Friday, February 27, 2009


Ahhh freee internet, how i adore thee. well, your'e convenient anyway.

so i wanted to mention the awesome if slightly ghetto childrens playground we say in oth cairo and alexandria. They werent the same but contained the same toys. They were simple mechanical rides, made of tin, for small children. But the colors were awesome. You forget how important color can be, and for me the most interesting and awesome part of those rides were how colorful they were. Cairo is... not so colorful. For ingrid the cool part was the fact that they were all man-powered, none of them used electricity. Which means they were cheap and all the poor children who lived near there were scrambling around on these bright but dirty play structures.

now we are at the colin sullivan recommended Dahab Dorms. I have to say he was ight about how awesome staying here would be. But i will aslo say that my expectations of dahab and the sinai coast were very different than the reality. Id go on, but really thats long enough for one of my blog posts. later,

Wednesday, February 25, 2009


So we are spending our last night in luxor. then we will go to the sinai coast to be on the beach again.

Luxor, famous for the Valley of the Kings and the Karnak Temple and of course a lot of people trying to sell you things.

Everyone we spoke to before coming to Luxor warned us about how we would be hassled and that there would be non-stop irritation. Honestly... it wasnt that bad. Or i didnt think so until I spoke to a man we met in Aswan and ran into in Luxor.

Apparently he had been hassled a lot. I say this because when he was provoked by a guy on the ferry in luxor he totally flipped his shit. It was amazing. He kept calling for the police, he threw stuff; he was so enraged that he fell and badly injured himself. To be fair he really was provoked. To be honest, there wasnt anything he had experienced prior to that one incident that was that bad. Anyone who had traveled in India, Ghana, South Africa, parts of South America, China... would find Luxor pretty tame.

This wasnt what startled me. What bothered me was that people got so upset about being hassled without noticing that all the tourist money was clearly being sucked into some void and that the people around us are really truly dirt poor. They are persistent perhaps, but rarely rude, and really really need the cash. i imagined that the government would provide more infrastructure for the tourist towns or that some how there would be more of a trickle out effect. instead the tourist disembark froim the cruise ships, enter the tombs, leave, and the people of luxor still live hard poor lives.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009


Hello hello. First hing I have to do is thank Liz Huntely for being icredibly kind and including us in her travels with her friend Heather.

Then I have to say that Cairo is big, Alexandria was cold, Aswan is beautiful, and the US really really needs more sleeper cars on trains. I mean, why take amtrak from Philly to Vermont and lose a day, when you could spend just a little more and sleep pretty well, and not really have to deal with the 10 hour train ride.

A bomb did go off in cairo, but we werent there, and there hasnt been much on the news about it. Ok, we are off to Luxor to see the valley of the kings and queens.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Thank You

For my final Dubai post I have to take a moment to thank Raj and Dolly kriplani.

They very kindly hosted us for 12 days in Dubai. They were wonderful; feeding us, taking care of us, and just being extraordinarily generous.


Global Village

My second to last post about Dubai.

the global village was fascinating and filled with buildings in which the goods of a specific country were purportedly sold. This is not intersting. What was interesting was the show we saw on the stage.

We paused to get some food. We heard some music. It seemed soooo familiar, i couldnt quite put my finger on it... and then, up on the stage, introduced by an incredibley distorted, indian accented, enthusiastic DJ, came four dancers. Two men and two women. they proceeded to perform a very professionally well done version of the final dance from...

Dirty Dancing.

Where am I?

Monday, February 16, 2009


malls in the US... for me they are often soul killing life destroyers, bent on taking my money and energy, waiting for a moment of weakness to spring some deadly trap that will leave me in debt; penniless, alone, and incredibly tired.

malls in Dubai are both similar and different. I think the reasons behind the differences are many, although at first I just thought they were larger and more incredible versions of the same thing. instead my uncle pointed out that in Dubai it get hot. i mean HOT. I mean that you literally cannot survive outside without becoming a Bedouin. So people go to malls. i also noted that people werent really buying anything. I mean, occasionally people took advantage of the sales, but really people just bought food in the insanely amazing food courts. food courts filled with magical delights created in god's kitchen. (particularly crepes.) No, people just go there to hang out.

And well they should. not only the mall containing the insane aquarium with 1400 sharks, not only the fancy pants mall inspired by pyramids (and built with a whole bunch of them), that has an outdoor rooftop garden showing free movies every sunday night, and not only the enormous freaking mall with its own lake, skiing, and ice skating rink, but the fact that the taxi ride to most of these malls was really pretty reasonable, make them places worth going to. Of course... I only bought movie tickets, food, and 1 t-shirt. if youre here to shop, you'll probably end up a soulless monster feeding on the dreams of the young.

unless you're female. in which case you'll be fine.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Dune Bashing

Sorry for not posting recently. Ingrid and I have been having some computer troubles. We are actually about to head out for egypt, but I want to share some things about Dubai so the next few posts will have an anecdote or description of something I found fun or ridiculous.

Dune bashing is both fun AND ridiculous. I Loved it. We got in a 4x4 and drove into the desert. Once we were away from packed sand and into some serious dunes the driver went a little nuts. He began driving along the sides of the dunes, and over steep edges, and for the most part it felt like we were sliding everywhere. hmmm thats not a good description. If youve ever slid in the snow, just a short controlled skid as you took a turn... imagine that sliding feeling continuing for several minutes. Now add a slope, so the car is tilted at just under 45 degrees. Now pretend youre in a landrover, a vehicle that almost WANTS to flip over on its side. Now go at high speeds from one slope to another over and over. Now add a convoy of landrovers so you have the added danger of crashing into one-another...

I badly wanted to try it, but I probably would have killed us all. The guy driving was incredible.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Heading to Dubai

In just a few hours Ingrid and I will board a plane to dubai. I suspect that we will be little shocked returning to a modern metropolis, but im excited for the food. We are going at peak tourist time, but if some things are more expensive, other things are cheaper. Besides the Dubai Shopping festival will certainly be interesting.

Ghana was fun, and I definetely enjoyed our time here. I will miss the street food for sure, and also our very comfortable room in the church. But im excited as well.