It was a Sunday afternoon and Uzoma was in a slow- moving traffic on her way to the airport. Her sister Ego, had offered to drop her off. “I can’t wait for you to tell me all about your trip. Why did you choose Egypt?” Ego asked. “You know I love everything about the pyramids. I can’t wait to actually see these things and learn more about them. “This trip is going to be full of adventures. I’m not sure it’ll be a relaxing one but I’ll try to relax.” Uzoma laughed. As they drove into the carpark, Uzoma thought about how she had to cajole Ego into driving her to the airport. In usual Ego fashion, she made her promise to buy her souvenirs from her trip. “Try to enjoy yourself. Just fully immerse yourself in whatever you’re doing there. Don’t forget to buy my stuff or I’ll not come to get you when you get back.” Ego whispered cheekily. They hugged and bade themselves farewell.
“I won’t forget to buy your stuff because I still need you to come and get me from the airport.” Uzoma said and laughed. “I’ll let you know when I land. Love you and take care.” As she wheeled her box into the departures lounge, she tried to focus on the journey ahead and became excited at the thought of having a few days to be away from work.
On getting to Cairo, armed with her passport and negative COVID 19 PCR test, she was ready to find the Wakanow representative at the airport. Getting a visa on arrival in Cairo meant that she had to find a Wakanow representative or a KARNAK office in the airport to get a visa on arrival stamp. Looking through the crowd, she saw a young man holding a board displaying Wakanow. She walked up to him and gave him the needed information before they both walked to the office where she was going to get her stamp.
“This is all so seamless.” She thought to herself. After sorting that out, she was assigned a cab driver to take her to her hotel for the night. The cab driver, Idris, seemed very friendly and gave her a brief lecture on the warmth of Egyptians. He also showed her where to get some of the best coffee in Cairo. While in the cab, she concluded that she was going to share a meal with the driver. Even if it was just to learn a bit more about their culture, food and history. “Hi, Idris, what Egyptian food would you recommend I try first?” She asked as she settled into the back seat of the cab. She told Idris this, as they were on their way to her hotel to drop off her luggage in her room.
The next morning, as she got ready to go on her first tour: the Cairo city tour, she thought of the things Idris had taught her about Egyptian culture. It was captivating and she listened with rapt attention. They had both eaten Kushari because Idris had assured her that it was worth the try. Uzoma thought it was delicious and told Idris that they had to do it again. He assured her that after her daily tours, he’d come to pick her up to try a new meal. “I wonder what food we’ll try next.” She thought to herself as she walked to the hotel lobby. It was time to join the rest of the group for the first city tour. Their itinerary was full of endless activities but she was most excited about going to another city: Sharm – El Sheikh. Her tour group had a ton of things to explore in Sharm El Sheikh like the desert safari and quad biking tour. She also went on a yatch cruise where they had a fancy dinner, went parasailing and finally back to Cairo to get their PCR tests done.
On the day Uzoma was to return to Lagos, she received a souvenir from Idris. It was a pyramid-like keyholder and in that moment, she was grateful for the entire experience.