All entries for Monday 26 December 2005

December 26, 2005

Of Kings, Queens and Temples…...via Egypt

First….......the update! I'm now doing my masters…........it's the christmas holidays and i'm in Egypt! Woohoo!

It's my birthday tomorrow! (this is in no way a cheap attempt to solicit gifts….......a text would be MORE than enough…........I have 2 phone lines and only ever get texted/ called by people who either wanna ask me how much of my esay i havent written or a certain small group of….......hmm…........4…...who text/call cos they actually miss me.) Anyway….......back to the birthday bit…...... I ordered my cake from Le Carneval in Mouhandessen. Its this absolutely amazing pastry/cake shop near where we're staying. They have SUCH amazing sweet stuff! It's not really a cake….....a really rich creamy chocolate mousse with a crunchy base actually…........but hey…...........it's still going to be my yummiest birthday cake ever!

Im back in cairo. My cruise is over. It's so unfair! Oh well…........quoi faire eh? Worst still is dad has meetings this week that he cant reschedule so we're not even going to sharm el sheikh either….....bright side? ….......I won't come back there looking even more like a nubian than i already do! lol. I've tanned so much! People keep thinking we're all egyptian cos we look so egyptian and keeps talking to us in arabic. Dad is the only one who speaks it perfectly and mum and i can understand only bits. But i do know how to say bekam da? (how much is this) in a convincing enough accent that they give me local prices before they realise their mistake and that i have NO idea what they're saying half the time! lol! I can also say burtugan (orange) Thats my new word for today.hehe! I also know some colours, figured out that mush kuwais does NOT mean very good but quite the opposite ( made that mistake my first day here when hamdi our driver took us to Le Carneval, asked me what i thought of the place, and i said mush kuwais with a huge smile on my face! I can also say lalala…...ghali….....khamastaashar mush arbaeen…......translation…...............no no no!... expensive!.....15 not 40.

We went on a cruise down the Nile and it finished on Saturday. It was so much fun! We went to loads of temples between luxor and aswan and they were all so incredibly beautiful. I'll post the pics when i get back (after i pick out the best ones…......dont wanna bore you with my 700 odd pictures of pharaonic/roman/greco-roman/greek/ptolemaic columns). The most fun i had tho was when we were sailing to edfu and stopped at the locks so the boat could be raised. We were there for ages and then i started hearing all this shouting outside my window. I finally became curious, opened the door, went out onto the balcony, and something red was thrown at me, landing with a great thump on the glass behind me. I almost fell into the nile i was that shocked! lol! I picked up the bundle, unwrapped it, and it was a sparkly red dress with a highly sequined face on nefertiti or tutankhamun or someone on it. I look down, and there are about four row boats there. Each with two people, One rowing the boat trying to keep it level with the ship, the other throwing random clothes, scarves, and even towels at people! Then one of the standing up (yes….....standing up on a teeny boat) people goes…"how much lady how much?" "Very cheap beautiful lady!" I said 50 pounds (egyptian of course! ;) ) he shouts…...No! No! 400! (i found same sparkly red dress at bazaar later for 35). I said it was too expensive, chucked it back, they chucked me another, i said i wasnt interested, they chucked me another, i threw them both back….....so on and so forth till finally i'd had enough. I threw the last one at him with the intention of bolting back into room and shutting curtains when….....oops. I threw the dress and instead of landing in the boat….........it landed in the nile! Last i saw of him he was frantically rowing trying to catch up with the dress!hehe. It was funny! And talk about a good sales pitch! (du dum!)

Anyway, we got to aswan, on way there i got sick witha terrible yucky throat infection and could only have liquids…........yes….........i couldnt even have dessert…....as a result i managed to halt my steady decline into chubby happiness brought on by excessive amounts of chocolate mousse, pastries and eggs….........eggs make good breakfast…....... :) Got put on anti biotics that i got without prescription….....( I LOVE africa! )...........and now feel much better. I even managed to eat some yummy kebaby things yesterday and a slice of pizza for dinner. Halal Pizza hut….....a dream come true! We had three different kinds of beef alone on our pizza! Oh wait….......make that four…......sigh! Judi, Sarah Lisa…........you KNOW wat a momentous occasion this was for me! Non vegetarian Pizza Hut! MEAT that wasnt from bloody Caspian Pizza!

Back to cruise…........Aswan had the most amazing souk. We bought so many spices! Probably got a bit ripped off but hey….......its still cheaper than the UK! and so fresh! We've bought about 6KGs of karkade (hibiscus flowers for making a delicious tea) already between me, mum and sis!

We went to cairo museum today. Tried to sneak in as locals ( 2 Pounds each instead of 40), and almost made it…......till the guards started talking to me in arabic and i had NO idea what he'd asked! lol! He made us go back and get new tickets…........actually,,,,,,,,,he TOOK us to ticket office and got them for us himself! lol!

We then went to khan el khalili (for the third time) and bought more stuff. yay! I saw this lovely ring and this pendant that matched a bracelet dad got me, asked how much it was, and was told that together they'd cost 230. I ended up getting them both for 150. I miss bargaining! I also saw this crocodile skin bag that i absolutely fell in love with. Animal activists…........poor widdle crocs/rabbits/minks/dalmations feelings can go to hell. I will wear fur. hehe. well…....maybe not fur cos it would make me look really fat…......but crocodile/snake/ostrich/cow/goat is fine, as a bag or shoes. As long as the animals are farmed and not treated cruelly i have no problems with animal by-products. Anyway…....back to afforementioned handbag of glory…............it cost about 230 . Mum wouldnt let me get it….......(yes…....i KNOW i have no money…......but already i was balancing my budget in my head, deciding to live on nothing but tesco value baked beans for a month…........selling random junk on ebay…..........ANYTHING to make up the money i needed) . Then mum brought in the guilt by saying that if i had so much money to waste i should give it to my aunt for her school for orphans that shes financing all on her own and getting no money from anyone. Hmmm…..........educate destitute orphans in africa…......buy croc skin handbag….....orphans….......bag…......orphans…......you can guess where this is going cant you? I decided to walk away from the bag. And I swear the other ones smiled at me. ( by the other ones i mean the other bags….........some of them….....NOT the one i liked…........still had the heads attached to them and there were little stuffed crocs all over the place )

Speaking of crocs….........we went to the temple of sobek…......crocodile god…......at….....erm….......makombo…....no that means leftovers in swahili….........yes! Kom Ombo! Apparently they believed that the crocodile brought them the yearly nile flood so worshipped it…...... blah blah….......caught first one the saw coming up the nile each year cos it was supposed to be god himself….......they would then wait for it to die, mummify and display it before burying (after having received MANY offerings in the form of gold/silver/jewels/ivory/visa/AMEX…...........) . Only prob was…....it was their god so they obviously couldnt kill it…..........and crocs live about 80 years…........so what did they do? Starve it to deat instead. Thought process of head priest….............i need more offerings…........my temple's not as rich as Luxor….........what to do….........I know! Show people their god sobek….........mumble mumble…......crocodile=sobek, sobek=god, gods need offerings, therefore croc=money!...........hmm…........kill god?.......bah…......it'd piss of the lesser priests…........i know! we can STARVE it to death! ther's nothing wrong with that! lol! I loved that!

Or what about King Hatshepsut…......who was actually a woman pretending to be the son of god amon ra on earth so she could rule as a man and steal the throne from her step son who then killed her and defaced all her temples when he realised his king/god was actually his step mother/father? She even wore a false beard and everything! Typically…......being a woman,............she didnt engage in the usual pursuits of enlarging the lands of egypt, going to war etc. nope. She went shopping instead. To somali to buy gold and ivory and stuff. A woman after my own heart she was…............and to prove her manliness…..........erected some of the biggest obelisks in Egypt. hehe.


The resucitation of Mina's Blog (the Original)

Yipee! Mina's blog is finally working again! People of the world you may rejoice! hehe! Got ITS to give me control over my blog again and they came through. I have a couple of older entries on Mina's Blog 2 but from now on i'll be continuing on this one. Yay!

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