Thursday, November 8, 2007

Dear Egypt, Forget it. Love, Rachel

I got sucked into watching Globe Trekker last night. This is not unusual. I get sucked into watching a lot of things on TV, especially shows on PBS, because I'm 80 and very susceptible to commercial free shows. Because I have big dreams of acquiring a Wealthy Benefactor who will finance my three year trip around the word you would think that travel shows would do it for me. And they do, except that sometimes Globe Trekker has the opposite affect. Sometimes they go to places that completely turn me off to traveling. Places like the Vast Barren Desert of Egypt - Home of Sand, Sand, and More Sand. With a Side of Sand. And Some Scenic Views of Piles of Sand. The host, Megan, started out in Cairo, which seems amazing. Cairo - I want to go to. Cairo in January. But Cairo is a very small part of Egypt. The rest of the place looks like the bottom of my feet after a week of beach camping. I found this out because Megan left Cairo for a five day jeep ride through the uninhabitable desert on her way down to Luxor. Great Gravy! Five days through the desert in a jeep that did not appear to have air conditioning on unpaved roads. Driving and driving and driving. And then more driving. And then stopping to dump the sand out of your ears and then back in the jeep for more driving. Um, could someone please pass me some water, I'm feeling a little parched? And possibly one of those hemorrhoid donuts. And a shotgun.

My theory about desert driving is this: roads in deserts aren't actually roads but treadmills and the scenery you're seeing isn't real. It's a projected loop of desert scenery shown on giant movie screens to give you the illusion that you're driving through the desert but in reality you're not going anywhere. You're stuck in the desert forever. You're going to die there and jackals will come and eat your face.

At the beginning of the trek Megan visited an Australian Coptic hermit who lived in the desert mountains of Some Egyptian Place That Wasn't Cairo who said that the reason why he chose that life was because he had a vision after his mother died that told him to. But I actually think he stayed there because he couldn't bear the thought of driving through the desert anymore. That 20 years in a cave was better than 5 days of sand in your mouth.

Seriously, what does it take to get some water around here?


Laura said...

OK, I'm officially not allowed to read your blog at work anymore. I tried to stifle a laugh and made a weird noise instead. Good thing I have an office, although the walls are amazingly thin!

I agree about Egypt. I have no desire to go. I mean, maybe, if the rich husband comes along, and I've been everywhere else and suddenly grow tired of picturesque places like Ireland, then maybe, I'll go. But I agree...a spare jeep filled with bottled water. The hemorrhoid donut certainly wouldn't hurt...and maybe some real donuts to go along with it! And a shotgun. And a machine gun. And a fighter jet trailing me.

Liz the Poet said...

Do I want to see the pyramids? Absolutely! Do I want to see all the other ancienty stuff in Egypt? Certainly! Would I like to sail on the Nile? Sure!

But, the problem for me, as you've pointed out, is that those things are surrounded by the desert. I hate the desert of any persuasion. It's my least favorite landscape.

I wish we had the ability to telaport. You could then cut out the middle man, Mr. Desert.

That would solve all my problems...

Heather said...

Dear Desert,
Love, Heather