Africa, Destinations, Do's and Don'ts, Middle East, Travel Tips

Don’t Take the Train

February 5, 2009 • By

On the advice of myself, I need to relax more. Pounding the pavement every day is hazardous to my health and information overload. My brain needs time to digest and my foot time to heal. That is why I took today to just admire the Pyramids of Giza and stroll the streets at leisure. I woke up at sunrise to see the rays of light cross the Great Pyramid of Khufu. The sky was still filled with smog but the beauty of the rocks shone through illuminating the granite stones.

I watched some classic TV – Ship Ghost–Yep I bet you missed that award winner–and then headed to the shops. It only took me about 20 minutes before I got myself into trouble. Some guy trying to take me to his shop irritated me and I snapped. I guess I sort of replied loudly and with some attitude that I simply wanted to walk and I disliked jewelry and perfume and that I already owned a papyrus. (From what I can tell these 3 are the staples). I thought I was just saying no but apparently I offended the guy and 2 other locals had to come to my aide as the guy wanted to come after me. A nice English-speaking guy informed me I should maybe not use that tone here in Egypt. Oooops.

Back to the pool for me.

I’m now on the sleeper train from Giza to Aswan. I WAS very excited to have more local flavor (and save $200) until about an hour ago when I saw a mouse and screamed. For those not in the know, I have an absolute fear of mice. My scream was so loud it brought some guy with a chief nametag and the other conductor to my cabin. They tried to tell me I did not see a mouse. I then told the “chief” I saw it run from one place to the other 3 times and it finally went under the door and likely to the next cabin. He asked again, “Are you sure?” Here is what I said to him. I live in New York. I know I saw a mouse. I’m pretty sure you know I saw a mouse and are trying to convince me I am crazy but guess what? You are moving me out of this car now.

He agreed to move me but not before throwing my shoe at me like there was a mouse in it and me screaming again. He found it hysterical.

The nice conductor moved my crap and I was so frazzled I didn’t think to tip but don’t worry he reminded me with the usual, “you not happy I not do good job?” Damn these people are ballsy.

Oh and don’t worry mom I WILL be flying back to Cairo.

Wish me a mouse free night.