A few funny moments on that day:
We hired a driver to take us on a tour of the nearby pyramids, including Dashur and Saqqara, and for whatever reason, he decided he would bring his neighbour to do the driving. He seemed pretty excited to introduce him to us. We stopped at the bank so that I could get some cash. At the time, it was right around five Egyptian pounds to the Canadian dollar. I made a point of carefully counting my pounds so that I was sure that I got out what I punched in…before I took my card out of the machine. "Make a hiss or a whooshing sound out loud," I wrote on the blog that evening. "That is the sound my card makes as it disappears into the slot." Getting my card back involved waking a bank employee from his early morning siesta and convincing him that having my card back on my person was a matter of some importance.
Fifteen minutes later, it was amazing to my nose that the smog of Cairo followed us confidently out into the countryside. Eventually, we came to realize that the smog dissipated rapidly once a window was rolled down. Windows stayed open for the remainder of the drive.
Not only had civilization crept up on the Pyramids of Giza by 2007, the corporate world had crept into Egypt as well. But with money to be made on hungry tourists, anxious for a taste of home, the corporate world is as the corporate world does.
It's interesting to look at Google Maps now to see how much more developed the area around the pyramids is these days.
Later that night, the four of us were stuffed into a berth on the overnight train to Luxor. Within minutes, everyone was asleep, while I wrote about our day of chasing bank cards and ancient marvels.
All in all, December 6, 2007 was a good day.
|Our first approach on the Sphinx, and the Pyramids beyond.|
If you're interested in more of our travels, scroll through the blog, or check out our books.
Stories of our travels through Europe and the Middle East (including Egypt) are found in Today I Ate Cow Stomach.
Our three months in India make for an exhaustingly beautiful read, in The Happy Accident.
Our sometimes weary sojourns throughout Southeast Asia, as well as the preparations for an art show based on our travels are written about in Distant Early Warning.