Friday, August 14, 2009

Tales From Egypt

I took a cab ride downtown today, I was going to get some cash at a bank and decided to donate my CC to their ATM.  Cab ride was crazy, will post a vid (hotel upload is slow).  Went to the Egyptian Museum, largest collection of antiquities on display is what they say.  Guy at the front really wanted to be my guide for $20, I told him I couldn't get in b/c I didn't have enough pounds, then he said $15, then he settled for the extra tip he got rounding off for exchanging with me a couple bucks for his pounds... then I wandered by myself.  Saw King Tut's burial mask (weight is ~11KG and I think the whole thing is gold and precious stones), inner and outer tombs for him which were also mostly gold and precious stones... very impressive.  He had a few beds and I think the 3 chariots were his too, all kinds of stuff! He had a lot of junk buried with him and must have found out you can't take it with you b/c we have it now. There were countless statues, sarcophaguses (wood and stone), jewelry, hieroglyphs, textiles, really incredible how some of it was preserved! There was even a teeny sarcophagus about 2 feet long and 8 inches wide that had another sarcophagus inside and inside that was a mummy with a Tut-like burial mask...actual baby mummy not included...darn. One of another King's posessions consisted of some gold bowls and vases; the hieroglyphics that were etched into were a bit smaller than the keys on a keyboard and looked like they'd been done by a laser - the precision was amazing.  No cameras inside... bummer.

I have no idea what I'm doing with the image posts, so hopefully Kim will fix them or you can tilt your head. There's some of what most buildings in downtown Cairo look like, the Egyptian Museum (and what a lot of the inside stuff looked like), and the minibus one is for my wife; at least they are packed 4 rows deep and safe from a front end impact.

Sorry, no photos of the burquini's. They are all the rave, but taking a picture out my window of one is a bit creepy.

While wandering downtown looking for the bazaar I came across many interesting sights... I went thru 'garage alley'; people literally double park their cars in the street and the guys there pop the hoods and start working on them, it is a complete jumbled mess.  Had one guy shake my hand randomly and ask if I was American, "yes, i am", then he says "welcome!" and walks on - I must look like a total white boy.  Couple cabbies have asked me that too, they smile big, but it seems an uncomfortable smile like they want to eat me or something.  There were hardly any shops open because it was time for prayers -  A couple groups of men (numbering around 200+ each) lined up into the streets, over the sidewalks, blocking traffic and were doing their ritual... then when it was over, they went and opened their shops.  The whole city seemed to pause for the most part.

I've had a couple people ask me "Obama? (eyes go wide and eyebrows up)"  I simply tell them no, not really which kind of kills the conversation of hand gestures, 'huh's', and big smiles ;). I've heard a couple voice their opinion on Bush, not good.  Same with Israel. Understandable considering most of their TV is probably Arabic/Eastern based like here in the hotel (a wee bit biased, no?) - it is a bit sad to see friendly people turn so sour when something like that is mentioned.

That's a bad way to end a post! I'll follow up with some Pyramid photos/stories if I can rustle up some cash to make it over there.



Jamie said...


I'm SO glad you posted!! MORE, please!!! Too, too cool. It's kind of like you're on the Amazing Race--you know, and came in last in the last leg, so have to make your way without moolah... ;0) Dare I ask: What on earth is a burquini???

Love you!! Be SAFE, and take LOTS MORE PICS!!!!!


Brent said...

Mate: You're lucky to have made it out alive saying "no" to the obama question. Had you said yes to Bush your head would be decorating some pole at the entrance to the pyramids!!
Glad the trip went well. Thanks for the blog.

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