About once every three weeks or so we make a major outing to Maadi and the Cairo Mall.
Maadi is where the "other half" lives. Or "the 1%" or the diplomatic corps and foreign contractors or whatever you would prefer to call them. You would recognize most of the mall stores and restaurants such as Timberland, Starbucks, Chilis, Payless Shoes and Radio Shack.
Our principal destination is Carrefour, the giant French hypermart. We always arrive in Cairo during their anniversary sale. They have been here twelve years now.
We had lunch at Chilis and went into Carrefour at around 1 p.m. on Thursday, just as the weekend crowd was beginning to build around the specials on flat screen TVs. The TV's were stacked close to ten feet tall and the red-shirt guys were ready to help put one in your cart. We already knew what the special was because we saw so many carts with big-screen TVs rolling out past Chilis.
The hot display item seemed to be the 47-inch LG priced at 9999 Egyptian pounds or around $1395. The 40 inch Samsung at 2999 egp or $419 was what actually ended up going into the carts, however.
There were "amazing anniversary offers" in all areas as the shoppers played "bumper carts" up and down the aisles.
The attraction of Carrefour is not just low prices, it is broad selection. I counted twelve varieties of apples on display in this part of the produce section. There were a couple more around the corner on an end-cap.
Tomatoes of the baladi variety (local) were selling for 2.40 egp per kg or 15 cents a pound. Buying organic could set you back a good bit more.
Linda passed up the 12 cent per pound pre-packaged larger potatoes to pick individual selections from the better quality, "potatoes for fried," at 24 cents per pound. We don't understand the meaning of "potatoes for fried" but they are the best looking potatoes so that's what we buy.
At the cash register the bagger packed up our 21 plastic bags of groceries and we headed out to haggle with the taxi drivers. After about 5 minutes of back and forth prices we settled on a "good" price for the 20 minute ride home and we were off.
(To visit Carrefour Egypt's website for current specials and store locations, follow this link.)