Apartment grief

I saw another couple of apartments today, here in Downtown. These ones work out to about $125/week before I start haggling, which is the same as what I pay at this pension, but of course you get privacy, a kitchen etc. I’m not an industrial chemical kinda girl, but this one requires a healthy dose of Uber-Domestos.

I don’t know what to do. It’s not a rich area (obviously, by the price of the rent), but the lift is DISASTEROUS and the stairwell is filthy. The apartment is on the top floor, with lovely breezes through the doors that lead out to the two little balconies with some furniture and a cleaning lady once a week for about $5. (I know, I’m ok with that!)

It would normally be nice to say you look down on the rooftops of the city, but Cairo rooftops are full of rubbish. It’s by no means glamorous, though it looks right across the city. My rich Cairene friend would be horrified. But it’s cheap enough that I can keep it even though I’ll be away a fair bit of the next 10 weeks, and not have to worry about the cost of rent. The nice expat places are about four times the price. And I am too selfish to share…

Should I just take it? Should I wait to see a few more in a slightly quieter area? One concern is the terrible lift (like those little ones in France, tiny birdcages, but this one is pretty rugged). You have to close the doors properly to make it work. And apparently Egyptians don’t close the doors properly, so it would mean an 11-floor trek.

About the author

Fear is found on a creaking glacier in the Caucasus mountains and joy is encapsulated in the perfect Shanghai dumpling. And while I love a $500-a-night hotel room (who doesn’t?), sometimes the best stories are found in a $20 guesthouse. With an eye always out for good markets and great street eats, I write the travel news and features for the Sydney Morning Herald and Melbourne’s The Age newspapers, and features for whoever else asks. I have a particular soft spot for the wilds of the Middle East, scarves and carpets. My articles and photographs have been published in a range of consumer magazines and newspapers in Australia and abroad.

2 thoughts on “Apartment grief

  1. There’s mess, and there’s Egyptian mess… My apartment advisor has said not to take it straight away. Wait a day, and the price will fall, as it did for another friend yesterday. Hmmmm I’m not so good on tactics…

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