After missing a spot on the overnight sleeper train from Cairo to Aswan, Shaun and I boarded a public train in the Nefertiti section. The floors, once white, were blackened with grit, the seats, once green, were charcoal coloured vomit, and it is hard to say if it was ever possible to see out of the windows. Our 6 seater cabin smelt like a mixture of smoke, camels, sweat and animal faeces. The train guards were quick to notice that we were the only two people in the six seater cabin, and proceeded to ask us for a bribe to keep the rest of the seats free (although no one had actually booked them). After accepting our bribe (a few dollars), they promptly advertised the cabin to anyone else willing to offer a higher bribe and in the middle of the night Shaun was woken up to accomodate another passenger. The night climaxed when the train stopped and I fell right onto the lap of a sleeping Egyptian man, and our frustration peaked when we realised the 12 hour ride was delayed to 15 hours.
Making a serious attempt not to touch
any part of the cabin or breathe in
any of the filthy air.