Today we went on a window shopping expedition! Brooke (a professor from AUC) led us to the best, nearly-impossible-to-find merchants. In the Khan, it’s easy to be dragged into the tourist trap, but Brooke knew exactly where to take us, and we avoided nearly all hassles by salespeople.

If you want anything at all from here, please let me know. I have found some great merchants in the Khan. Here are my favorite merchants that I found:

1. Custom silver/pearl/beaded jewelry. This shop has antique jewelry from the Bedouins, Afghanistan, Egypt, and all sorts of places. AND, they can even custom make jewelry for you. I am having a necklace made with a beautiful teal colored stone center, pearls and beads.

2. Quilting. There are tons of shops that quilt pillows, blankets, and anything that you could possibly make. One of the merchants will even take a word or phrase and quilt it on something with Arabic calligraphy. He showed us how he can write our names in calligraphy in the shape of almost anything. He wrote one of the girl’s name into a fish shape.

3. Perfume. There are tons of perfume merchants everywhere. I can get knock-off perfumes. If you just tell me the kind you want (i.e. Chanel #5), I can get it for you at a decent price!

4. Copper market. It’s gorgeous! They sell cookware (pots, pans, utensils), lamps (for candles), serving trays, etc.

5. Silk. There is a merchant that Brooke introduced us to. He has a little shop here in Cairo, and he hand makes everything. He makes silk shoes, robes, shirts, etc. The shoes sell for about $40 and the robes for a little more. The funny thing is that Bergdorfs (the really expensive department store) buys everything from this man and they sell it at ridiculously expensive prices.

6. Spice market. They have everything you could possibly want! Iranian saffron is on my shopping list!

I will likely be going back to the markets in the next few weeks and most certainly before I leave. I will take pictures in the shops of all of my favorite merchants so that you can see what the options are.

I’ve noticed that I enjoy shopping here in the Khan much more than shopping in the US. There’s just something so casual and personal about it. Also, it’s highly entertaining to hear the catcalls that some shopkeepers yell to get you in their shops.

“Brown sugar!” (to darker skinned people)

“Come in, my future wife!”

“I would divorce my wife for you!”

“I love you America!”

“Barbie!” (to the blondes)