Cairo, Egypt

Last night the towel art took a turn for the macabre – I was greeted, after the party by a life-jacketed creature with a fox mask sitting in one of our chairs pushed right into the doorway – I hear I’m not the only one who got rather a shock.

On this I think it’s worth noting (especially with the threat of volcanic ash keeping us in Egypt beyond our leaving date), that this slightly dark sense runs a little deeper and I have the feeling that despite the jollity, if we all  got stranded and the buffet ran dry, things would turn pretty Lord of the Flies, pretty quickly.

On Cairo:

It’s hard to know what to say about the pyramids – I guess: the pharaohs got what they wanted: to live forever, at least some of them – they’re really amazing, the sphinx likewise which apparently wasn’t part of the design but rather a work-around from when they hit a big block of limestone where they were trying to build a temple – it makes me feel a little better about how my plans don’t always quite work out either. The history of pyramid tourism is almost as interesting as the history of the pyramids themselves and you feel a certain solidarity with all the people who have ever stared up at them and thought “wow”.

The Egyptian museum is modest in layout and clearly contains some of the world’s most priceless artifacts – I reckon it’d also be a kind of spooky place to be after dark, frankly, it’s a pretty creepy in daylight, teeming with over-heated tourists. Nice to note: the tombs (or at least Tutankhamen’s) had a lot of treasure but frankly it looked like our spare room – a complete mess – everything piled on top of each other in readiness for the afterlife – rather than all lined up in opulent splendor to tempt grave robbers like it is in the movies, not that this would have deterred them I’m sure. Also: according to our guide the ancient’s used boomerangs, and indeed, there are some 15 or so they found in Tutenkamon’s tomb – he was a hunting enthusiast apparently.

Egyptians are jokers, or at least the men are, I haven’t met any women. Their favourite joke seems to be discovering ways of separating a guys from their girlfriend/wife and pretending they’re stealing the woman away. The inventiveness in this is impressive. We’ve had this from customs officials, immigration, the staff on the cruise ship, salesmen in the bazaars. Note to my beautiful sisters: the Egyptian men have asked that I send you over, you will find yourselves very welcome.

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