Learn Arabic as it is really spoken. Listen to and read Egyptian Colloquial Arabic.

Even locals can get lost in a city as big as Cairo. How does Mostafa find his way?

كنت المفروض رايح احضر كورس و ده شىء كويس. لكن اللى مش كويس انى مكنتش اعرف عن المكان غير انه فى محطه اسمها ثكنات المعادى. و ده كان الجزء السهل فى الموضوع. دخلت المترو، قطعت تذكره و ركبت و نزلت المحطه. و اعتمدت على المثل المصرى اللى بيقول (اللى يسأل ميتوهش). و لكن نسيت حاجه مهمه ان الناس مبيحبوش يقولوا معرفش. سألت اول واحد قابلته. قالى: خش يمين و بعدين تانى شمال. و لما وصلت هناك ملقيتش السنتر اللى هاخد فيه الكورس. و سألت واحد تانى قالى: انت ايه اللى جابك هنا؟ انت ترجع من مطرح ما جيت و خش شمال و بعدين تانى شمال. قلتله شكرا. و مشيت و قلت اسأل اى حد و انا ماشى علشان اتأكد. و المشكله ان كل واحد بقى يقولى طريق مختلف  و من اللحظه دى اتأكدت انى تهت. و لكن الحل المنقذ هو انى سألت واحد من بتوع الديليفرى، لان هما طول النهار على الموتسيكل بيوصلوا طلبات فى عناوين مختلفه. و حافظين الشوارع زى اسمهم. و قالى على الطريق الصح. و الحمد لله وصلت و حضرت الكورس. و لكن و انا راجع مكنتش مركز، فركبت اتجاه غلط فى المترو. و اكتشفت بعديها بمحطتين. رحت نزلت لقيت خريطه متعلقه فى المحطه. بصيت فيها و اتأكدت من الاتجاه اللى هركبه. و لاول مره فى اليوم اركب الاتجاه الصح و انا متأكد. و عرفت بعد كده انه يأما اعرف العنوان اللى هروحه كويس يأما اسأل بتوع الديليفرى!

I had to go attend a course, and this is a good thing. But the bad thing was that I didn’t know the place, except that it is at a station called Sakanat Elmaadi. And this was the easy part. I went into  the metro [station], bought a ticket, got on [the train], and got off at the station. I relied on the Egyptian proverb “He who asks never gets lost.” But I forgot something important: that people [here] don’t like to say, “I don’t know.” I asked the first person I came across. He told me, “Turn right, then [take] the second left.” And when I got there, I didn’t find the center which I was going to take the course at. So I asked someone else who said to me, “What brought you here? Go back to where you came from and turn left and then the second left.” I told him, “Thanks!” I walked and decided to ask anybody while I was walking to make sure. The problem was that everyone told me something different. And from that moment, I was sure that I was lost. But the solution was to ask a delivery man, as they are on their motorcycles all day delivering orders to different addresses, so they know the streets like the back of their own hands (lit. like their names). He told me the right way. Then, thank God, I arrived and attended the class. But on my way back [home], I wasn’t paying attention, so I went the wrong way on the metro. And I realized this after two stops, so I got off and found a map in the station. I looked at it and made sure of the direction I was going to take [the metro]. And for the first time that day, I went the right way and was sure of it. I learned from that that I either should know the address I’m going to very well or I should ask a delivery man!

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