Sunday, January 7, 2007

Who am I?

This is one of my first posts so I think I should introduce myself to you;)

My whole name is Lukas Jakubicka and I'm 22 years old. I live in Slovakia - heart of Europe. My hometown is Topolcany, situated somewhere between west and center of Slovakia.

I'm studying electrical engineering at the University of Zilina with major power electronics. I should graduate in June 2007. I've been studying electrical "stuff" since my high school.
At the same time I'm working in the world's largest international non-for-profit and student-run organization called AIESEC. I've been doing many things there until this time - being team leader, working in area of exchange program, working as marketing manager and now I'm the president of Local Committee in Zilina.

One of my biggest hobbies are traveling and getting know new cultures and people. I love cars, especially my baby Opel Astra:) I like to be in motion, I don't like stereotype. I'm future oriented person with accent on details.

My favorite drink is red wine, I don't actually have favorite meal - I can eat almost everything.

I hope you will enjoy my blog and find many interesting things here...
Greetings from Slovakia;)


Amazing time in Egypt

Approx 2 months ago, I decided to start using my own blog... I haven't posted any single thought on my blog because I was waiting for some special moment that would be worthy to be a first post :) and here it comes...

Everything started at IC2006 in Poland where I met Mai. We became a great friends at this congress and we invited each other to our countries. Firstly, it looked like Mai is about to come to Slovakia for New Years Eve but then I just wanted to spend my NYE in warmer country so I bought fly ticket to Cairo, Egypt:)

I flew in Dec, 28 from Prague's airport, transfered in Istanbul and then finally landed on airport in Cairo at 3 a.m. in Dec, 29. I traveled by myself and it was the first time I was supposed to make my first step in Africa...
I got the passport check done and then I was heading to arrival hall to find Mai and her friends. I'm sure you know the people that are waiting for somebody in airport with names on the papers. How many of them are usually at the airport at 3 a.m. in the morning? You would probably find from 10 to 50 depends at the airport...I didn't count them but I could see hundreds of people in this airport, I couldn't even went through them, it was so crowded. So I went out of the hall and called Mai - I was so happy that she was there waiting for me.
My whole stay in Egypt basically consisted of 2 main parts - trip to Dahab and my stay in Cairo.

So right after I found Mai, her friends and Gabiza from AI (AIESEC International) we took the micro bus to Dahab - small touristically area in Sinai. 10 of us traveled approx 7 hours in micro bus. So after exhausting journey from Slovakia to Dahab (by train, 2 planes and micro bus) that took me 24 hous, I was ready to enjoy my holidays right next to red sea:) And I really did - I was eating Egyptian food (foul, shakshoka, tameyya, kofta etc.), I was swimming in red sea and snorkeling in well known "blue hole", dancing in the beach at New Years Eve party, having a shisha every day...I stayed in nice hotel called Auski Camp, in the room with Sherif. I got to know "Jordan girls" Monika(originally from Slovakia), Annika(U.S.) and Oksana(Ukraine) then Gabiza(Romania), Betty(Africa, PM),Sami(Egypt, MCP) then Tarek, Askoura, Sameh and Tamer. Everybody somehow connected to AIESEC:)) I was so happy that I could spend my time in Dahab just with these guys...So I spent NYE a bit unusually this year - at the beach and it was awesome. Last couple NYEs weren't so great even I spent them with family or friends at home. I was studying or working on something, I didn't actually have free time and I celebrated NYE in pub or at home - not really exciting...I was missing some adventure and new things to experience. This trip to Egypt fully accomplish this things. So I'm really thankful for every moment I could spend with my friends in Dahab.
more pictures from Dahab here

Next part of my trip was Cairo, capital of Egypt. We again took the micro bus from Dahab and traveled for 7 hours. It was very first day of new year 2007. I was really shocked when I saw the traffic and especially the way how they drive. Oh my God! So many cars and so crazy driving style...It's hard to describe it, but try to imagine it as puzzle. Every single centimeter on the road has to be filled by car, motorbike, bike or people...And everybody honks :) Gas is soooo cheap there, just 7,5 Slovak crown/liter (approx 30 US cents/liter). Cairo is also very polluted, low visibility. But back to the topic...

I was staying in Mai's house (or flat). Just for better imagination - our flat at home has 60 square meters. Her flat is about 3 times bigger then ours so I didn't consider it as a flat :)) Another thing that surprised me was that Mai didn't take her shoes off and she was just walking in the flat in it. In Slovakia, first thing you need to do when you come to somebody's flat is to take your shoes off, that's why I was so surprised...So I adapted and I also didn't take my shoes off:) Then, she showed me my room and also my bathroom. I just unpacked a little bit and we went to Mai's friend birthday party. I guess it was on the edge of Cairo because we traveled approx 40 minutes by car. It was typical traffic in cairo, we even hit the side mirror of another car on the way there...When we finally came there, I could see really nice house from outside. I walked in and the inside of the house was gorgeous, just amazing. They are Christian family so they had nice and big tree, everything was so well decorated, I was just impressed. After tiring day I went to the bed and slept directly...

Second day of January started with visiting the Coptic Cairo. Me, Gabiza, Annika, Sami and other two guys from AIESEC in Cairo University visited Coptic museum, a church and Jewish synagogue. We took a metro on the way there and back - it was also very interesting - people are not really waiting for anybody to get in or out, they just have to go in and our really fast because the door won't stay open so long - just couple seconds. So people are going simultaneously out and in to the train :) Sami even had to hold the door for us because it was about to close...After the beautiful views in Coptic Cairo we went to river Nile and took the boat to watch the sunset. We missed the sunset but anyway, boat trip on the Nile river was great. There were around 15-20 people with us at the boat - all AIESECers.
more pictures from Cairo here

Next day, me and Mai went to the museum and Mai wanted me to be her guide:)) really funny - so we were done with museum in 1 and half hour - I'm pretty fast:) Then we met Mai's friend Martha that gave us a ride to Citadel - 700 years old one. Inside the Citadel was the big mosque. We had also nice view on the Cairo from there. Then we went to bazaar Chán al-Chalílí where I bought my beloved shisha. It was one of my small dreams to have own shisha from Egypt and the dream came true;)

Third day in Cairo was also my last one there. Adham took me and Annika to Pyramides, but different way that you would probably expect. We took horse-back riding and it was amazing. Anyways, it's not so easy as it looks like, especially when horse is running, it's pretty hard to keep your body on the horse's saddle. I've never tried it before so it was cool experience for me. Then we again went to Chán al-Chalílí and I bought the presents for my family and my friends plus some tobacco and coal for my shisha. It was great to have Adham with us because shop owner was his good friend that even named his son after Adham. Adham was really impressed by this. So we had better prices for everything...
We spent my last night in one nice restaurant where we had a tea. It was pretty cold for Cairo, I was even wearing my winter jacket. Then I went to Mc Donalds with Askoura, so my last food in Cairo was Big Mac :)) My flight back was at 3:30 a.m. in Friday morning. Askoura and Adham stayed with me and gave me the ride to airport. It was really nice from them and I appreciate it.

I guess this post is long enough so I'll try to bring the end:)

Anybody who haven't been in Egypt yet, definitely it's the place you should visit. It's the place that showed me how different world could be and it's not even so far away from Slovakia. It's the part of the world where history meets present and it will provide you with many unforgettable experiences.
Go to the Egypt, meet great and nice people, buy your own shisha:) and just enjoy your time there. I guarantee you will fall in love with Egypt ;)