MovingFarAwayFilter: GF is dead-set on moving from Brooklyn to Cairo, Egypt, for at least a year. I'm pretty resistant to the idea since I love NYC and, if forced to move outside the US, there are hundreds of cities I'd rather move to. I desperately need some 1st/2nd person accounts of living in Cairo / Egypt to help make this decision.
posted by NolanRyanHatesMatches to grab bag (43 answers total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
General background: we both work for magazines in NYC, are in our late-20s, social, pretty culturally-oriented (go to concerts/readings/etc. as often as possible, go to parties -- of friends, at warehouses, etc. -- regularly on the weekends), and generally live the lives that you might expect from young, social Brooklynites.
Her background: works in literature/poetry, certified Third Culture Kid, moved around as part of a US State Dept. family every two years, has lived in various Middle Eastern countries (including Cairo in high school for two years), speaks and reads Arabic at a decent level, is desperate to move away from the US, seeks "adventure" but scoffs at the idea of living anywhere in Central America, South America, and Europe. Seems to be basically zeroed-in on Cairo, Alexandria, or another Middle Eastern country. I've floated the idea of staying somewhere / various places for three-four months at a time, but she would rather spend one or two years in one place. At present time, she also seems to value moving away more than job prospects, so she's not necessarily looking for an editing/writing job.
I grew up knowing that I'd move to NYC and have loved living here, love our extended group of friends, love pretty much everything the city offers. My job is here (although could be done, with some effort, outside of the city), my friends are here, and so is my heart. I really, really don't want to move (but love to travel, just not relocate). But, I love my GF (long-term) more than any of it, and she wants to head out, no question.
Were I forced to move, I'd probably pick either a metropolitan city in Central America, South Amerca, or Europe: Mexico City, Quito, Buenos Aires, Sao Paolo, Lima, Belmopan, Barcelona, London, Dublin, Rome, Budapest, Vienna, Berlin, etc.); or, a sleepier town, bucolic town in C/S America or Europe, of which I know hundreds, and there are probably thousands that I don't know about that I would love.
Basically, what are the chances that I would enjoy living in Cairo? How heavy is the cultural bend towards Arab/Muslin trends? Will there be clubs to go to at night? Might I enjoy the music scene there? Is there a healthy cultural conversation w/r/t Western literature? Would I be somewhat shocked by what the law disallows? Is there a chance that I'll feel as if I'm in a European metropolis? Will I have a tough time continuing my online work from Cairo? Can I get by with English, or will I have to spend serious time learning Arabic? I get the feeling that I might like Cairo over other big Middle Eastern cities, but I can't shake the supposition that I'd other big cities that I know and love over Cairo.
I'd love to hear any 1st/2nd person experiences about living in Cairo, or any suggestions of websites/blogs that chronicle what day-to-day life is like in Cairo. I'd like to be open-minded about the prospect of living there, but I can't seem to find any information sources that will help me make the decision, and I think I have a deep-seated wariness of being a Westernized guy living in Egypt / Middle East. Any help at all would be much appreciated