Monday, September 10, 2012

The Last Remaining Wonder (10 Nov 2008)

How much did it kill me to wait, and wait, and wait to go to Giza? So much, but the timing wasn't right before Luxor, so we waited it out. I was afraid that it was going to be a let down, like meeting a celebrity and finding out they're just a normal person.
They snuck up on me. Belinda wanted to take the bus, rather than the subway or a cab, and although I was not exactly thrilled at the prospect, she's gone along with some of my ideas when she didn't really want to, so I didn't put up a fight. I don't have the highest opinion of public transportation here - it gets the job done, but it doesn't radiate safety and efficiency the way the Seoul buses and subways do. Anways, we rode the bus to its last stop, outside the Oberoi Mena House, and I was still looking around when Belinda said, "Yo, they're over there." (Okay, no, she probably didn't say, "Yo.")
And there, off to the left up a hill, they were. Or, rather, there two of them were (Menkaure's monolith is a little less mono, and it hide behind Khefren's). The closer you got (after dutifully paying your 60 Egyptian pound), the bigger they were, and the more jagged they looked, having stood on the plateau for untold eras losing some of their smooth exteriors (Khefren's still has some of its casing at the top, and has many of the missing pieces lying around the bottom...I may have picked up a small chunk of it to take home, Babysis' hubby suggested it would make a cool souvenir, but after I put it in my pocket I got a feeling like a small bug was biting the inside of my leg, and decided to discard it in case the pharoah's curse was working on me. True story.)
But I couldn't figure out where the Sphinx was. I was actually more excited to see him than the pyramids, and from what I could tell on Lonely Planet's map, he ought to be right there. Well, the LP map doesn't show topography, we had to walk down the hill to him, and I know everyone says this, but he's SO much smaller than you expect him to be (tricky photographers!). Nonetheless, he was SO COOL! Lack of nose and beard notwithstanding, you can still see the pride of the pharaoh written on his face - you might even recognize him in a crowd.
This may be my last entry for a (long) while - the next five days will be in Greece and Korea, ending my extended vacation and launching me in the direction of home, the United States, where the fast food is both fast and food, where clothes and shoes come in more than three sizes (ie, not XS, S, and M), where gas is only like $4/gallon (I think that was the last I heard), where I will no longer get comments like, "Oh my God. Wow. You are like the moon come down to earth. I love you," and yet, somehow, I will be more than happy with it, where both my cat and my sister live, where I can call almost all of my nearest and dearest for free (provided I'm on my cell phone and it's after 9 p.m.), where the bookstores ENCOURAGE you to make yourself comfortable and read (they probably didn't bank on reading speeds like mine)...yes, home!

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