6/18/10: Nile River, Egypt
[Editor’s note: I wanted to actually make the title relate to the post, but I couldn’t figure out a way to work it in. “Why didn’t you just change the title then?” you ask. Very astute question, dear reader. The answer is: I didn’t want to.]
Yesterday morning, we attempted to wake up at 5:45am in order to get to Karnak Temple as early as possible to avoid the sun as much as possible. Here’s what happened:
Z: bolts upright, shakes K awake Hey, it’s time to wake up.
K: Mmph…mmm…mmm…smacks lips, wipes drool from face
Z: You want to sleep another hour?
Z: Ok, I’ll reset the alarm.
K: realizes alarm is going off and Z is still asleep Hey, it’s almost seven. Wake up!
K: Don’t you want to go to the temple? If we go later it’ll be too hot.
K: Ok…if that’s what you really want.
We then slept in until after 10. Hey, it was an accident. But wait! Today we successfully woke up and left our hostel at 6am for Karnak Temple.
The reason we decided to get there so early was a) to avoid the heat and b) to avoid the crowds. We were successful on both fronts. I think I could get used to this waking up early stuff if it’s always going to be this cool in the mornings.
We spent an hour wandering around the temple – by the time we left around 7:30, crowds of tour groups were starting to arrive and the day was getting much warmer. Luckily for us, guess what the next thing was on our itinerary for the day?
Embarking on our cruise boat! We hadn’t planned on doing a cruise since it would be way over our budget, but when we found a good deal on a three-day trip to Aswan, we jumped on it. Air conditioning, buffets for breakfast, lunch and dinner, our own shower, nice towels, and oh, did I mention AIR CONDITIONING? It’s funny, because I never really thought of myself as high-maintenance before this, but I’m realizing that I really am. I’m the same person who spent seven weeks camping in Africa, went trekking without a change of pants for eighteen days in Nepal, slept many nights in various airports, spent several (extremely) uncomfortable nights on buses, etc. and all of that was bearable. But turn the thermostat up to 110 degrees, and I wilt. Physically and mentally. So now you know the dirty truth – I voted yes on the cruise for the AC. I’m not ashamed.
At 10am, we boarded our boat. The cool air blasted us as soon as we stepped in the door. It was heavenly. When we were shown to our cabin, the first thing I did was look for the temperature control. I immediately turned the AC on as high as it would go, collapsed on the bed and fell asleep. I have never felt so calmly thrilled in my life. It was sublime.
There’s not much to say about the rest of the day. We played a couple of games of Scrabble, did a little bit of reading – pretty much just relaxed. (Crazy) Kevin went up to the sun deck in the afternoon (for FUN!) to sweat. I shook my head as he left and stayed in the cool, dark cabin and got ready for my second nap of the day.
One of the greatest gifts that this trip has given me is that I’m now so much more aware of the things that I don’t need (fast food, fancy toiletries, TV, lots of clothes, lots of STUFF in general). It’s also shown me how much I take for granted all of the things that make my life more comfortable (real toilets, drinkable tap water, ice cubes, clean towels). There have been countless times when it just hits me – how incredibly lucky I am – and I feel so intensely grateful to be living the life that I am. I just really hope I’m able to take this lesson home with me.
Pictures of the Day: Tough Kevin. Demure Zhou.