Pyramids, Pot and Porn, A tour through Egypt

This blog has been going for less than a year now, and believe it or not, previous to its existence I had done a fair bit of traveling already. Every now and again I have a look at past photos and reminisce, of course I have to go through thousands of redundant happy snaps to find the memories hidden within, so I thought I would do a post every now and then about these past glories. This time it’s Egypt. Without further ado, Pyramids, pot and porn, a tour through Egypt.

Egypt

Steeped in ancient history and a relative abundance of dirt, Egypt is one of those places most people want to see in their lifetime, and I would recommend it to all, aside from its historical worth, it is a cultural shit storm, everywhere you turn someone is battering you over the head with culture this, history that, social “say what now?”, and camels.

4 or 5 years ago we did a tour through Egypt, and although not normally one to ascribe to tours, this ended up being great fun, no thinking required, nose leads at the ready…Absorb. My memories are a bit vague these days, but the following photos will help break it down to its more memorable moments.

Cairo

Cairo Egypt

Cairo, the city that plumbing forgot, a hustling, bustling, hodge podge of half finished buildings, crammed together to leave one with that homely feeling. I loved Cairo and its denizens. This was one of my first major forays into travel, and seeing another culture so different to mine, on such a grand scale left a lasting impression on me. Sure it is filthy, and foreign girls are bombarded with wolf whistles and lewd comments, but I’m also filthy, and not a girl, so it didn’t bother me too much.

The city is amazing to explore, and home to the best museum I have ever been to, I even read stuff on the old things! Our last night in Cairo we had free to do as we pleased, Sarah and I decided to catch a taxi to see the night show at the pyramids, unfortunately our taxi driver could not (or would not) understand this, and drove us around for an hour, before dropping us a few blocks down from our hotel, outside the “Pyramids” restaurant, because yeah, of course the tourists would be looking for a restaurant named the pyramids, and not actually want to see the pyramids. I don’t know, those crazy Egyptians.

Pyramids

Camel riding at the pyramids Egypt

The stages you go through when first seeing the pyramids go something like this,

“I can’t believe how close the pyramids are to the city”

then, “oh hey wow, I’m actually at the pyramids in Egypt

then, “Fuck off, for the millionth time I don’t want a ride on your fucking camel”

then, “Fine I’ll ride your fucking camel if you piss off afterwards”

then, “Oh, a Pizza Hut next door to the pyramids, isn’t that funny”

and finally, “Get me out of here before I kill this bastard and his fucking camel!”

At least that was my experience of the pyramids and the associated Sphinx, don’t get me wrong, it was cool to see, and I enjoyed a brisk climb up the first few step things that make up its body, but man do you get hassled for the privilege.

Orphans

orphans rejoice

Part of our tour included an optional trip to an orphanage (apparently fairly common in Egypt ), still in the early stages of our relationship I felt it would be good to impress upon Sarah how caring I was, so opted in with her. Now I’m not a huge fan of orphans (not in a genocidal sort of way, more in a men should learn the ‘pull-out’ technique’ so we don’t have to worry about orphans sort of way, that may sound harsh, but it is less harsh than thousands of kids relying on the kindness of foreigners to survive), but it is humbling to be confronted with things like these, and I could always use a bit of humbling.

We made our way to the orphanage, and were greeted with lots of shouting cute children being pimped, uh, I mean, put on display for the rich foreigners. To say I didn’t feel the pang of guilt or sorrow for these snotty, loud, yet somehow adorable little tykes would be a lie, it would also be untrue not to admit that this might have been one of the places that pushed me in the “no kids for me thanks” direction. Yeah they were sweet, but I couldn’t eat a whole one.

The Nile

nile sunset Egypt

In case you didn’t know, a river runs through it, and a big one to boot, the Nile, Egypt’s Mother Ganga, a beautiful place to watch the sunset, an incredible place to muse over its role in the history of Egypt, and a great place to score weed from the boatmen.

From memory we sat in the boat for a couple hours and moved maybe 50 meters upstream, the boat guy and his stick then gave up and turned around. Still it was nice to watch the sunset on the river, and being back in the day when weed was my air, I was happy to score a HUGE joint from the boat fella, I think because we had had a good chat, and because he knows how to get a good tip, like buy a motor.

Dahab, Pot and Porn

dahab Egypt

Dahab, Egypt is said to be a divers paradise, and although we only did an introductory dive, it was beautiful, more so even than our dive in Mexico. When we were there it was still a smallish village with amazing beaches and water, this was our first scuba experience, and amazing snorkeling at the blue hole. It was also the place where I got truly stuck in to Shisha, trying flavours like pineapple, strawberry, paw paw, and my old favourite, tobacco.

This is also where I learned to be more wary of my fellow man when traveling. Sarah and I became friends with one of the Egyptian waiters, and after chatting to him a few times were given an invite to see where he lived. We had on this particular night gotten somewhat hammered, and some part of me thought “yeah, how cool, hanging out with the locals, how very Egypt of us, now this is real traveling”. Leaving our party and heading to his little room adjoining the tourist area at night. I was pleased to be offered and smoke, some of the abundance of weed he kept to escape his life. I know he was trying to escape his life, because from walking in his door, he did not stop trying to impress upon us how unfortunate he was, and how fortunate we were.

I remember slurring something about how “we’re the same man, different but the same”, to which I am sure he thought “the same my arse you drunken fool”. After about 10 minutes of this pointless exchange, he moved over to the T.V., and slid a video into the VCR (video! I know right! Get with the times mate). I was more than a little surprised to see a porn movie pop up on the screen. Sarah and I looked at each other as if to say “what the fuck, porn? We should leave”. He looked at me, saw the surprise in my eyes and said “I just want you to see what my life is like, I watch porn at my home”. Well mate, I guess we really are the same, I should have said, but instead I made a hasty excuse as to why we needed to leave, got up, and expecting a nasty blow to the head made my way with Sarah away from this now bizarre interaction.

We saw him the next day, and he said that he wanted to come with us to Cairo to see his mother, I did what any sane man would do, and lied about when our bus was leaving. We never did see him again, but he has left a somewhat disturbing mark on my mind and forever influenced how I relate in foreign countries, especially Egypt.

Temples and Deserts and Tours

Karnak, or something Egypt

valley of the kings Egypt

As you can imagine, a lot of our time was spent exploring the various temples and Valley’s and what not. Egypt has a fascinating history, and it is spread across the face of its country like pimples on a teenage steroid junkie. We didn’t get to see everything, but we saw and did a lot. We rode donkeys and camels, caught a boat on the Nile, explored the Valley of the Kings and huge temple type places, went diving and snorkeling, wandered through museums, went canyoning and four wheeler driving in the desert (Sarah crashed, but made it out OK), drove around Cairo and visited some amazing markets.

There was and is so much to do in Egypt, and the two weeks we spent there could quite easily have been months, but alas, I was working at the time, and burdened by my desire to make money. The people can be a bit hard to deal with sometimes, Sarah and the other girls on our trip were constantly being harassed, and every man and his camel were offering to get me stoned, but they are at the very least, not dull.

I don’t know if we will ever go back there, but I am glad to have seen it, and surprised at how fun a tour can actually be if you get the right people. Oh Egypt you loveable rogue, thanks for the memories.

desert flower Egypt


Comments

Pyramids, Pot and Porn, A tour through Egypt — 4 Comments

  1. Hi Tyrhone how are you going? Beautiful snaps of Egypt. I love to go through my past snaps too.
    I am sure you loved the orphans. That little one was so cute.

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