Filed under: Trip to Egypt | Tags: Cairo, cheese omelet, COSI, cultural insight, culture, Egypt, respect, Steve Martin
Steve Martin does a routine on his album “Let’s Get Small” where he talks about learning to say “cheese omelet” in French. Armed with this limited knowledge, he enters a restaurant in Paris and proceeds to order a shoe with cheese on it while asking the waiter to force it down his throat.
After a day where the cultural insults I’ve been doling out have become almost ubiquitous, I’m starting to feel like I’ve had Steve’s cheese-covered shoe stuffed into my mouth. I’ve managed to display the sole of my shoe in public (a huge faux pas) and declined coffee when it was offered to me by an official (a nice display in the States, a rather egregious slight in Cairo). My fastidious attempts to be culturally sensitive have thus far resulted in a humbled sense of self and a strong taste of cheese in my mouth.