I've been having an amazing time of it. I went to Egypt! To see my brother! My uncle took me with his family to Cairo, Luxor and Hurgada. We saw temples and pyramids and tombs. Egyptians are excellent people. They're like Italians only Arab which changes everything. So friendly, so kind, a bit desperately poor in places but never surrendered to it. The present is built on layer after layer of the past. Mosques built on temples, slums inside cemetaries. I adore the smell of Cairo, the thick smell, I hope I never forget it. The sun shines every day. If there's no lane of traffic for you, you invent your own but it turns out okay through a system of honks. No one begs, they always offer you some modest service - pointing at an inscription you might have missed, handing your bag to another guy who will set it on the conveyor belt for you, storing your shoes in a mosque cubby. They seem aware and comfortable living in history, following multiple traditions.
I liked Hurgada least. It was the least about Egypt, it was about creating a resort. We might've been in Cancun or Jamaica or anywhere warm. I didn't enjoy the sanitation. I love Egypt. I love the sound of Arabic, it can't be a language, it's obviously just a series of sounds put together for musical purposes. I miss the Call to Prayer, a chant that comes over loudspeakers wherever you are to tell you when to go to the mosque, or at least pray wherever you are. The hotels have countertop stickers pointing to Mecca. The women are covered, not in full Birkas but in sensible scarves. I loved it. I realized I hate slutty clothes. By the time we got to Hurgada I was grossed out by tank tops and shorts (let alone Russian cowboys in speedos. Ech.) I didn't meet anyone who didn't like me, except one porter at the Sand Beach Hotel in Hurgada, which was a dive we abandoned after one night. I didn't want to leave Cairo ever. Sigh.
Dan's photos-part one
Dan's photos-part two
Ben's photos of Egypt