solution is reselling.

While it served me a great deal of purpose to have this glorious backpack in my arsenal of wallet carrying vessels, it is time to move on.

A bit like an amicable breakup, I am sadly bidding farewell to this masterful piece of cowhide and gold.  I’ll never forget you Gucci, the first backpack I’ve loved since my year four Spider Man number – what an honour it has been.

Wearing: Understated Leather jacket similar here, Abrand jeans, Asos crop similar here and Gucci backpack.

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Like only animal print can

As a cold blooded creature and maybe even a medical step behind in the evolutionary process – see jawbone for reference –  I am at one with the animals.  Big, little, flea infested and all, I clearly have Bindi Irwin blood pumping through my icy veins.

Harnessing my innate animalistic spirit, I have translated my love for the animal kingdom into my sartorial choices – this Rat and Boa leopard number meeting all of the requirements. It’s glorious silky goodness is warming my snake-like heart like only animal print can.

Do yourself and Bindi a favour and get your greasy grubbers on this bad boy ASAP.

Wearing: Rat and Boa ‘Valentina’ dress & Balenciaga earring.

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Frosty Fruit

I heart the Winter Olympics.

There’s nothing as cathartic as sitting my hind quarters down, grabbing a Frosty Fruit and placing empty bets with Dad on which Athlete of Russia will be caught doping next – apparently all of them. What’s not to like?

When the curtains closed on the spectacle that was, I fell into a sad state of lowly depression. Not even smashing a Frosty Fruit or trying to cash in those bets I dropped with fazher could cheer me up.

Out of sheer desperation and in dire need of a pick-me-up, I turned to the only thing I knew would heal me – retail therapy. It was there, in the depths of the interwebs that I found the band aid I needed.

This glorious With Jean number is not sartorially satisfying, but it’s as patriotic as an American – green and gold baby! Gold medal for this frock.

Wearing: vintage clutch similar found here, With Jean Camille dress, Front Row Store mules similar found here.
Photography:  Anastasia Borrelli

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