I'm always amazed at regional price differences for gyms.
Back home in NYC, I pay $65 a month for my membership at the NYSC. (Don't tell them I told you that - their membership prices are all hush-hush.)
My brother in suburban Illinois pays $20 a month for his (24 hour) gym.
How much would it cost to join a gym here in Cairo? For one month, $155.28. Or 900LE, if you prefer. Admittedly, it would be cheaper if I were here long enough to get a longer term contract. The price would drop to about 700LE/month for three months. But it's not even that nice of a gym.
So, I thought about going to the local Marriott for their gym. A single-use day pass there, though, is nearly $30 (you do get pool access with that.... but it's in the 60s here, so not exactly outdoor pool weather).
Through the American University, I have access to a "fitness center." I have to put that in quotes because I saw it and it's slightly smaller than my office in New York. Two treadmills, some intimidating machines with pulleys and without instructions, and a bunch of beefy guys were all jammed in there. None of that matters, though, as much as the fact that the hours are extremely limited to just a few hours a day, and those hours are all in the afternoon. I intentionally scheduled my class sessions for the afternoon to give me time to workout in the morning before class. So basically it's inconvenient, tiny, populated by students (some of whom are mine), and free. How much am I willing to pay for convenient, large, and student-free?
For now, I'm going to try the free "fitness center" and see if I can make a go of it. If I can't, then I can always pay the $155 later. But that is certainly money I could better spend on souvenirs, you see. Shoes. Jewelry. Presents. Chicken Big Mac.
On I went, out of the wood, passing the man leading without knowing I was going to do so. Flip-flap, flip-flap, jog-trot, jog-trot, curnchslap-crunchslap, across the middle of a broad field again, rhythmically running in my greyhound effortless fashion, knowing I had won the race though it wasn't half over, won it if I wanted it, could go on for ten or fifteen or twenty miles if I had to and drop dead at the finish of it, which would be the same, in the end, as living an honest life like the governor wanted me to. -Alan Sillitoe, "Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner"