If you like a lot of choices, Egypt is the place to shop. Shopping for Egyptians ranges from the street bazaars in central Cairo for the poorer residents to shopping malls equivalent to those in wealthy countries complete with restaurants and play areas for children. One major difference is the absence of major department stores. At all economic levels, shops prevail in Egypt. The street merchants are numerous with their merchandise laid out on tables or racks. Each merchant vies for the attention of potential buyers walking by. They know that on their crowded street they must make a sale on first contact if they are to make it at all. The merchandise consists mostly of basic necessities since customers can’t afford luxuries. Most of their customers are Egyptians and vendors are not likely to speak English. The closest to the street bazaar for tourists is Khan El Khalili. There are numerous shops and street vendors, much of what is available is geared toward tourists and almost all prices are negotiable. If a shopkeeper can get you to sit down, he may go down the street to another shop and bring back what you want. Numerous vendors will be selling the same items. If you sit down for coffee and sheesha on El Fishawy Street, hawkers will come by continually displaying their wares. With the right attitude, this can be entertaining. Khan El Khalili entrepreneurs are likely to speak a little of several languages. Egyptians will also shop in small neighborhood stores, although this is more difficult for tourists since most of the staff or shop owners will not speak any language other than Arabic. Some negotiation is possible, although prices are more realistic to begin with. Generally they are not expecting to cater to tourists. They will alter clothing at no extra charge and are very pleasant to deal with if you can cross the language barrier. The wealthier Egyptians usually frequent shopping malls. It seems there are more shoe stores in them than anything else (it is worthwhile to shop for shoes in Egypt). Prices are generally “fixed” (not negotiable) in the shopping malls. Shops are more like the small specialty shops you might find in a US mall.