Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Leg One: I Don't Understand Awani

So I felt like a pregnant turtle. I was carrying my house on my back, I had a smaller backpack on my front, and a duffel back stuffed somewhere in between. I was a sight to see in the Alexandria train station. Mercifully, two of my wonderful friends from CLS joined me in my trek towards the train. On the way we were picked up by a guy who took us to a spot where he said car #7 (my car) would stop when the train came in. My friend baksheeshed him, and he went on his merry way. And then car #7 stopped maybe a quarter mile down the track from where we were. Sigh.

I sat down in the first available seat, happy to throw down my stuff somewhere. Then I noticed some Egyptians scrutinizing their tickets, and I looked at mine and...Who knew there were assigned seats on intra-city trains in Egypt!? NOT ME. So I hoisted my life back on to my body and moved from row 1, seat 1 to row 43 seat 2.

I was seated next to a woman from Aswan. Aswan is a city in Egypt - one CLS did, in fact, take us to where we began an epic Nile cruise where, as you will recall, I swam with Emma in the First Cataract- and its population is more African than Arab...suffice it to say it was difficult to understand the many words she said, but her gestures were unmistakable. First she explained that she had no money on her cellphone which she kept in the folds of her glorious black dress/shirt/all-in-one-garment. Second, she told me about her family and how they were coming to get her at the station. Third, she offered me sweet cheese and bread and Coke. I declined respectfully.

End, Leg One of Five. Stay tuned. Since I'm in Israel, and my friend reminded me of how much I love this soundtrack, here's the title song from Mishu Larutz Ito.

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