Saturday, December 27, 2008

Wake up Katrina!

zzzz. oh hello..... zzzzz.

I haven't posted in so long I think I forgot how to do it.

First of all during my waking moment I'd like to thank my brother Kevin for his excellent blog post, and for using up all the premium adjectives to describe our fabulous adventure in Egypt.

Trying to just make a post, but struggling to recover from my jet-lag delirium.
Delirium from 3 rd world wonderfully chaotic, polluted yet fragrant, helter skelter Cairo.

I mean everywhere, wafts of grilled meat, diesel, spices, exhaust, sweat, smoke, cat pee, coffee, dust, feet, big dumpage of more diesel, tobacco, felafil, dead cats, lotus.... More. And more and more. The synapses in my brain cannot connect quickly enough. And the intense pollution is killing them off fast. Then there is the visual. Oh this is just too much.
And, there are lots of eyes on us.



So. I have never ever, ever been anywhere like this. Maybe Istanbul comes somewhat close, but there really is no European influence in Cairo.
And so different from Japan. The Japanese don't yell. They barely squeak. They respect your 'space'. Heck they won't even come within 25 yards of your space.
Oh not the Egyptians. Right there. Right up in your face. Hey you have alot of stray eyebrow hairs there Mister.
Very curios. Always wanting to know where you are from. At one point Kev started to get comical:

Egyptian: Hello! Welcome to Egypt! Where are you from?
Kev: Egypt.

Egyptian: hahahahahaha! well what is your name?
Kev: Mohammad!

everyone liked that.

But from the moment you step out of your hotel room, it really is complete non-stop dizzying action---for hours while you are out and about. I couldn't really decide if it was safer on foot or by nutzo taxi driver. Either way, I found myself making a mental note to thank Allah when I arrived back at the hotel, frenzied, but intact.

I have to say tho, the giant, echoing, peaceful mosques were quite a nice respite. They were not crowded, probably because you can find one on nearly every street corner. At one point I counted 39 minarettes, standing in one spot. And that's just what I saw!


So now on to my brother Kevin. He can quite possibly be the worlds easiest person to travel with. He is fearless and knows how to figure out a huge city and it's people very fast. He has nothing except an extra pair of underwear and a wallet. And of course his bike. He goes anywhere, anytime, and eats anything. One night while cruising around the alleys, it was getting late into the evening without having eaten dinner and we stumbled across a man cooking up some probably very yummy and probably very questionable street food in his rusted old run down cart.

"I'll take 2 of those!" He says without even a blink.
Are you crazy? I thought.

He has an intense aversion towards touristy places (except Giza) so it's quite some adventure travel. I must have dragged him to the market 9 times without one complaint. He once very kindly suggested that maybe I could go out by myself since I kind of had the layout figured.
How thoughtful Kev. Get your shoes on.

I can't even describe, really, how much I enjoyed myself, without having to take care and watch over young children for 9 straight days. Nobody whining because they are tired or hungry, nobody with a poopy diaper, nobody who just can't walk anymore because they have a mosquito bite on their toe. I was in pure polluted bliss!

And the Muslims.
So exotic.
So so so devout.

Our 25 year old hotel receptionist, Ahmed, was so sweet and cute and charming and delightful and helpful I nearly stayed and converted.

But I knew I would miss Ira too much.

Hope to soon make a movie of this adventure. I will for certain go back, next time to Luxor. Thankfully it doesn't take much to get Ira to go anywhere. He's already on board!

3 Comments:

Blogger rose mahanor said...

katrina-
can't wait to see your movie. you're so lucky to have an adventurous brother, a loving husband and a love for exotic cultural experiences. call me if you go again i want to go. rose

6:23 PM  
Blogger Alix said...

Next trip is Thelma and Louise! South Beach, Costa Rica, I don't care where.

Glad you are back to blogging, missed it.

It must be hard to digest all that you saw and experienced, you document it so articulately. Seems like you were gone a long time!

Happy New Year!!!!!!!

2:09 PM  
Blogger Michael said...

Pretty crazy Katrina! I was reading Kevin's blog eariler in december and he said he was getting ready to meet you. What a remarkable journey. I could never do it, I like good hotels and hate camping. Have a happy new year!

3:43 PM  

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