I asked. They smiled and one of them began escort me out of the home for old trains, asking me what I needed. I spoke broken Arabic and he spoke broken English and we both gestured madly, and eventually I pulled out my now-no-signal-receiving old phone and pointed at it. My Egyptian friend (hereafter referred to as Mohamed), pulled out his phone, smiled, and said "you make call." I tried to tell him that I wanted to buy a phone, but Mohamed just smiled and shoved his phone into my hand. "No. No worry. You make call." Repeat a few half-dozen times.
Eventually we came to an agreement that I did, in fact, want to buy a phone. Mohamed took to his new task with enthusiasm. He smiled and took off on a mad dash down the street while I struggled to follow him. He ran into a run-down green metro station and waited for me to catch up. Then he hopped a turnstile. I stood there staring. He gestured at me to come with him and, not having a clue what else to do, I figured I may as well. So I hopped. He took off on a sprint through a crowd of Egyptians waiting for the train, and again I followed.
We reached a dirty sun-stained ramp going up. As we ascended a little yellow motorcycle sped past us. I stopped. Mohamed didn't; he just turned his head, smiled, and gestured at me to get going. Then a big red motorcycle sped past us and I decided he had the right idea.
We ran through another crowd of Egyptians and reached another set of turnstiles. These had a small crowd of policemen in crisp white uniforms and black berets standing just outside. Right in front of them, Mohamed hopped the turnstile. I gestured at the police. Mohamed smiled and held down the turnstile a little so it would be easier to jump. I couldn't go back without facing motorcycley death, so I waved at the cops and hopped Mohamed's turnstile.
Another mad dash down the street (no police reaction whatsoever) and Mohamed pointed out a crumbling stone building. "Phone here." I said thank you a quarter-thousand times. He smiled and walked off, shouting goodbyes behind him as he went. I think I like Egyptians.