Friday, July 23, 2010

Day 4 - Just Cruising along

I have a fear of water. Don't get me wrong, I can swim, but only if my feet can touch the ground under them and if I can see it.I'm fine in 4 ft pools and can do laps, but in rivers and oceans, not so good. I had someone tell me once that it was because I was an African slave in a past life and while crossing the Atlantic tied in chains, I jumped overboard and drowned. Maybe it's true, maybe not. But in this life, I can only be in boats that are huge (ferries) or I have panic attacks. But considering that this cruise ship is the size of an apartment building, I'm fine. I'm even more reassured when I look over the next morning and realize the boat that is tied up next to us is the Amira.

Today we got to sleep in. What a strange concept for a vacation: the ability to sleep in! After breakfast we head off the boat to go explore the town. We walk along the water front and get stopped every few feet with calls of "you want carriage ride?" but not in Arabic or English, but in Spanish. Dear hubby loves that while vacationing in Mexico three years ago, I get spoken to in Spanish and then we come to an Arab country and again with the Spanish. It's hard for the locals to see an Arab woman not in hijab, so they assume I'm not Arab. We reached a mosque that was along the Nile. Once we got closer, we noticed it wasn't even finished! There was concrete everywhere and scaffolding all along the two minarets. It was very massive and sure to be impressive to see once it's finished.

On our walk back, we came upon a souk (market). I thought I would try my hand at bargaining for an outfit for the "Gallabia Party" at the Lounge later in the evening. But I must say it didn’t go very well. One man refused to budge on his price, while a different shop had a female shop keeper that also refused to even start bargaining with me. And I had mistakenly thought that since she was a woman....

We headed back to the boat, empty handed. But I did manage to get a Diet Coke for 4 pounds, making me feel accomplished that I managed to talk the shop owner out of her original price of 5. Baby steps.

Back on the boat, I found Ala and asked him if he wouldn’t mind going back with me to the souk to give another try for a gallabia? He said of course, but he wanted to hurry since the boat would set sail soon. We went to two shops, where he rejected their wares, before we found one with decent designs. The trick was to let him do the talking in his native Egyptian, find flaws (little ones, mind you) in the material and also to try to get them to throw in a little something extra. In this case, it was a matching skull hat, with dangles of gold to match the gold stitching of the outfit.

We made it back to the boat, with moments to spare and had lunch while the boat set sail and passed the local beach for the townies. After a wonderful nap next to the swimming pool on the top deck of the boat, we docked at the Kom Ombo Temple, dedicated to the two Gods Sobek and Horus. Since there were only three people in our group, we were able to rush ahead of the crowd and get some decent photos with no humans in them. We were also introduced to the Nilemeter and how they were used as a way to to determine the levels of tax to be paid, in kind, by the peasantry to their rulers. If the Very nice.

Well, let me tell you, this is where the hieroglyphs start getting interesting. First on the list of stops is the earliest record of surgical instruments ever recorded. They are also carved next to two women that are on birthing stools, but um, smiling?!? So they must have been drugged up pretty well to be smiling. Along a different wall, and almost off to one side so you had to have them pointed out to you, was how the early Egyptians were the first to invent Viagra. The bottom penis has only a few drops of semen out of it, but the top penis is sure to get your wifey happy with more semen since it's been cured! Yeah!

We got back on the boat after the history and medical lesson of our day and had "Egyptian food" dinner while setting sail for Edfu. I forgot to mention yesterday that we have had a porter who goes in while we are having dinner and turns our bed for us. During this time, he creates things out of towels. Yesterday, he made us a boat and swan. Today, during dinner, he took my newly brought dress and stuffed it and put it on the bed. Imagine my surprise opening the door and seeing this being sitting in our room! It was quite comical.

At the dinner, the wait staff and cooks came out with cake and drums and had us stand in front of everyone while they sang us an Egyptian song in celebration of our anniversary. How cool to be serenaded while being surrounded by cute men. And let me tell you, that cake was de-lious-ous with a capital D. After dinner we headed for the lounge for some entertaining games that got everyone on the dance floor for many laughs. I even won of one of the games and got a free juice drink. Yummy and a great way to end the day.

No comments:

Post a Comment