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Prior to my arrival to Cairo, I was told it had two unredeemable qualities: smog and harassment. Of the former I can confirm, indeed, the city is dusty, in certain places utterly filthy, and a day's walk merits a long shower. As in any new environment, there is a cultural code in Cairo that a visitor is obliged to follow, especially as it relates to relations between the sexes. While those with a penchant for romanticism might prefer Islamic Cairo, the area is but a part of the metropolis, which hosts a nightlife scene where the fruity trail of shisha permanently wafts through the air, with its various cafes and, depending where you are, dimly lit sprawling restaurants.Though it might offer reprieve from the more clamorous atmosphere of central Cairo, it feels private, and the streets appear lifeless after dark.
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