Saturday, July 28, 2007

Laughter and the Bends - Rhiis Strikes Again

This family has something unidentifiably agglutinative - Brandon, that word is dedicated to you - for all you laypeople, 'agglutinative' is a many-lettered word meaning 'sticky.' This family reminds me of the soggy side of a simmering glass of Lipton shai, 4 Egyptian spoonfuls of sweet sugar dumped in and waiting to erode my poor teeth. Since the first days we met, it's been one episode after the next, and now, quite literally, the episodes are pouring out.

Much has happened, enough to fill a few weird novels. Clayton's arrival, Alexandria, Cairo wanderings, Clayton's departure, Grady's arrival, and now - grand Thebes. We returned just a day ago now from the sweltering heat of Egypt's south, known to all of Egypt as Upper Egypt. Why is this? Aside from the fact that all things great and small are plain backwards here, the Nile is the largest river in the world that flows from south to north, instead of the reverse. Hence, up got mixed with down, and going south in Egypt means you're actually going up. We should have realized that this was our clue to what would come.

Arrival. Sweat. Find the hotel. Sweat. Drop the bags, it's 9am. Sweat. 30 minutes to feel human again. Sweat. The time comes to rhyme:

Underneath the scorching eye of Egypt's southern Ra,
The Watkins and Grady, with Rhiis dawdling there, went out through the town for a walk.
Through souq and alley, dusty by-way and on towards the cool corniche,
The group found their way to the Luxor Museum where the air's cool enough to freeze fish.
"I am Amun! Bow to me! Kiss the horns of my consort Hathor!"
So seemed to speak the immaculate statues and trinkets that we did adore.
From the great Ramses III to Queen Hatchepsut, we did laugh and learn quite a lot,
Soon the time found us ready to exit the place, so another museum was sought.
Mummies and mummies, the museum did hold, that eventually sheltered our heads;
Embalming, an ankh and an ape in a box; this place showed us Egypt's long-dead.
When through with this place, we did exit and cross the street to find, yes, behold!
The temple of Luxor, its colossal stone splendor, where secrets unraveled untold.
The pylons, the statues, and Ramses' wise stare, all greeted us from their still places;
Where Tut once did stride, and Mut was the bride of Amun, staring into our faces.
After sunburn and heat, a pronounced lack of sleep, a whine from Savannah or two,
We trudged back to town and collapsed on our beds, and we knew that this day was through.
When morning did hit, we arose and, refreshed, took minibus to Karnak temple,
A day spent in sneaking, with giggles and bats, avoiding the loathsome tourist hassle.
"Arise Ramses 2!" shouted Brandon aloud, "Khonsu, where are you?" said Ammon.
The day passed quite quickly, we made it back home and collapsed on our beds once again.
And now, so that I may write comfortably again, I shall retire this form of rhymed prose,
And switch back to conversational speech, which is easier to read, as you know.

Mut is beautiful, Ammon, I know you'll be happy together in the fields of eternity. Your child Khonsu, though deformed enough to look like either an ape or a ram, is blessed. Maggie slinks along the massive pylons, Breanna rolls and flips past one's view, Grady and Savannah scamper off into different directions and I, the bearded wonder armed with camera, creativity and a head full of excellent death metal, walk on making strange guttural noises that only the dead could understand. Well. And maybe mom.

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