Wednesday 14 November 2007

Egypt Explored - 1

My series on my trip to Egypt .... there are so many aspects to this crazy country that a travelogue will not do it justice! So I decided to pick up pieces of my experience and pen them down separately....



Egypt for the uninitiated is not a vacation! So all those people who want to go to a foreign location and kick off their shoes, do NOT go here....you will tear your hair out and by the time you come back, you will probably need a vacation to get over this one!

Having said that, I'll tell you about the kind of people who 'should' go here. If you love to explore...to experience new cultures...if you love history and architecture....if you are game to open your mind and heart to this land of wonder, then my friend, you can't miss Egypt!



It is a pandora's box. You will have people trying to sell you clothes, souveniers, taxi rides, camel rides, the camel itself, and just about anything they can think of...they will follow you and say "You are Indian?? Very good India....Maharajas...Amitabh Bachchan" and flash a toothy smile before trying to make their sales pitch...the scorching heat of the day sun will drive you nuts and you will go beserk when the book seller sells you an English newspaper for Rs.200....



But Egypt is more than that. If you can deal with all of this, then they embrace you with open arms and surprise you with their warmth. Taxi drivers offer you cigarettes, they are apologetic about the hassle you go through, educated professionals on the road are more than happy to haggle in arabic with a shopkeeper for something you want when you hit the language barrier....and the sights of Egypt are all ready to astound you! Standing in front of the Pyramids of Giza, one can not help but be awed by the 455ft giant structure made with rocks each weighing 1.5 tonnes put together at a time when they had no wheels, pulleys or iron tools...add to that all this has withstood earthquakes, invasions and all unimaginable exploitation! Every ruin in Egypt takes your breath away....be it the Luxor Temple, the Karnak Temple or the Valley of Kings for the sole reason that these dont appear to be ruins. These structures are 4000-5000 years old but stand straight and proud, displaying their mesmerizing writings engraved in the stone and hold their own....

All in all, go to Egypt if all this excites you....if you like standing in the middle of history and absorbing the experience. Egypt leaves you gasping....ironically, gasping for breath...for water...and for some more....

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

wow! sounds like a must see!!!

Raj said...

Ah ... but at some point the constant bickering for "bakshish" for acts which would have been easily understood to be politeness or friendliness leaves one with nothing but suspicion about the motives of the next "very friendly" Egyptian ..

Having said that, once you have figured out how to skillfully outmaneuver this bit, Egypt is one of the most warm, friendly, and fun places for a tourist!

Harnoor said...

I agree. It all seems like one big scam. But once you realise that and just smile everytime someone tries it, they smile back that their trick has been caught and go on to the next guy.