Monday, September 22, 2008

We're in Egypt!!!

And our legs are super-shacked from climbing so many pyramids!

That's my dad in front of the Red Pyramid in Dahshur. Those buggers really are bloody awe-inspiring. I've led him through temples, catacombs, mosques, hypostyles, courts, churches, fortresses, museums, subway systems and very smelly alleyways in the five days we've been gadding about so far. And amazingly, he can take it at the age of 59. Everyone keeps thinking he's my best bud, not my daddums.

He's wary, though. He's taking extra care of his health by snoozing a lot (I've become an early sleeper in tandem with him). Unfortunately for him, I've consistently booked us in budget hotels (with me it's second-class all the way, I told him). After travelling for years in four-to-six-star hotels, it's a little bit of a culture shock for him.

We're also sharing rooms and washing our own clothes. I'm seeing a little too much of his naked body these days. Shades of Noah and Ham.

Nyahaha. I love abusing my daddy.

I'm also inviting him to be culinarily adventurous. Above is something I ordered on the menu of Al-Shark in Alexandria called "Caw Lee Fatta", which I figured out was probably "Cow Leg Fatta", fatta being a heavy rice and bread dish.

Turns out that it's some kind of tendon rice pudding with chips.

It was actually good! But I couldn't finish it.

I really have to recommend the mango juice at El-Qobesi in Alexandria too. Lonely Planet called it the best mango juice, ever, and I'm inclined to agree. You sip that stuff and you can't move. You're transported into another state of epicurean consciousness.

Unfortunately, this being our second night in Alex, I decided to order something different. In addition to the obligatory juice (mango-guava-strawberry, each in its own delicious stratum), I got an extremely heavy fruit salad to go with it - banana, green honeydew, date, fig, pear, persimmon and grape.

Ugh. Too much. The embodiment of jelak.

Interesting incident last night: the owner of El-Qobesi gave me a free mango when I showed him what Lonely Planet said about the shop. Then I walked into another street and started taking a photo of people praying in a mosque, when a young man in a car suddenly started calling for me to show him my passport, saying he was the police.

I figured he probably wasn't the police, so I walked on. He followed on foot. I tried to protest. He was joined by a friend who told me, "When police ask for your passport, you show them!" and boxed me in the right ear.

I ran. They chased me. At first down the road, then I crossed over to the other side of the road and found a provision shop where there were bright lights shining. The shop owner made me sit down with him and insisted I stay down there when I explained what had happened. A shoe-shiner sitting nearby got me a glass of water.

They're good people here in Alexandria. (I say that mostly because they're much better than the Cairenes, who try and swindle you at every turn. It's bloody awful.)

I've got lots more stories to tell - bonding with my dad, and the way Egypt is so linguistically decentralised sometimes; in the tourist spots you hear as much English as French and Spanish and a bit of German and Portugese and Italian, and there are Coptic goldsmiths and catacomb tour guides who speak better Mandarin than I do, good god.

But I've gotta go back to mistreating my father:

Gesundheit, daddy. B).

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Come back in one piece! There's still unfinished business.

The mango juice looks good. Can ta pau back huh? jh