Michael Totten

Egypt is a Biohazard

The first time I visited Egypt a local friend warned me to never eat street food.

“What if I do?” I said.

“You’ll die,” he said.

“I’ll die?” I said and laughed.

“You’ll die,” he said again. “Only eat at five star restaurants.”

I’ve heard similar, though less hyperbolic, warnings since then, and I’m more careful about what I eat in Egypt than I am anywhere else in the world—including Iraq, where amazingly I’ve never been sick.

But this time Egypt’s notoriously unhygienic food had its way with me even though I was careful as always. For the first ten or so days I felt only mildly irritated—not bad enough for it to even affect my job, let alone keep me in bed—but stage two kicked in last week and sent me to the emergency room.

I’ll survive. And thank heaven I’m now both out of Egypt and out of the hospital. I have lots of material to write up for you, but I still need some time to get back on my feet. Thanks for being patient.