Toy Shopping

Bags of Sand for Sale in Maadi

Redundancy much?  Why does a country which is mostly desert need to bag and sell sand?  And why does the age cap out at 8?

We went toy shopping for the birthday party of two 5 year olds – a boy and a girl who are good friends.  Toy shopping in Egypt is its own wild experience.  While toys are basically the same all over, even in this area of relative innocence, the gender divide is extremely evident.  The first toy store we walked into (an educational oriented store supposedly) had walls and aisles of trucks, dragons, knights, castles, hand propelled quarries (um, yeah try explaining what that is to a 5 year old) and building materials, blocks, and legos in ships, castles, dragons, aliens and anything else little boys would like or could possibly imagine.  For girls, you could be princess, nurse, shopping for food, cooking food or practicing to be a secretary or play with fairies  – as long as it was lilac or pink.  It was like a full blown split describing a lot of the domestic gender associations seen in this society aimed at newborns to 8 year olds.  Might as well start them early.

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