Tuesday, September 25, 2007

MSN photo

This morning, when I dabbed Egyptian oils behind my ears and on my wrists, I was reminded of our trip to Egypt. Exotic flowers gave of their all. In their pure form, without alcohol added, they do not evaporate. Their fragrance can linger for days, through baths, and indefinitely on the dresser.

The climate is hot and very dry. Humid air is heavy, odors cling. Egypt has very little humidity. The only odor we noticed was from vehicle exhaust.

When we visited the pyramids, we had to have a camel ride. There was nothing quiet about the camels. They grumbled the whole time. I suspect they would rather have been running free, but they can't get water on their own.

Notice the Bedouin is covered up. When the wind blows sand flies and stings on impact. He probably is there to offer tourists a ride. And don't forget the "baksheesh" (tip).

In all our travels, we have never seen traffic to compare with Cairo. Lanes? Optional. Horns? A must. Between the usual means of transportation were old tractors pulling flatbeds of trash to make bricks, herds of sheep and goats, and people trying to cross while we were moving, or trying to.

The Egyptians were some of the nicest people we have met. Minnie and I couldn't find our way to Khan El Khalili, the oldest bazaar in the Middle East. At one point, someone grabbed me from behind and pulled me back. Annoyed, I turned to see I was spared a squash by a city bus.

Stand on a street corner and look lost, somebody will come along and tell you where to go. And he spoke English. "You look lost. I have a fragrance shop just over there. Will you follow me?" He had good eyes. We did. With his cool drinks in hand we began to look around. "No, you don't have to buy anything," he insisted. The wall displayed pictures of him in California selling his products. Our eyes feasted on pretty bottles catching the sun's rays. Our noses sniffed exotic soul-stirring fragrances we had to have. Relieved of our Piastres and Pounds, then he called a cab.

copyright 2007 Red Convertible Travel Series

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