Monday, September 10, 2012

The Marvels of Karnak (4 Nov 2008)

Sorry, guys, my mind is not completely with me right now, and this may not be the most entertaining or informational blog I've ever written. That said, we went to Karnak today. What a huge fricking place. We got there at about 6:30 this morning, and it took us four hours to see the whole thing. Like Aya Sofya, there's not much I can say that will do it any more justice than far more skilled writers have done, but I will say this...again, for something as old as it is...and I realize that some assembly has been required...but as old as it is, it's held up pretty well. Look at ourselves, people - we can't even build highways that don't need replaced every year or so!
Last night we were on our way to a (cancelled, as we would learn) music night at Snack Time's "The Roof," and we fumbled upon a musical performance, and there was even a whirling dervish! I was excited because I hadn't gotten to see one yet. Today we took a caleche (carriage ride) back to Luxor from the temple, and this evening rode a felucca on the Nile. A very small part of the Nile, because there wasn't any wind to speak of, but it was a felucca, on the Nile, nonetheless.
One thing that has puzzled me is the lack of Americans in this country - I haven't met any since parting ways with Phee and Carol. Has our media really prejudiced us that badly? Although I haven't always been entirely comfortable here, I haven't actually had any incidents, and, insh'Allah it'll stay that way. I kinda knew what I was getting into from my year in Bahrain, and although the constant hassling from shopkeepers gets really old, really fast, that's nothing I'm willing to let stand in the way of my seeing the wonders of the ancient world.
We're asked a lot about our nationalities, and Belinda's pretty open about being Aussie. When we started in Istanbul, at first I was telling everyone I was from Korea. Half of them kinda looked at me funny, only to decide it wasn't worth it, the other half said, "Yeah, but where are you really from?" or "Yes, but from America originally, yes?" Lately I've been ignoring them because I think my nationality makes Belinda nervous, so they've been guessing. I've gotten Dutch at least once, German several times, but mostly they think I'm British, even after hearing my voice. I'm okay with that, since my adopted mum from Bahrain was British, but I kind of want to say proudly, "No, I'm American." Maybe the people need to see that Americans aren't all the bad guys just as much as we need to see that the middle east is not the dangerous nest of terrorists that our media paints them. Maybe, but it will have to wait for someone braver than me.

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