Egypt: the first sit-down

Egypt, Cairo, 2011
[egypt. cairo streets]

The old uncle driver insisted egypt is now without police or sense (‘crazy’ and ‘rubbish’ were his words), and we had to unpeel him from us each time he insisted on chaperoning us. I’m sure he had his own baksheesh (tips, everyone gets them there) motives, but we never once were made to feel unsafe, and the demonstrations we saw were small and peaceful. I don’t understand arabic but they seemed more rallying calls than bays for blood. The busloads of tourists continue especially in Luxor and Aswan. The november weather was perfect too.


I brought back a ton of dust and sand. The grit has a way of getting under your skin, and it’s going to take time to shake it out.

And both feel good.

Traveling breaks a lot of old bones. Both sights and people can be so wildly different, you have turn malleable to absorb and attempt to comprehend. Because there are very little half-ways when you’re plonked new in a strange place. And egypt was as strange as a place could be for me right now. More on this later.

I haven’t scored perfect on this of course, but i love that traveling recalls how wonderfully life-affirming being open and present can be.

Typically we hold back because neither end nor means seem substantial enough to make the effort. The paradox of travel subverts that seemingly wise principle: the end is inevitable, and often all too near, and who could really tell the means. Yet no one says no on a trip; in fact, you wholeheartedly say yes in spite of it, perhaps because of it. Crucially though, you have to say an honest yes, instead of smoking your end of the participation. With the precarious balance of trusting the unknown, you learn to use skepticism rarely and carefully if you do not want to miss the opportunities for real connection.

The moment passes, but the connection made really is forever. And it is with the whole heart you say yes, if you intend to bring home anything of value.

The old nugget of telling no lies because you do not want reactions based on lies: even if i never see you again, even if i will never hear from you again, i am here and present, and completely honest in this experience. This way i walk away knowing i gave my all, and so was able to receive what is worth.


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