Friday, June 11, 2010

Differences in Culture Part One

Drinking. In regards to alcohol, it’s actually very similar to what happens in the states. People drink wine and beer at parties and small gatherings, that’s no different. The legal age is 18 here, but I’m sure that the reality is probably the same as in the United States, where many underage teenagers drink. I think that many more do here, because there does not seem to be anything culturally (Unless devoted Muslim) against drinking, and I don’t think the police could be bothered about it.

No, the biggest difference in drinking actually is related to food as well. In America, when you go out to eat at a restaurant you can expect to order your drink first and get it before your dinner. Then when your dinner arrives the glass is never empty unless you say you don’t want anymore. But here in Egypt it is slightly flip flopped. The habit is to eat your food and then get a drink. Now, water is always provided, so it is right there on the table, but since I’ve been here I have noticed that most Egyptians do not really drink anything while eating, rather waiting till the meal is finished. There are of course, exceptions to this and whatnot, but I’d say this is true at least 90% of the time.

Some might say this is a weird topic to write a post about, but I thought it was interesting and the first time I went out to eat I was really surprised that you do not order your drink before the meal, but rather after. However, it is acceptable request it with your meal, which is what I did. I have also tried requesting a drink after a meal too at a different place, but I think I will stick to having a (non-alcoholic) drink as I eat. I guess I’m just too used to it from home.

Picture # 152

*I think I might write about food next, after I learn some more about the cooking here.


  1. First off, thats awesome because I never drink while eating, always afterwards and have been told by my family that I am odd.

    Second, I love how you can see your arm and your camera in your sunglasses.

  2. on another glance, that might be a rail. but it looks like an arm?

  3. Haha great eye! I was walking around without my tripod and I did go hand held. I was trying to line it up decently with a post so it would be hard to tell, but of course there is only so much you can do. Thanks!
    And know you know you'd do just fine surviving in Egypt. ;)