Sunday, April 27, 2008

Dress Like An Egyptian

I've been preparing for my trip to Egypt and have really started to bridle at the various restrictions I will be under while there. According to various travel guides and sites, one should not:
  • Show your arms (long sleeves necessary)
  • Show your legs (long skirts necessary; pants are also unseemly)
  • Show any chest (high-cut tops only)
  • Make eye contact with men (perceived as a come-on BUT also allegedly necessary to show honesty. I guess I'll be either a forthright harlot or a deceitful maiden.)
  • Speak to men (perceived as a come-on)
  • Show your hair (I have no problem with covering up in mosques, but I'd very much prefer not to wear a scarf all the time)
I went out shopping for suitable clothes, but there is very little that is both appropriate for hot weather and neck-to-ankle covering. From what I understand Western women are generally perceived as loose anyway (this was the case in Turkey, as well), so I'm debating between packing what I have and buying clothes there, or packing what I like and giving up on the whole cultural sensitivity thing.
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