since I was a little boy I have wanted to go to Egypt. (Who
doesn't want to go after seeing those Indiana Jones movies,
huh?!? And Raiders of the Lost Ark was the first
movie I saw in the theater!)
Egypt captures the human imagination like no other country,
like no other culture ever has. We owe so much to our Egyptian
ancestors. Basics of law, language (believe it or not).. the
building blocks of society. They were the most learned and
skilled people of the ancient world and they forged the longest
lived civilization that has yet existed.
trip to Egypt is the most romantic adventure a person could
I will take that trip next month.
I said, I've always wanted to go there. I did have plans to
go there two years ago, but waited on my now x-girlfriend.
But the time has come and there is no reason to wait any longer.
I'm not sure I could even if I wanted to. For the past few
weeks I've felt something.. tugging at me. Maybe it's
because I have not traveled anywhere new in a long while...
But when I think of riding through the desert on camel-back,
shopping in the bazaars, walking through the ancient temples
and pyramids, holding that sand and letting the grains fall
through my fingers while the whispers of that ancient culture
drift past my ear... well, you get the picture.
I being overly-dramatic? Yes, of course I am. But, hey, I
think I'm allowed. Like I said, I've been looking forward
to this my whole life.
the past, I've studied parts of Egypt's history, mythology,
and language (though it's been a while, and I only scratched
the surface because each of those areas are so vast.).
There's so much I want to learn before I go. The other day
I bought a couple guide books and a couple history books from
Amazon. The first one has already arrived. With that and my
guide books (from when I originally planned this trip) I've
been reading voraciously. And it's been sticking, too. Strange,
much of my time these days is spent planning and plotting.
Travel routes and temple layouts. I will leave March 23 and
return April 8. That's probably only 14 days traveling there,
and it's not nearly enough from what I'm looking at. A month
would be better. There's so much to see and do in Egypt that
wanted to travel for a few days in the desert. I can hire
myself a guide or two and enough camels and supplies to go
out into the Arabian Desert for a few days to travel between
sites. A cruise down the Nile from Aswan, too. I'm not sure
how much these or some of the other activities I have planned
is going to cost, but I haven't been thinking (or caring,
rather) how much this trip is going to cost me.
told only a handful of people what I'm planning and they think
it's great, but, of course, they have heard the stories. They
all warned me to be careful, come back in one piece and to
watch my pockets.
people don't know this, but Egypt is really safe. Cairo is
the second safest city in the world (Tokyo is the first).
And since the 1997 massacare at the Temple of Hatshepsut in
Luxor security has been stepped up, big time. I've read of
tourists being escorted to and from certain sites by well-armed
police officers. I'll definitely be careful and always have
my eyes open, but I think I'm more worried about getting malaria
or sick from the water.
a strange coincidence, there is an Egyptian exhibit at the
Osaka Museum of Art this month. I was going to go by myself
because I wanted to mull over each exhibit, every stone, every
papyrus and I didn't want to keep anyone who could be bored.
But I met a few of my friends at the train station who were
also going to Osaka and when I mentioned where I was going
they totally wanted to come along. On the sidebar are a few
of the pieces we saw on display (they are all clickable
for a larger picture).
couldn't believe how many people were there. On the monorail
there were quite a few people (that particular area of
Osaka doesn't offer very much) and my friend made the
joke that they were probably all on their way to the museum
to see the Egyptian exhibit. After a transfer and a long walk,
her innocent jest proved to be fact! A steady stream of people
were walking to the museum and when we got there there was
a long line to get in. Tickets were about $12 (the website
said they were only $4), and they were letting people
in in groups. At first we got into the ticket holders' line,
but then after realizing our mistake, we nabbed the tickets
and got inside without too much of a hassle. They told us
it was a half hour wait to get in, but I think it only took
us 20 minutes.
think the exhibit was smaller than I expected. There was tons
of video aids all in every exhibit room, each with a small
mass of Japanese gathered around. Each exhibit had it's own
swarm, most carrying little pocket audio guides with an earphone
on one ear. The selection of artifacts was fewer than I thought
there'd be, but they were quite good.
Middle and New Kingdom artifacts seemed to be better crafted
even though I've heard that craftmanship was in decline after
the Old Kingdom, but that could just be because they were
in better condition. The coffins they had on display were
fantastic and the funerary mask they had on display was, of
difficult to describe how I felt being able to decipher some
of what was written on those artifacts. That anyone at all
of today's time can know what those ancient symbols and pictures
mean is astounding. And I have a part of that knowledge. I
felt so priveleged to have such a connection with something
so ancient. I know the experience will be many times more
powerful when I go to Egypt and read the glyphs off the monuments
and temple walls. My only regret in going now is that I don't
know as much of the ancient language as I wanted to before
I went. But I'm almost certain that this won't be the only
time I go.
is where it's at!