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<   No. 3954   2019-03-21   >

Comic #3954

1 {scene: on board a plane}
1 Prof. Jones: I have to admit, the first time I visited Cairo in my youth, I was rather shocked by the poverty compared to my privileged upbringing.
2 Monty: Yes. People living in slum conditions, without running water or sewerage. Children on the streets.
3 Monty: Run down and crumbling tenements, shared by extended families in close proximity.
4 Prof. Jones: Maybe I shouldn't mention the lack of schnitzel houses?
4 Minnesota Jones: That one down the street from our house was good.

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I visited Cairo in my youth - when I was ten years old. I was indeed shocked by all of the things that Monty mentions. I actually stayed with a local family, in their very run down apartment, not in a tourist hotel. I remember the bare concrete steps, so worn down by feet that the centre was virtually a ramp, and you had to walk on the edges of the steps to get a safe foothold. The toilet was a hole in the floor, with a bucket of water by it. I didn't think then about where the hole went - but now I'm wondering. The family cooked meals on a propane burner. I don't think they were especially poor - they had a TV and a car. I guess at that time most of the population of Cairo lived in similar circumstances.

On reflection, I think it was a valuable formative experience.

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