Egypt, and Scaling the Great Pyramids of Giza

“Covered in dust and sweat my heart was pounding as I ambled excitedly  up the pyramid. I looked down contemplated the painful calamity  if I slipped. “Almost there” I huffed to myself approaching the top, the nervous energy propelled me, Getting arrested wasnt far from my mind.”

I was supposed to move out of my shitty hotel with holes in the roof on my second day in Cairo. Turns out I dont mind living in squalor. I feel comfortable being surrounded by japanese transients who just hang out and read worn out manga.

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“There was a revolution in Egypt in 2011” said my tour guide. He looked exactly like Pablo Picasso. “I lost my eye in it.” He looks at me, his gaze slightly off center.  He told me that as a result tourism came to an absolute halt. 200,000 Americans used to visit Egypt per year now its about 500. When we visited the “Step” and “Bent” Pyramids I had them all to myself, not a tourist for miles just a guard with a AK47 that followed us around.

I was able to go inside and pyramids. It was like stepping into a time capsule the humity and funk was palpable.  My tour guide was about 70 years old. He had flecks of spit that would gather in the corners of his mouth that would froth During his impassioned monologues of egyptian history.  He brought his charming six year old daughter with him who showed me all her drawings. His favorite phrase was “yes this is true.” Our driver who has two wives and nine kids spoke little english and smelled of hummus. The average wage in Egypt is less than 15 dollars a day so it was very affoardable to have both a driver and guide. At the Giza Pyramids I rode a camel named Denis the menace.

Parking a car in Cairo is absurd. They double park cars and leave it in neutral so if your pinned in you literally PUSH the other cars out of the way.

Walking around Cairo also interesting. As a Muslim country women are only allowed to show their face and hands, everything else has to be covered up and with loose fitting clothes. Despite this extreme modesty Egypt has some of the highest rates of sexual harassment and has some of the most porn traffic in the world. So sexual harassment seems like it stems from sexual frustration in the men.

Theres no dating in Egypt if you like a girl you get married and you cant have SEX or KISS before that. Both the man and women have to be virgins. All this according to Islam the 26 year old virgin who runs my hotel. 98 percent of people follow this and the divorce rate is only 10 percent.

I went to a buffet cruise on the Nile on a ship called the “Scarab”. They had this pudgy dancer in a glittery sequin dress, unfortunately due to her torso she looked like a spining disco ball wielding sugar canes like Mata Hari. This is for couples and families. I felt out of place with my mango juice and yankees jumper. I went on deck and Conversed with my driver . We ate succulent dates and he complained about Egypt’s dismal circumstances. On the drive home he weaved in and out of traffic blasted his favorite song the “Fartaka” a famous Arabic dance track. People in earshot were bopping their heads to the music.

The following day I went to Alexandria named after Alexander the Great its on the coast of the Mediterranean. This place swarms with stray cats and malnourished horses. I visited the catacombs, these subterranean graves both eerie and dank. the bottom levels were flooded by a bloated water table.

I went to the Mamlouk citadel had no guide so I just wandered around aimlessly. Ate at this restaurant that served an amazing greasy fried fish with rice crab and shrimp.

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Back in Cairo at night I saw two men fighting in the street but instead of punching they were SPITTING on each other.

At night I took a 13 hour train ride to Aswan. A man who resembled an overgrown gerber baby with a goatee came up to me. He had on sweat pants, crocs and leather hip pack woke me up by flashing a screen shot of my passport. He introduced himself as my Aswan guide Adam. His eyes were large black and wet. He was super friendly and accommodating bringing me to my lodging the “paradise”hotel. We saw the Aswan high dam and took a boat to an island temple, went sailing during the sunset and he treated me to dinner and sugar cane juice.

The following day took a bus to Abu Simbal 3 hours south of aswan and saw the famous temple of Ramses.

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Why do all old tourists act like know it all jeopardy contestants who are encyclopedias of trivial bullshit?

At all the tourist spots people are always hawking their wares..some statues or papyrus. I just say los chakra “no thanks”

This unfortunate creature was selling tissues for 1 pound he was like 9 years old with horrible teeth and a huge throat scar, I gave him 20 pounds “3 dollars” and he lost his damn mind and I was immediately surrounded my little kids with their hands out.

I returned to Aswan and had yet another guide he was a Nubian and looked like Wesley Snipes from New Jack City. He was a bit standoffish but later really opened up and we connected. in 2012 after the revolution he was kidnapped by terrorists with ak47s for three days and they would shoot bullets past his head. He thought he was going to die and spent a whole month after in his room a recluse with PTSD. He brought me to a Nubian village where I held a baby crocodile. They had huge ones that looked like exactly as I imagined prehistoric dinosaurs there cages were dark so all you could see was there glowing eyes and hear the growl that reverberated though out the room, it was terrifying.

The Nubians paint there houses a beautiful aquamarine blue. They fed me a feast of dark honey,bread, tomatoes, cheese, marzipan, and an omlete.

We went to a botanical garden that contain trees form various countries. We touched this plant that on contact would close up.

My favorite arabic word is “habebe” and I feel like Malcolm X when I say “as salam alakim my brother”. After Aswan I went to Luxor. There I woke up at 4am and took an incredible hot air balloon ride. It was sweet watching the sun rise across the nile.

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After we went to the Valley of the Kings and I saw king Tuts tomb and his mummy which is still there all black and shriveled up.

On my last day in Cairo I went back to the Giza pyramids. I knew it was illegal to climb the them, but I was determind to sit on the top an watch the sunset. I was so nervous and giddy. I was shaking like  a whore on a soldiers payday. I went around the back side of the pyramid avoiding all the police mounted camels. I waited patiently in a dilapidated temple as they cleared out all the tourists. Seeing that the coast was clear I started to climb up it. I was covered in dust and sweat my heart was pounding as I ambled excitedly up the pyramid. I looked down contemplated a most painful demise if i slipped. “Almost there” I huffed to myself approaching the top, the nervous energy propelled me, Getting arrested wasnt far from my mind.  Its not like a staircase as people imagine some of these blocks are taller than me and are over 4,000 years old and deteriorating. It was high and exhilarating. Watching the Sun kiss the sand dunes and disappear behind a perfect desert was well worth it.IMG_3667

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

ones that were vicious and terrifying. They paint there houses a beautiful aquamarine blue and fed me a feast of dark honey,bread, tomatoes, cheese, marzipan, and an omlete.

We went to a botanical garden that contain trees form various countries. We touched this plant that on contact would close up. My favorite arabic word is “habebe” and I feel like Malcolm x when i say “as salam alakim my brother”. After Aswan I went to Luxor. There i woke up at 4am and took an incredible hot air balloon ride. It was sweet watching the sun rise across the nile. After we went to the Valley of the Kings and I saw king Tuts tomb and his mummy which is still there all black and shriveled up. Now on my last day in Cairo I scaled two of the Giza pyramids. I was nervous that I would be seen so I climbed the far side of the pyramid after four o’clock when the area shuts down for tourists.  My legs and arms were shaking and I was sweating profusely as I clung to the massive blocks. Its not like a staircase as people imagine some of these blocks are taller than people and are over 4,000 years old and deteriorating. It was very high and exhilarating with an incredible sunset view. Climbing the pyramids are illegal and you will get throw into jail with a sentence up to two years, so be careful if your thinking about it.

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