Unless you are a GSM junkie you must’ve noticed by now that all landlines in Cairo have been changed. All your previously memorized phone numbers have had a 2 added to them at the beginning. While I think increasing the number of digits in our Cairo phone numbers is inevitable. I think they way they chose to do it is absurd.
For one, its very confusing when dialing a number long distance, instead of +202 XXXX now it’s +202 2 XXX. I’ll be damned if I ever remember to add that extra 2. Also for us locals, one usually dials from memory, now I’m forced to pause and remember to insert a 2 prior to dialling away. Not to mention changes that must be made to my entire phone-book on my cell.
The alternative I would have opted for, since they must add a digit, would have been to add a zero to the end. FAR less confusion. You can dial all your peeve numbers from memory then add a zero (reminded to do so by the absence of dial tone upon completion). Voila!! Would it have killed them to do it this way??!!!