Translator: Nyoi-Bo Studio Editor: Nyoi-Bo Studio
Zhang Zian stopped for a moment and waited for the stray dog in front to run away before he continued to move on.
Different organizations had different assessments of the epidemic status of rabies in Egypt, some of which gave the same high-risk rating as China. Others believed that only wild animals in Egypt had been found to have rabies, and thus the country had a lower risk than China. But it was not clear that in this standard, stray animals were not considered wild animals.
In short, Zhang Zian did not want to test the effectiveness of the rabies vaccine in Egypt himself.
After a few minutes’ walk to the northeast, passing by one dazzling temple after another, the number of pedestrians suddenly increased in front of him. Glancing at the map, he confirmed that he had reached the famous Khan el-Khalili market.
The Khan el-Khalili market was not ‘one’ market but a small commodity market composed of thousands of small shops in dozens of narrow streets and alleys. It mainly sold various handicraft products to tourists from all over the world. Of course, there was absolutely no lack of special snack shops for a full feast.
Whether it was the Hussein Square next to it or here, the Arabic-style buildings had replaced the high-rise buildings. If poets with romantic sentiments had been here, they would have marveled that they had entered the world of One Thousand and One Nights.
However, it was like a house in the Forbidden City. The first few times seeing it, it looked fresh and new, and one would be busy taking pictures, but it was the same after looking at it several more times. Plus these buildings were very old. Outdoor air conditioning units at least 20 years old were hanging shakily on the second floor, which was very worrying.
“Ahchoo!” Famous sneezed loudly, breathing through its nose, and said, “What a strong smell of essence!”
It wasn’t just Famous who had a very sensitive scent of smell. Even Zhang Zian felt the overly strong essence smell coming towards him. He also felt that that the reason could be that the locals had strong body odor and did not bathe often, so it was very common to use essences here.
Perhaps because they did not like the smell of the essence, the stray dogs here had practically vanished.
Zhang Zian arrived early. There were not many pedestrians here because Egyptians usually had two meals a day, one at nine or ten in the morning and another at four or five in the afternoon. Dinner was the main meal, which was rich, and breakfast was just casual.
He heard a strangely pronounced greeting being called out.
Zhang Zian looked toward where the sound had come from and saw several local men in white robes sitting at the door of the shop on the street, bubbling as they smoked from water pipes. The silver water pipes were exquisite in craftsmanship, but the places they were often held were oxidized and blackened. They noticed Zhang Zian had black hair and yellow skin, and excitedly breathed out a cloud of smoke.
He hesitated for a while whether he should use Japanese, Korean, or Chinese to respond. In the end, he used Chinese as he waved and responded, “Hello.”
His opponent repeatedly gestured and muttered something, like they were praising him for having a good cat and a good dog, and then invited him to come and smoke a water pipe.
Zhang Zian had no interest in smoking a water pipe, but he still politely went over to take a look.
These men knew how to enjoy life—smoking water pipes, drinking red tea, and playing Egyptian Mahjong. Seeing Zhang Zian come over, they enthusiastically invited him to sit and play Mahjong.
Zhang Zian could not even play Chinese Mahjong, much less to say Egyptian Mahjong. He hurriedly waved his hands to reject them.
But these men were still very enthusiastic—maybe a little too enthusiastic. One even took out the water pipe that was in his mouth and pushed it towards Zhang Zian’s mouth, as if to let him smoke.
Were all the Egyptian citizens this warm-hearted towards foreigners?
But no matter how warm-hearted they were, Zhang Zian could not bring himself to use the water pipes that had been smoked for an unknown number of years.
It had to be made known that in addition to the world’s largest number of stray dogs, Egypt also had the world’s highest incidence of hepatitis C—15%. At least 3 million Egyptians carried hepatitis C virus, and almost every family had hepatitis C patients. Although theoretically, hepatitis C did not usually spread through saliva… One could be a coward at some essential times.
The large-scale spread of hepatitis C virus in Egypt had begun in the 1950s, when the Egyptian government used unsterilized needles to vaccinate the whole population. Since then, it had been irremediable, a typical example of a man-made disaster.
Some foreigners who had stayed in Egypt for a long time for business or personal reasons, or who were short-term travelers but had a cleanliness habit, even got hepatitis C vaccines before they left their home country, just in case.
Zhang Zian had not vaccinated himself against hepatitis C, and he did not want to take the risk. He counted the number of Egyptian men who smoked cigarettes in this row. There was a 15 percent chance one of them would be a carrier of the hepatitis C virus. It was almost like Russian roulette, exciting.
He was being entangled by these men and could not separate himself. He suddenly thought about the fact that he had followed online guides to purchase a lot of cooling ointment before he set out. According to the online strategy, it was said that Egyptians were extremely fond of Chinese cooling ointment, and he could even use it as tips sometimes. It was practically a hard currency.
And so he took out a few boxes of cooling ointment from his pocket, smiling and giving it to them.
Richard wasted no time in dubbing in Arabic, “Gah! Come here! The Emperor’s version of cooling ointment from China is for you all!”
The men were stunned all at once, and there were incredible looks of surprise between their thick eyebrows and big eyes. They put down their water pipes and teacups and surrounded them. They did not play Mahjong anymore, either.
They were not surprised that Zhang Zian could speak such fluent Arabic. They were more more interested in the so-called Emperor’s version of cooling ointment.
Egypt’s heat and dryness was well known. It was not that the local people living here for a long time could fully adapt to this weather—the local people also felt hot, and they wore too much. It was just that they had no other way out. Not everyone had the money to emigrate.
The efficiency of the cooling ointment was very magical to them. It could not only relieve summer heat, but also cover their overly strong body odor. Much better than essence!
Zhang Zian could not understand Arabic, but he looked at them and noticed that the faces of these Egyptians were different. They stared at him with hunger and thirst as if they were wolves that had smelled blood. His chrysanthemum tightened, and he felt in his heart that being too handsome was not good. The f*ck? The sh*tty bird wanted to trouble him again, right? It looked like it was really going to be sent to KFC’s kitchen!
After he cursed the one next to him, he thought that if these five big three thick men crowded around him, then he really could be covered all over with big men!
However, he very quickly realized that he was wrong. The one they were eyeing was not him, not his chrysanthemum, but instead, it was the cooling ointment in his hand!
He thought in his heart, he had known earlier that Egyptians liked cooling ointment, but they actually liked it this much? This was practically stealing in broad daylight!
Or was it that the cooling ointment he was holding was especially well liked by the locals?
In order to maintain the friendship between the people of China and Egypt, he had specially purchased a precious batch of cooling ointment and spent a lot, carrying it to Egypt in his suitcase.
It wasn’t not the so-called low-end trash from the Taobao Explosion, but the stuff from the Pinduoduo Explosion!