At 3am, inside the cab, the city is deserted and sort of menacing-looking to first time visitors, but by noon, when we've woken, we notice that the streets are clean, people are extraordinarily well-dressed, relaxed, and polite. The downtown district abounds with coffeeshops and Indian restaurants. There is construction happening behind our hotel, and the workers wear helmets and climb metal scaffolding. These are the things we're noticing after our 8 weeks in the Middle East.
I've got feeling of whiplash from flying from Egypt to Kenya. In Luxor, the temperature was 120 degrees Fahrenheit, forcing these skinflint travelers to splurge for rooms with A/C. In Nairobi, it's shot down to about 70, cool and overcast through most of the day. Security guards give you directions without expecting to be tipped. People ask you where you're from as a simple conversation starter, not as a means of suckering you into their shop--but we still have our guards up.
Mark and Juliah