Cairo, Sans the Sphinx

 

Country/State Continent Population Language Latitude/Longitude Distance Apart
Randolph Co, Missouri North America 292 English 39.512/-92.44 6,429 miles
Egypt Africa 16,758,581 Egyptian Arabic 30.058056/31.22889

 

Cairo, Egypt

Cairo (pronounced Kie-ro) is not only the largest city in the Arab world, but also in Africa. Who knew?! In fact, Cairo, located on both banks of the Nile River is the 16th largest metropolitan area in the world. Founded by the Fatimid dynasty in 969 AD, Cairo is often referred to as “the city of a thousand minarets” due to its prominent Islamic architecture but the name actually means “the victorious city”.


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Famous Cairoians include: Amr Shabana, famous professional left-hander squash player; Karim Darwish, currently, the world’s best squash player (apparently they really like squash in Cairo); Mohamed Mostafa ElBarade, Egyptian diplomat who was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2005; Egyptian American writer, Ihab Hassan, professor and literary theorist, and model Meriam George who represented Egypt in Miss Universe 2005,was a semi-finalist for Miss Intercontinental 2005 and won Miss Earth 2006.

Cairo is also known for: Old Cairo, the site of the Coptic Museum and a number of Coptic churches; The Egyptian Museum (1902) which has more than 1700 pieces from the collection of Tutankhamen (King Tut);  and sand – lots of it.

Cairo is also a great stopping off spot for those interested in sight-seeing, especially the Great Sphinx and the pyramids of Giza.

Did I mention that Paul is immensely passionate about antiquities (his alter ego is Indiana Jones)? So Cairo, Egypt is on our travel wish list (which seems to be growing as fast as our debt).

Personally, I want to see the acclaimed city as well; climb a pyramid or two, build a couple of sand castles, but it’s not in the cards right now. Fortunately, it’s Show-Me twin is just a hop, skip and jump away.

 

Cairo, Missouri

Cairo, MO roadsign

The first thing you need to know about Cairo, Missouri, is that it’s pronounced Kay-ro. This is important if you want to fit in, but not just in Cairo.


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How you say pretty much everything is important in the Show-Me state, because it tells someone right off the bat where you’re from, and people here like to know who they are talking to.

If you say Route Farty-Four (44), for instance, you are from St. Louis.  If you want a refreshing drink in St. Joseph you say “I want a pop”, but not if you are traveling in the eastern part of the state – there it would be a “soda”, no if’s, ands or buts about it.

If you’re a politician (from any part of the state), you say “Missourah” – if you want the vote. Generally, you won’t meet any kinder folk than in the state of Missourah, but we prefer that you don’t miss-pronounce our mispronunciations.

Cairo is just about three and a half miles from Moberly, Missouri, on highway 63. One of the first things we noticed coming into town was the rather impressive digital sign on the high school. As we passed, it displayed two giant red eyes that rolled around as if they were looking for something or someone. I couldn’t help but think, if this is just the high school, we are in for a real treat.

But, alas, we soon discovered Cairo is kind of like a Jiffy Lube: You’re in, you’re out, you’re on your way…and in this case, way to fast. We did discover one highlight, however. Boney Park. I would be amiss if I didn’t say, if nothing else, the name alone is intriguing.

Cairo, MO Boney Park headstone

But no amount of Googling could tell me much about Herbert, aside from the fact that he and some of his relatives lived in the Cairo area. So, if you’re from the area, please help us solve the mystery.

Otherwise, our trip to Cairo was about as long as the city is wide.

However, we did find this rather fascinating use for old beer kegs.

Cairo, MO

This siting was located no far from an very impressive three-block car “cemetery”.

Further research (which is kind of iffy and really hard to find) indicates that Cairo was established  and incorporated in Missouri in 1886.

Further, further, research got us pretty much diddly squat, with the exception of a weird website devoted to Cairo Cairo, MO Ghost Sightings, (of which there was one listed). Worth a look though, especially if you’re into that kind of thing, and you happen to be living in, going through or staying over in Cairo – since the site allows you to post your own ghost-siting story. So worth it.

Our next destination: Belgrade

 

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