Posted by: Anna | December 2, 2010

Anna on Egypt

Overbearing hospitality are the two words that leap to my mind to describe Egypt. It was my least favorite of the places we have been, not because as a country it is not historically and culturally intriguing, but because of the hassle. Certainly the pyramids are indescribably awesome, and should be on everyone’s list of places to see before you die.

Dahab will draw me to return; the beachy, hippie, laid-back diving truly slowed the pace of my usually racing mind to a pleasant meander. Discovering diving there will always grant it a special place in my mind. Diving is remarkably relaxing, and although I have always been diving with others, it is one of the few environments where I literally cannot talk. Some basic hand signals are all you have as communication tools. The quiet gave my mind space to enjoy nature (see, I have a little hippie in me) in a unique relaxing way.

Luxor, especially, and Cairo would not interest me for a return trip. Travel is subjective, shaped as much by the daily minute by minute experiences as by the historical sights. In fact, I think most of us just use historical sights as a way to decide where to go in a world full of millions of destinations. The sights are often the least memorable part of the trip, and certainly a building that just stands there does not evoke the same emotional response as a wonderful interaction with a local person, or a terrible one. Those emotional responses mold the memories taken away.

Each day in Luxor or Cairo was filled with illogical and disorganized tourist experiences, during which I felt that whoever I was dealing with was trying to take advantage of me while pretending to be my friend. I felt dirty because every interaction was disingenuous. Ug. Let’s go. In fairness, the Egyptians who were not trying to sell me things were very kind and helpful; the sellers soured my overall experience.

I do not want to waste this writing complaining, so I will move on to my haiku, in honor of Dahab.

A secret garden
–Coral, shining fish, and blue.
Revealed by S.C.U.B.A.

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  1. Interesting you ascribe a love of nature to being a hippie. I have to think on that one. The meeting people and everyday experiences part of travel is definitely the most rewarding, I agree. But as a lover of history, art and architecture, I do love the sites. A balance of those things makes for a perfect trip in my mind.

  2. Luxor and Cairo, you are the Cleveland and Cincinnati of Egypt. Where is the hospitality? Where is Ruslan Kim? Why can’t Egypt be like Indiana, PA? They have TWO STARBUCKS.

    • I’m glad you and Tommy found a hobby(diving) that you both enjoy. As Tommy wrote, I don’t think his fantasy football was cutting it for the both of you! Your Egypt story, if anything, will be unforgettable.

      Peter, my husband is from Indiana, PA. How do you know of that place?

      • I was scouting for Akwasi Owusu-Ansah. He’s the white taxi of kick returners.

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