Friday, November 25, 2011

"You're a desert girl now."

Sometimes I go through these maddening stages where all I want to do is write. I have this lovely little journal that I purchased before I came to Cairo. I’ve written bits and thoughts of things that I’ve learned, heard, seen, or tasted. Sometimes I also find dessert (also DESERT) crumbs and varying colors of coffee stains that make a nice addition to the bare pages that I started to write on, which is quite humorous because that helps me to remember where I was and what I was doing on that day.

However, life has been a bit chaotic lately and I tend to get dates and times mixed up and frequently forget how to function properly on a day-to-day basis. Perhaps this means I am adapting quite well to Egyptian society? Let’s hope so. I have fortunately laid off of the shisha but have found other devices of self destruction, such as Haribo gummies in the shape of teeth and cinnamon porridge, to help my daily advances.

In the last few weeks I’ve experienced some rather interesting things, one topic concerning the outlook of AUC students and its female population in general I will have to save and elaborate more on during another blog.

This is definitely one of the best things that I have done in Egypt so far. After getting a late start and having to drive a bit longer than expected, which was perfectly fine due to the fun music and great company, I found myself in the middle of nowhere. In this case, the middle of nowhere looks like a mirage—nothing but desert sand and massive, beautiful dunes for miles. I’ve never seen anything like it in my whole life. 

As my friend Angela and I were unloading the truck/trying to make ourselves look busy, the tour guides quickly gave directions to another party that came in a different caravan. They started climbing and slipping up to the top of the dune and slowly began to slide back down while sitting on their bottoms.  I then heard, “Whitney, yalla!”

I found myself clambering up the sandy dune and began to wish for death. It was outrageously hot and I felt like an injured mountain goat, or perhaps a rhinoceros, while making my way to the top. FINALLY I was able to reach the peak. It took longer than expected from immense amounts of laughing and buckets of sand in my socks and eyes. I stood up and tried to take everything in—the view was surreal. All I could see was the beautiful desert that at times looked an eerie shade of blue. The rays of the massive sun and the cool, salty wind teased my skin and hair. Goose bumps covered my body. It was a breathtakingly, gracious reminder of why I had fallen in love with Egypt. I was startled that this place had remained somewhat the same for thousands of years. I was lucky beyond belief to experience such a creation. 

I felt a nudge on my shoulder and realized I had to go down at some point. I decided to be a scaredy cat the first time and sat down as securely on the board as possible. It started moving through the sand so quickly and I completely forgot what I was supposed to do after leaving the top of the dune. Fortunately, I screamed my way down the dune and ended at the bottom without any battle wounds. The second trek to the top proved to be as successful and I actually managed to sand board without falling all of the way to the bottom of the hill! It was so invigorating and exciting! At this point I was exhausted and decided Angela and I needed nourishment.

After several peanut butter and strawberry sandwiches later, followed by apples, grapes, and popcorn, we continued to trek around the desert. I felt like I walked miles and miles in my bare feet as the day began to grow cooler. Before we knew it we had spent hours playing and the sun grew tired of our frenzied adventures. We marched for the last time up to the top of an untouched dune for the most beautiful sunset that I’ve ever seen. The sun didn’t look like a sun at all. It was so strange and pink, like a huge glowing candy ball without any rays beaming off of it. The setting sun was selfish and only stayed for a few moments before it melted into the horizon.

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