Jan
26

A Gay date through the streets of Cairo.

The door-opened lights went on in the dorm as if it was not 2am. I woke up pissed, but was freezing cold and needed to pee. I realized it was the hostel worker showing people the dorm. I handled my business, and then went up to him and asked him for an extra blanket. I thought, “hmmm he is cute”. We gave each other a look, but wasn’t sure if it was the “oh hey I am gay too look” or the “oh hey we accidentally caught each other looking at each other look”. He asked me to follow him to the closet. He made small talk… “Where are you from?” “What’s your name?” I didn’t think anything of it, and then in the closet for a split second we looked at each other and I swear he was going to reach out and kiss me. Me on the other hand thought “OMG I WANT TO JUMP HIS BONES”, but thought to myself “Jaime you are half asleep and just got here in Egypt don’t get crazy calm the fuck down”. So I got my blanket and went back to sleep.

I got up in the morning to enjoy my free breakfast; he was still around and I swear we were looking at each other like “hey lets fuck”, but ugh I have horrible gay-dar so never take action until I know. I had my free breakfast and went back to sleep (as usual). I finally got out of bed and went to the lobby with my daypack and had planned to work on my blog a bit before heading out and exploring Cairo. Moments later he sat near me and asked me what I had seen of Cairo I mentioned not much. He then offered to take me out and show me a bit. I thought “okay I can’t pass this up… he is cute, a local and I am pretty sure on my team”. I packed up my stuff and got ready for a mini date through the streets of Cairo.

So there we were… outside of the hostel and he asked me what I wanted to do. I had no clue… I know I wanted to explore Cairo, but was not sure what to do or see. He said, “we’ll start by visiting Tahrir Square and go from there”. We made our way to the Square and along the way I had him repeat his name like a million times because I didn’t remember it from the morning and couldn’t pronounce it to save my life. I felt like such an idiot… at one point he even told me to call him whatever I wanted. I felt horrible… (Now a few days later I can pronounce it well). We made it to the Square and he pointed out some key points from the revolution and he told me that he was there too fighting along the rest of the people. I was in awe… I couldn’t believe it.

Streets of Cairo, Egypt!

We had a tea and then he showed me around the back neighborhoods where you can see signs of the revolution. I asked so many questions and learned so much about it. He recognizes that the people of Egypt have come a long way since the start of the revolution, but still have a long way to go to be where they want to be.

We were making our way to a locals market and I still wasn’t sure if he was or wasn’t on my team. Then finally after dropping a few hints my self we started talking about our sexuality. I asked him how it was to be gay in Egypt. He let me know it’s very hard, because no one can find out. If someone does you will be shamed from your family, be beat or could even be killed for being so. My heart sank when I heard this as it does every time I hear this. I also learned a bit about what is required of the men during and after school in Egypt. They must finish University in a career that is not chosen by them and then serve in the military for a year before they can decide what to do with their lives.

Streets of Cairo, Egypt!

We continued chatting away making our way through areas of Cairo I’m sure I would have never seen on my own. We then had lunch before calling it a day. He hadn’t slept and I was a bit tired from walking about 5 hours. We made plans to meet up later that night.

 Streets of Cairo, Egypt!

We met up later that night and made our way to a free live Egyptian dance show that is shown in a theatre nearby. On this night it was a mix of Egyptian & Indian music. It was very interesting and nice to see. He then took me and showed me around another market and mosque. While we were walking around the market he put his arm around mine. I was a bit shocked… never had I held a guys arm wondering around a city (not even at home), but then I remembered that in Arabic countries it’s normal. For them it is a sign of friendship and can be seen everywhere. I loved everything about this, it was all too sweet and a beautiful feeling.

We then met up with his friends and enjoyed some tea and chatted away. It was already getting late, but I was having a good time and wasn’t worried. He then invited me over to his friend’s house for a beer and to chat a bit more. It was so nice to be welcomed into an Egyptian home. We ended up having a beer along with some finger food and after a while of chatting decided to call it a night.

Streets of Cairo, Egypt!

His friend had a spare bedroom so we decided to take advantage of it. We had our first kiss and one thing led to another. Even though we were both exhausted we ended up not sleeping much and spent the night chatting away and enjoying each others company.

I love that this is how I spent my 1st full day in Cairo. I have always wanted to visit Egypt and Cairo is city I have wanted to visit my entire life. I don’t believe in luck, but everything about this was pure luck. I had no clue a simple blanket request and a few looks would lead to such an amazing experience. I know it may not sound amazing in writing, but for me it truly was. This guy is a sweet heart and I like him a lot, but we both know we are just having fun and enjoying each others company. We’ve spent several days since then together and exploring Cairo. The thing is I am loving Egypt so far, but it’s not giving me the same feeling Nicaragua or Turkey gave me in the essence of I must come back (at least not yet). So for now I am going to enjoy this and cherish every minute of it while I can.

The rest of the story:

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Comments

  1. Wow sounds like you got quite the local experience! Pretty awesome story!
    Aaron @ Aaron’s Worldwide Adventures recently posted..Photo Essay: Scenes From Tahrir Square

  2. Aw, that’s so nice and I’m so happy for you! It’s good to hear that things seem to be turning around for you in the romance department! ;-)
    Val recently posted..a story about love.

  3. Aw, you lucky boy :) So glad your first day in Cairo was… remarkable!!! Beer, sex… You broke all the rules, LOL :)
    Giulia recently posted..January 25th, 2011: The Egyptian Revolution on my Timeline

    • I know Giulia, this was pure luck… Cairo has been amazing so far and I know for a fact it’s cus of him. I’m seeing & doing so much thanks to him. Oh & yes I broke all the rules…lol… I’m horrible.

  4. Thanks for sharing this story J. It was beautiful and tactful, and in a round about way you were able to shed some light on the ridiculous social inequalities and terrible punishments LGBT people in Egypt face. Thank you for that.
    And for the record, yes, what happened was amazing!
    Brock – Backpack With Brock recently posted..Five Things To Do And See In The Newcastle, UK Region

    • Thanks Brock, yes I didn’t want to make it all about the inequalities we face here, but wanted to make sure I mentioned them. It’s insane and I know I say it every time… it really does break my heart, because I know we face them at home too. Oh & yes this was amazing… and crazy that I’m still seeing him. I’m scared to get hurt.

  5. LMAO

    Good for you.
    Jorge recently posted..Yeah, Yeah, Yeah.

  6. This is awesome. Your experience reminded me of the time I exchanged glances with some French-Arabic guy I met in Marseille. And then he ended up showing me around the city. Miss that day. Hope the rest of your stay in Cairo is as great!
    Harrison recently posted..Glimpse of Galveston & Texas Gulf Coast

    • Thanks Harrison, ahh it’s these experiences we will remember for ages to come. I hope my stay in Cairo continues to be great, so far so good!!!

  7. I love the feeling of not knowing a place and then turning up, meeting locals, and sharing meals and being invited into homes. You always hope it will happen and often it does.

    Enjoy Cairo, m’dear!
    Heather recently posted..The time I went to Istanbul, continued!

  8. Looks like Cairo will be quite memorable for you!

    Can’t wait to read more about it!
    Sarah recently posted..Falling In Love (again!) in Darjeeling

  9. Oh my gosh! What an amazing story! I am so happy for you! And you are mistaken, it sounds absolutely AMAZING in writing! As I was reading, I felt like I was watching a novela and couldn’t wait to see what was going to happen next! : ) Take care!

    • SUSANA…. OMG HOW ARE YOU? Sorry I get so excited when a friend from home comments!!!

      Thanks you are right it really is amazing and whats happening now is even more amazing. & yes I tend to write as if my life is a novela… you know a bit dramatic…lol!!!

      xoxo

      • I’m fine! I love how excited you are, you are too sweet! I can’t wait to continue reading about your amazing experiences! Take care!

  10. A date with a local is the absolute ideal way to explore a city!

    Wonderful. Simply wonderful.

    So serendipitous!
    K. Syrah recently posted..The Transient Feeling

  11. Hi Jaime,

    Great entry, I thoroughly enjoyed it! Please check your inbox. I’m a documentary photographer looking to profile LGBT life in Cairo for a Swedish LGBT magazine, and we’d love your help. Thanks!

  12. I LOVE IT,great story cant wait to hear more about it !!!! god bless u and always take good care of you !!!!!
    i love u so much !!!!

  13. aweeee! The feeling of seeing a new city, mountain, new sunset, etc in a new place is awesome… but its even more amazing to be able to connect with another soul in an intimate way. I read this today and thought of you “We cannot judge another culture through the lens of our own cultural compass.” Queen Rania Al Abdullah of Jordan
    xox

    • ALMA… miss ya! Yes those feelings are amazing but then experiencing them with someone else is just so much more amazing. I love that quote… love it. I am going to tweet it!!!

  14. OMG!! I don’t know how I missed this…but this is the sweetest story EVER! I am so unbelievably happy for you.
    Sheryll recently posted..La Boqueria: The Most Magical Market Ever

  15. A great encounter with the locals

  16. QueenBrain12 says:

    You had not shared this story with me but I ‘m glad I finally got to read about the date! Enjoy the feeling of love!!!!!

    xoxo
    QueenB

  17. What an awesome experience…it gives me confidence that I can continue trusting people as much as I do…and look at the amazing people that live in this world. Great story!
    Allison recently posted..Shooting in the Sonoran Desert

  18. Great to read about your experience, Jaime! Thank you for charing! Gives me hope since I will be visiting Cairo soon myself, and I’m looking forward to experience some gay life there too… Have been chatting with a very sweet local guy, who has promised to show me around the big C.
    Hope your trip was a success!
    I promise to be careful!

    • Jaime Davila says:

      Glad you were able to find this Jocke & glad it gives you hope. I hope you enjoy Cairo as much as I did. Sounds like you will be meeting a sweet Cairn soon & can enjoy a bit of the gay life soon even though ain’t much but drinking tea or beer, but it’s still amazing. Yes please be careful and if you need anything let me know.

  19. Um you are adorable! What a welcome to Egypt! My first day in Cairo I thought I was going to be gang-banged, no lie!

    I love your honesty and openness on here! Great post!

    • Jaime Davila says:

      Thanks Liz so much. I kinda wanna hear about your 1st day in Cairo? Seems crazy, but at the same point I know how the men are here with women.

  20. wow–what a story and what a time, right before the Egyptian revolution unfolded in front of your eyes!

    I was feeling butterflies, as if I were there :)

    I lived in Egypt for a year back in 2008 and I miss it so much. Did you happen to drive by Agouza? It’s a middle-class Egyptian neighborhood in Cairo, about 5 min. drive from Tahrir Sq. That’s where I lived.

    - Maria Alexandra
    nomadic translator @LatinAbroad recently posted..A year in travel (and life): My 2012 roller coaster ride

    • Jaime Davila says:

      Hey Maria, yeah I was here for the one year anniversary and it was beautiful. I love Cairo so much and it’s good to hear others that have lived here too and love it too. It’s one of the most amazing places on Earth… where old and new mix teetering on breaking…lol. Not sure if I have visited Agouza or not… I’ve been all over this city and half the time don’t know where I am at. I’m living in Downtown again… love it so much here.

  21. Love your story. I hope your friend is still doing well in Cairo ;) Egypt is such a male oriented country, that it must be really hard for him to express his true self. I plan to visit Cairo next week. I live in El Gouna down south a few hours. Would love it if you could share your favorite spots in Cairo. All the best.
    Naomi recently posted..Think Traffic’s Mentorship Entry

    • Jaime Davila says:

      Thanks Naomi, he is doing great… we are doing great!!! Yes Egypt is very male oriented country, but can still be enjoyed by a women. Send me an email… I will be here and would love to meet up with you & show you around. My email is breakawaybackpacker(@)gmail.com

  22. Jaime,
    I love stories of romance when traveling! I’d like to link to this blog post on my company facebook page. I work for HE Travel, a gay tour company that has been running tours to Egypt for nearly 40 years, back when we had to call gay travel “tours for discerning gentlemen.” People are always asking us what the gay scene is like in other countries, and your story is so sweet and spontaneous!

    Zach
    P.S. I found your blog because I was doing a bit of research for our upcoming Nile Cruise:
    http://hetravel.com/gay-travel/nile-in-style-gay-egypt-tour-gay-nile-cruise/

    • Jaime Davila says:

      Hi Zach, wow thanks for the comment. That’s so awesome to hear you cater tours in Egypt to gay men. It’s that not many people are visiting right now and even more sad that many gay people think it’s dangerous to visit not just Egypt, but the Middle East and well that is not the case. I’d love if you shared the post and let me know if you need anything else I could help you with. Good luck with the gay nile cruise… that just sounds amazing.

      • Hi Jaime,
        We posted your article to our facebook, you can like us here: http://www.facebook.com/hetravel
        We’re also reblogging on our HE Travel Blog. We’ve credited everything to you and backlinked to your site. I hope our readers will come check out your site and read more about your adventures! http://hetravel.com/a-gay-date-through-the-streets-of-cairo/

        We actually run quite a few tours to gorgeous locations like Israel, Morocco, South Africa, and Colombia; places not typically thought of as gay friendly. We should all get to see the world and be comfortable being gay while we travel!

        Have a great day!
        Zach

        • Jaime Davila says:

          Hi Zach, sorry for the late reply been on the move the last few days and I’m now actually home. Thank you so much for sharing that story means a lot to me and I hope it inspires other to realize it is safe to be gay and travel the world.

  23. oh how nice
    I love your story and the way you telling it
    I will be sure I read every thing U wrote and will write
    I feel lucky to finde someone like you to speek my mind in such a thing

  24. Well as an Egyptian I can tell this is a chance you may not have in a lifetime in Egypt. And you got it on your FIRST day!! You sure are extremely lucky :D

    • Jaime Davila says:

      Thanks Abdallah, I know it was all by chance and it’s crazy even when I just think about how it all happened. I miss him & Egypt so much. A part of me thinks I will be back.

  25. Egypt. loving every part of it! I was afraid at the first time then when someone in the coffee shop ‘show me the way’, I’m looking back no more! huhu.

  26. Mo Farag says:

    Such a wonderful story Jamie, I’m an Egyptian who lives in Agouza and I love that you had such a beautiful experience in Cairo and your story gave me a lot of hope and good feelings. I’m sad that you are no longer together and I would have loved to have met you after reading pretty much your entire blog in Egypt.

    And yes you are quite lucky to have had such a beautiful experience on your first day…all from asking for an extra blanket.

    I hope more people like you pass by this country more often.

    • Jaime Davila says:

      Thanks so much Mo. I had such an amazing experience in Egypt. It’s a country I hold near to my heart for many reasons. It’s crazy that it all started because I asked for a blanket. Now we are dealing with heart break. I hope you are safe and that you are happy in life!!! If you ever need anything let me know.

      • Mo Farag says:

        Egypt definitely is the land of ironies and contradictions. It has so much to offer yet its fortunes are very picky on whom it looks. While you love this country very much and were dazzled by it, many Egyptians have a deep longing to leave this country and its frustrations, and I gave up trying to figure Egypt out all together and just make the best.

        I must say though, your story had a profound impact on me because the impression i have of Egyptians on “our team” may be very much like that which you have of the urban scene in any large North American city. Your experience was perhaps the most genuine possible and I thank you for sharing it and changing my perception of my own folk.

        • Jaime Davila says:

          Mo I agree with every thing you said about Egypt that is all true. Ahh it’s such a vast land of Mystery. I’m happy to hear my story had an impact on you. It’s a very personal story but one I am happy I shared because it’s reached the hearts of many and opened people to a whole new world of what really can happen in Cairo.

  27. James Mason says:

    hey jamie, i don’t suppose your hostel was in talaat harb street by chance? i suppose you wont remember now :)
    just last week in cairo (bit of a crazy time to visit) i had a very similar experience, almost to the point where i could have written your article with just a few minor modifications. like you i was grateful for the unexpected encounter, but aside from that i was actually quite surprised at how relaxed egyptians are about homosexuality. i wouldn’t say i’m shamelessly flamboyant, but clearly colourful enough for people to guess my sexuality. i got more than a few winks from men on the streets, and even some brazen advances and inappropriate grabs (can you imagine?) at first this scared me as i thought they were doing this in a mocking sort of way, but thankfully after a few street-side conversations i realised this was not the case.
    i’d be interested to know of the experiences of other gay travellers in egypt (particularly cairo) my friend suggested that perhaps i had elevated levels of attention due to the fact that there were so few tourists at the time, i suppose this may in part have contributed to my experience but surely not entirely.
    thanks for the article anyway! it was fun to read given how similar our situations were!

    • Jaime Davila says:

      Oh James… the hostel I stayed at was actually on Talaat Harb street. I remember every moment I spent with him during my time in Cairo. We still talk every day and are trying to figure things out. I am happy to know though that the guy you had an encounter similar to mine was not my man jajaj. Thanks to me he got fired from his job… very long story. As for the men and homosexuality in Cairo… it’s out htere and big time. It’s just something people don’t talk about. It’s like a hidden taboo that’s not hidden but people just let it be. I’m glad you have a good time there and had some flirts as well…lol!!! How long were you in Egypt for? Where else did you go? Ahh I so wanna go back.

  28. James Mason says:

    oh no way! he got fired?? how sad! can you tell me how this happened? as far as i know my intimate encounter will likely remain very private, unless (for some ungodly reason) he decides to confess. i desperately hope not.. if he got fired i would feel very sad and sick!
    but yeah for sure i got the feeling that homosexuality was fairly prevalent in egyptian society.. even more-so perhaps bisexuality? i duno. egyptian men are possibly just very sexually intense
    and yes i also want to go back to cairo desperately! i am in delhi now, but leaving for bangkok tomorrow :( i was only in egypt for one week and didn’t get any further than giza! i wanted to go further south, and north to alexandria of course.. but time was not working in my favour and i also was very sick for three days. they also closed the pyramids so i semi-hung-out-too-long in cairo in hope of a re-open :)
    i’m so happy you keep in touch with your egyptian romance, i haven’t been so fortunate. but, we do have facebook so maybe i’ll revisit now!

    • Jaime Davila says:

      Yes James, sadly he did but that is a whole other story as well that would only share in person and not on here. I think it’s that they are sexually intense. It’s a shame you only spent a week in Egypt… hope you go back one day and explore more of what that country has to offer.

      • James Mason says:

        totally, it sounds like a nightmare. i wouldn’t expect you to share that on here, i’m not sure what i was thinking when i asked that.
        but yes, thank you! i hope you also get to revisit egypt again soon (or perhaps after the situation has calmed) take care!

        • Jaime Davila says:

          Oh no James, you can ask me anything. Seriously I don’t worry about things like that. That’s just a story that I hate because it was my fault, but things all worked out in the end and he is doing better now.

  29. Read your blog. I came to it because of your passport post. So good to read about your experiences in Egypt. I want to go one day as well. Your post has kept me thinking about what happened to the lad you met there. Maybe you will go back again and find your love.

    • Jaime Davila says:

      Hi Odzer, thanks for the comment. I am happy you enjoyed my experience in Egypt. As for what happened to him… I still talk to him just about every day and miss him so much. Right now I’m planning to travel some more and then hopefully go back and live in Egypt for a while, but not sure. I do know I miss him though.

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