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Sudanese ‘Steve’ fast facts less ‘Rat Bastard’ comments


Known for the most hospitable people in Africa. I can agree with the statement but have to say that pretty much all African countries are known for that. What really makes them stand out I think is that usually people are coming from Egypt or Ethiopia where you are just constantly hammered by touts and beggers, both of which are rarely found in Sudan. The people in general just leave you alone, which doesn’t necessarily make them the friendliest of the bunch, but you take that as a huge positive after coming from Egypt or Ethiopia. I will add though that another reason is that the environment requires it. Middle to Northern Sudan where I traveled is definitely desert lands. Not the most hospitable environment. I have read similar facts about other harsh places in that the land dictates that you help anybody that comes your way even to the point of giving everything you have. I can imagine the initial scenario was a poor traveler on the brink of death walks up to a persons home and asks for help/water. The owner says no, the guy turns around and dies in the front yard. After a few stinking corpses, the owner figures its a better idea to help out these people rather than have a bunch of stinking corpses screwing up the front yard. In that end, hospitality goes to the extreme.

Muslim cultures rule. If you want to be able to put your traveling guard down, not have to worry about getting scammed, over-priced, or hassled, head to a predominantly Muslim area. It tends to be a very strict culture, but thats why there are so little hassles. People are also more inclined to help each other or those in need which is why you see quite a few less street people and drastically less touts and hustlers.

Women disappear. I can honestly say that during my two weeks of traveling in Sudan I probably only saw maybe two hundred women in total. Not gorgeous beauties, but anybody of the female persuasion. Women are kept in doors and are never out at night. It is a predominantly male run society where women and kids are kept at home and out of sight. In the souqs it was a minor exception, but still outside of the tea vendors, you would be hard pressed to find a woman working in any business.

Food. Fuul (refried beans), Schwarma (layers of chickem or lamb placed on a skewer to form a kind of bee hive. Layers are trimmed off and mixed with spices and vegetables. They are then scooped up and placed in a sort of baguette.) Falafel (ground chick peas are formed into balls and then deep fried. They are deep fried and put into a pita bread and then topped with sauce.) Fried fish was found by areas near the Nile. Lots of excellent juices served out of ice chests filled with juice and blocks of ice. Coca-cola and Pepsi products of course.

Alcohol and drugs. None, Muslim society. The only buzz they get is by using chewing tobacco (snuf).

Water. Those community pots I referenced earlier with the picture is probably the best idea I have taken from Africa. Too bad in the states it would never work because we are so afraid of everybody elses cooties.

Mosquitoes. Surprisingly, once we left Khartoum, there were none. I guess it is just too hot for most creatures, plus water evaporates so quickly standing water is really not a possibility.

Cell phones. Everyone, and I mean everyone has one, and I mean nice ones with cameras, video, mp3, and blender.

Money. $1US=$2 Sudanese pounds. Pretty simple since they changed currencies.

Buses. Oh so nice but oh so expensive.

Roads. Excellent roads through the major thoroughfares and currently they are even hitting the secondary areas. Soon you should be able to drive from Wadi Halfa to Galabat in two days or less.

Hot. It’s really hot. Africa hot and then some.

Thats all I can thing of at the moment.

Sudan…. Finished.

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-193 responses to “Sudanese ‘Steve’ fast facts less ‘Rat Bastard’ comments”

  1. Hey steve,
    I guess my mom talked to your mom and told my sis. Anyway i was on the road for a total of 16 months, starting in april of 04. I briefly looked at your pics and we could have crossed paths on the other side of the world. I will read your blogs when i have time.

  2. Alie says:

    Hi there,

    I just wanted to let you know, I really enjoy your travel blog. Keep up the great work!

    Cheers, Alie

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