Reblogged with permission by the Breakaway Backpacker, Jaime Davila
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 f*** 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 f***”, 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Thanks, Jaime, for letting us share your sweet story of romance on the road! –HE Travel