It’s 9:00 on a Wednesday in Paris! I am drinking my cappuccino at home here in our flat at a typical Haussmann-designed building! And it’s Magnifique!

Yesterday, at 6 am, were at the 5 Star Le Meridien Hotel inside the New Cairo Airport and ready to make our trip to Paris. We walked 5 minutes over the lovely new Skybridge and into Airport Terminal 3. We got in line at the Egypt Air counter ready to Go Go Go! Super Easy!

At the airport, we were NOT hassled at all. Yeah, lots of triple redundant security checks were annoying but given the current atmosphere in the Middle East, the Egyptian authorities were fantastic! Same with the French.

Our 5-hour flight on our Boeing 787-300 was outstanding! The food was good too! Service was excellent!

Johnny Punish as his 4th Floor AirBnB Flat in Saint-Mandé, a suburb of Paris

Getting back into the EU at Charles De Gaulle Airport was super chill too! No hassles at customs or border control!

“Passport Please” No Questions! Stamped! Boom! Allez On Y Va!

Now, of course, the border patrol agent could see we left the EU just 14 days earlier and we’ve been to the EU before, most recently back in the COVID years of 2021! So I suspect that it was a clear sign we were not on any list of common profiles to further check.

So we got our baggage and walked out the door and boom “Taxi” “Taxi” was lobbed at us from random guys just standing outside the baggage claim. “No Merci”! “No!” They seemed unnecessarily assertive! I mean taxis in Paris with G7 are first class! What’s with these guys?

The Gods shining on Johnny Punish at the Temple of Karnak in Luxor; Feb 2024
Punish with Betty at the Cairo Museum

Anyways, we just ignored them and moved outside to get our G7 Taxi. However, those G7 guys outside were weird too! They would not give a price to Saint Mandes, our Paris suburb where we will be staying at an Airbnb for 1 month. That was NOT normal. G7 prices are set and paid for on their app. I didn’t have it on my working phone. Even the attendant who directed people traffic to the taxis was appalled. He directed us to the UBER area which was so appreciated.

As most know, UBER prices are set from the start and paid for on their app. I had that app. So UBER was the choice!

Side Note, in Cairo, UBER IS THE ONLY WAY TO GO. Price is set and paid for on the APP! Super easy! USING their taxis is hard work.  You have to negotiate incessantly over and over and over again until they wear you out. It’s their way and it isn’t very good; not in 2024!  They need to keep it up a major notch in this area!

Johnny Punish as his 4th Floor AirBnB Flat in Saint-Mandé, a suburb of Paris

As one might expect, the TAXI and UBERS in Egypt do NOT match the quality you find in Paris. So comparing the two is NOT fair or necessary. Egypt is a third-world country trying to lift itself. France is a first-world country. So be nice!

As for Luxor Egypt, no UBER service. It’s TAXI or nothing unless you don’t mind the slow but fun horse/carriage travel or their Rickshaws, called T0UKS’; those 3 wheel weird little vehicles. They do have buses but I didn’t see any semblance of organized timed buses so it was a go. Taxi in Luxor! But don’t worry, it’s NOT expensive! You just need to negotiate the deal up front!

It’s normal to see donkey carts and horse carriages on the back streets of Luxor, Egypt. We stayed in Al-Bairat on the West Bank and they are everywhere!  Cows too!  It’s a lovely trip back in time as Egyptians live in the slow lanes on the ancient Nile River!

Oh, so we arrived at our Parisian flat in Saint-Mandé (a Paris suburb), moved in, and got provisions from our local CARREFOUR grocery store. Back to our flat by 7 pm, worn out! Too exhausted to talk or even watch TV. We ate some food from our local Brocherie (Butcher); chicken, mashed potatoes, and creamed spinach with a baguette. Then we sat on the couch and fell asleep! That happens to us on travel days. It’s normal.


Saint-Mandé
Saint-Mandé

Saint-Mandé is a high-end commune of the Val-de-Marne department in Île-de-France in the eastern suburbs of Paris, France. It is located 5.3 km from the center of Paris. It is one of the smallest communes of the Île-de-France by land area but is one of the most densely populated municipalities in Europe.


Travel is exhausting because you are always on alert which takes energy. Add in the time it takes during the day and it’s always a long day. But we know this and pace ourselves never giving ourselves too much to do. And we plan it out so we don’t get unnecessarily stuck in lines or with gatekeepers who can hold you up for hours! It’s never foolproof and weird things happen during travel. So we remain ready but by planning it out properly, we avoid the unnecessary stuff.

View from the 4th floor of Johnny Punish’s AirBnB Flat in Saint-Mandé, a suburb of Paris.

Now, it’s 9:00 am Wednesday, the next day! We are just waking up. It’s raining outside in Paris about 10 C / 50 F. It’s light outside and a bit gray. But looking down on the street from our 4th-floor flat is lovely. It’s Paris! C’est La Vie!

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