Getting Bugged – Luxor, Egypt

My last day in Egypt was spent at the Karnak Temple admiring the sheer size and detail of it all. The area this complex covers is massive and it took me half the day just to get my head around it.

The Hypostyle Hall is architecturally amazing and I just sat there for an hour staring up at monster columns trying to interpret the scenes displayed. I wandered around the site climbing over rocks and exploring the hundreds of random rooms. I tried to imagine how magnificent the place would have been back in its day, full splendor. I gazed up at the markings and was completely overwhelmed at how much information is contained within these walls.

I was intrigued by these two dark rooms at the end of a hallway which looking in, were pitch dark except for a small rectangular hole in the room. The eerie beam of daylight bathed only the very center of the room in a faint glow while the edges remained black. I tucked myself into the back and found myself completely disoriented in the thickness.

Throughout my time in Luxor, I had been asked repeatedly by young boys to take my picture. I noticed that they frequent touristy spots harassing any western women especially if they are wearing any kind of revealing clothing. The whole time I was in Egypt I kept covered up so I was thoroughly annoyed by this charade near the end of my stay. They hover in groups and pounce on any unsuspecting or tactfully position themselves as a bare armed or legged women would walk by. It was one of the downsides of the trip as frustrating as mosquitoes on a beach.

I took a last walk around town picking up some fruit and drink for the train ride. I made it onto the train fine but because it was not a tourist train, nothing was really marked in English so it took me awhile to find my car and seat. One thing I really appreciate is that anytime you ask for help, people are almost always willing to go out of their way to help.

I settled into my 2nd class seat and was relieved that although I was the only foreigner around, no one really took special notice of me. I regretted buying so much to drink on the 10 hour ride because after just one trip to the toilet, I curbed my intake. Honestly, one of the scariest things in Egypt has nothing to do with the people. It is the fear of losing your balance in a train toilet. But who was I to complain…I was lucky to even be on board.

I snacked on a mysterious fruit that I had picked up which looked like a lumpy pear. It had a strange texture and a peculiar taste so I am not quite sure what it was but I would eat it again. I thought about sleeping but that didn`t happen as I was seated right next to a vent which was infested with cockroaches which I was disgusted to find, knew how to jump. So I just monitored the cockroach circus beside me and listened to the snoring locals all around me until 430am when I reached Cairo. I really enjoyed Egypt and really didn`t find it so scary or difficult as people had warned. But now it was onwards and upwards to London…again.

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