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.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007


Claytooon.............,We love you come back..HAHAH!!!! Great job on your blog!! Many good times indeed!! Hella funny! Hope you have a good rest of the summer back home playing and splashing around in the water. Hope its not too cold for you. If you need me to bandage you up you know where to find me! Right! Lol "I Said no cookies BRRRRRRR..." Keep pimpin all over the world! Oh..To everyone back home..just in a warning...don't drink any water CLAYTON tries to give you. Hahhaa. Yeah, its always sad to see a part of the groupy leave but this time it was more of a swap. Clayton for Grady, too bad, those 15min all together were wicked! I hope you all enjoy the videos Rhiis has put together..he sure knows what he's doing doesn't he! Its a lot of fun for sure. Britt, I miss you sooo much, you should be out here with us... hurry up....Man I would hug you so hard. Thanks for the comments those always mean the world to us. Hey, it's all for you!!

Birqash Camel Market - Video

I know I promised you a video of the camel market. Bit disgusting in parts, watch the guys in the background. Rhiis is working on a few more teasers for you guys too so hopefully we'll get some more up soon. We now have Grady :)

Monday, July 16, 2007

Hello, Welcome to Egypt

My trip here to Egypt has been life changing. I knew i was coming out here only ten days before i boarded my plane. Kind of spur of the moment haha. When i first walked out of the baggage claim area in the airport i thought i was going to melt on the spot. I soon found out that this was a "Mildly cool day" here in Cairo. Wow. But what do you know now I'm mostly climatized and its pretty chilly at 85 degrees haha. I was suppost to stay for the whole summer here but i realized that i am not a person who belongs in the desert. Although the streets are littered and i don't know if i will be able to ever get the 4 in the morning prayer out of my head, I would still love to come back to hang out with these guys. I have always wanted to experience Egypt's rich history and interesting culture and i want to thank them all for letting me have this opportunity. The pyramids were incredible (pictures don't do them any justice), as were the catacombs, mosques, and insane markets. Chilling with these crazy people has been so much fun ever since i was a kid. Ammon is constantly filling our heads with knowledge you can only get from someone this travelled, Brandon is in front of his dictionary creating hilarious sentences with his... unusual vocab haha, and Rhiis is throwing new crazy ideas at us about the world from his rantings. Where else can you get this kind of atmosphere?!?! All the sneaking around and getting into trouble has always been exciting and it's amplified even more when you're in a foreign country! In my one month stay we have packed in the hilarious times, from dropping Ziploc bags of water on pedestrians to shooting a music video in the streets of Cairo haha. Even the simplest things have turned into funny times like washing clothes by hand in a dirty old bath tub.
The culture here is different, to say the least. When i first encountered the food i was very sceptical. The some of the mush they stuff into flat bread would send people at home running haha, but once you get past the initial reaction most of it is pretty tasty. Some of the things they eat here has really grown on me, like the "bean burritos"(known as Foul here but we had to teach them what that a burrito was) and Koshery. It was hilarious, for the first week or so we had been eating sandwiches for 50 piasters (their cents) each and i had still been thinking in dollars so this was even cheaper than i had thought. Then we went to Starbucks. The bill for two drinks came out to a little over 50 pounds. As Bre and Savannah describe it i was " Freakin out yelling and shocked at spending $50 at Starbucks!" hahaha. We have definitely had some good times here.
Although i am departing sooner than planned, in the end i am truly glad i chose to come out here and share this experience with them. Sure they call me a wimp for leaving early haha but i really hope i can come back to another amazing location and learn just as much or more about the world we live in.

Thanks for everything guys.

Friday, July 13, 2007

Rant on Egypt

Hey Shean,
I can't actually say that I want to do any PhD work right now, but I will admit that I still love to learn. There is always something new to see or think about. Unfortunately I have no interest in Arabic language because there's lots of opportunity to learn it here. We've taken to calling it barbarabic actually as it can sound very harsh in it's own way and very hard to pronounce properly. German is also considered harsh but is totally different, sound wise. I've taken to comparing places to each other in strange ways. I like to think I've been around long enough. For example India and Egypt are the most infamous countries for tourist hassle but how do they really compare and are the reasons the same, or comparing India and China as future superpowers and as the massive populations that they are. There is a big difference between India and Egypt, obviously but it takes a while sometimes to really see a lot of the little things that add it all up. We've been here 3 months and in India for 5 so we had plenty of time to get a feel for both. India has more colour and there is a chance that you can actually talk to women. Even if they're working in a shop or something (that isn't all that common though, it seems) it is difficult to just casually talk to one here. I suppose that isn't exactly true but we are talking relative here.
How we compare the people is a very loaded question. While we pride ourselves on trying to tell it like it is (or at least how we see it based on our exposure) it's not really in our nature to just trash people and places outright. On that note I should just stay silent and avoid trouble. Then again, that's not what we're here for. As a general rule, regardless of how we feel at any particular moment, when some local asks us how we feel about their country we say something positive. It's getting harder to do that these days. These people leave little to respect them about. Trying to actually work here, you wonder how anything gets done at all as the concept of scheduling and organization are totally foreign influences and not something that seems to come naturally here. Start banging your head against the wall when you arrive. At the very least you might end up with a prayer spot bruise on your head and get more respect....
I'd have to say that as much as we complained about India (go back and check if you have to but we definitely did), in my opinion it is much better than here. Just as crowded and dirty, but at least you get the impression that certain sectors of industry and education are actually doing something at a high level. Biotech and infotech are very good in India. Here, I have yet to see a local with any reading material other than the Koran. I can't even recall seeing locals with newspapers. There seems to be no culture of self-education and world-awareness at all. That can't be entirely true, but for the majority it is probably true. They aren't the only place like that though so it's not totally fair to pick on them. I also have nothing against Islam personally as I have been through lots of Islamic countries and met lots of Muslims that I've liked, but if Cairo is considered the capital city of Islam and the Arab world (seeing as it is by far the largest in population), then Cairo is doing them a disservice and should be wiped off the map.
Not all Egyptians are bad. I've met lots outside of Egypt that were nice. I hate to say it too, but the best Egyptians I've met IN the country seem to be Coptic Christian. They just seem to be better adjusted and educated. The reasons for that are fairly complex but they do, on average tend to have better opportunities so it is generally true. For example, almost every male that talks to us or approaches our group is a pervert in some sense of the word and his thoughts are very obvious. One night while riding the tram in Alexandria, Rhiis and I were approached by a young guy (mid-teens) that wanted to chat for a while. It was obvious he was very nervous and he never once looked at the girls sitting beside. Nice guy, and we weren't surprised at all to find out he was Christian at the end of the ride.
We complained a lot about Indian males. I could complain more about Egyptian ones. Our hassle factor is directly proportional to the number of females in our group. Indian guys did a lot of staring (even more blatant than here) but I think there is more insult here than in India. In India I got the impression that they were pathetic little boys. In Egypt, thanks to Rhiis who can understand the language, we know that it is much more insulting and the comments from everyone very degrading. They have a completely unjustified superiority complex here that is totally baffling. The worst part is, they don't even grow up. In India, the adults were fine generally, here there is just as much hassle from 40+ year olds as there is from the teens. It must have something to do with the way they are raised. There is no discipline here, kids do whatever they want and it is super common to see families with little children running around at 2am. I don't think they go to school. They also seem completely oblivious to the fact that the girls are accompanied by us guys. There are 3 girls and 4 boys in our group and they will walk right up to one of the girls and start yapping very rude comments like we aren't even there. In fact they are usually surprised to see us a second later. That's just retarded. They don't put up with that type of behaviour amongst each other so we have stopped taking the abuse ourselves. Usually now we walk down the streets in a loose organization (necessary with these crowded sidewalks) with a guy in front and then the girls and the rest of the guys. It's a guarded setup not designed to repel abuse (they'll do what they do anyway and if the sight of the first guy doesn't turn them away then little would) but to punish it. We've witnessed so many blatant and subtle rubs, faces or comments to the girls this way from guys passing the other direction that one of us will then shove or hit the guy when he gets to us as punishment. Usually there are a few words exchanged and they run off guiltily. As I was always the only guy in the group before Egypt and was always in the lead I never noticed how much attention the girls got.
I get my share of comments too. Plenty of people say I am gay or whatever (in Arabic) because of my long hair and earrings (unheard of here). It's kind of funny coming from all these sodomites though. How can they talk? They've all convinced themselves that they aren't actually gay, they are just acting in a manner that everyone else on earth would consider as such. But forget that.
I seem to have figured out part of the problem. They like butts. The fashion here is truly bizarre, because the women wear tight jeans whatever shoes they want and then put on long-sleeve bodysuit type shirts so their arms are covered and then a very short skirt over top the whole thing. This makes it so that they have a non-revealing revealing top with long arms and their butts are just barely covered by the skirt so you can't see the shape through the jeans. I guess that is "Islamicly allowed" and still supposed to be sexy or something. As our girls are just in pants there is more to see. Generally this fashion holds true here. Some towns, like Siwa, are much more conservative, while in others, like Dahab where it is all tourists. you don't see many tourists and think you could be anywhere. About 10% of the population is Coptic so theoretically a little more than that should not be wearing headscarves (not all the muslims do). I haven't really counted but it seems about right.
We just got a few more jobs lined up for some movies so it looks like we'll be in Cairo for a little longer after Grady arrives. We haven't had any for a while so it's kind of annoying to get these ones just as we were about to leave town. Can't refuse though.

Cairo outings

I really must admit that I am getting sick of Cairo. Trust me when I say that I am as excited to leave as you are to hear that we are leaving. Too much monotony :(
We've been here since leaving Alexandria nearly 2 weeks ago (how the time flies.....). There are a few reasons for our delay here yet again. We are showing Clayton some of the more interesting sites around Cairo and doing the few things that we hadn't gotten around to before (more on that in a bit). We are also stalling a bit waiting for Grady. He's coming back on the 17th and Clayton is actually leaving then too. So sad. Clay is cool and we've had fun. Too bad he's taking off already. And of course if any movie gigs come up then we were going to try that too but we haven't done anything lately. We've been pretty busy as tourists actually.
Been to the pyramids (I missed that day, think it was gall stones, not good, very not good), sufi dancing and coptic Cairo and islamic Cairo again.

On the "new stuff" front we made a little boat trip down the Nile to the barrages (it's where the Nile splits and forms the delta), where they have some very nice Victorian bridges and gates controlling the water flow. It's a local tourist trap. It was like being on the love boat with all the Egyptian couples going on an outing. We were pretty much the only tourists there and the restaurants were charging tourist prices. Funny to see local tourist traps like that because they are so different from what foreign tourists want. We don't want loud music and little dance floors for an afternoon outing. We were hoping for peace and quiet in a park that was supposed to be on site but, as it turned out, we got nothing. Can't believe we saw kids swimming and even a waterskier. That river is so gross that we'd be lucky to live if we jumped in. I'm not kidding.
Yesterday we went out to see the Citadel finally too. It's a lot bigger than I thought. It's the fort built up on a hill overlooking the city from the east side. Built by Saladin in 1176 to stop the crusaders (he was the guy that eventually defeated the crusaders and drove them out of the middle east), it must've had amazing views before the current smog phase of the city. We had decent views though and could make out the Giza pyramids and could also just barely see the ones at Dashur and Saqqara. It would've looked so great 100 years ago. There is something awe-inspiring to see those things there behind all the rest of this massive city, knowing that they have been around longer than anything on earth and will probably last longer than anything else in view, no matter how modern or towering. Sad that they have to sit in all this pollution. Still surprised that it isn't on the new 7 wonders list that just came out, sure they aren't special looking, but longevity has to count for something.......
We also went to the dead city in the northern cemetary area. People living in and around all these tombs and crypts but it's not like you imagine. No vampires, ghouls or Michael Jackson's Thriller but if you ignore the graves you'd think it would be anywhere else. In fact, it is so mainstream now that they even have a post office. Must be kind of strange to send a letter to a cemetary.....
This morning we finally made it to the friday camel market. We failed last week because we had to get up really early (5am) and it is way out of town and we ended up at a dead end and got stuck. This time, better prepared, we made it. Pretty wild. The camels are brought up all the way from Sudan, trucked in after a market in the south of Egypt near Aswan. The road to the market is littered with half decayed bodies. The ride up is pretty tough and there is no mercy for the weak. There are literally thousands of camels there and hundreds of guys beating them with sticks. Very savage. Imagine camels bleeding from the neck and with one front leg tied up bent so they can't use it and run around, and all these guys beating them with long cane sticks, often for no apparent reason. Not hard to imagine stonings in villages. There was one healthy looking camel that just dropped dead near us (they claim it was accidentally electrocuted by a pole) so they just slit it's throat and later hauled it away in the back of a pickup. A full grown camel is worth about $1000 but the weak ones are sold as food I think. The whole thing is very ancient market feeling, no tourists, no hassle of us, very dirty and basic. Probably hasn't changed in hundreds or thousands of years. The camels are the commodity now but back in the day, they used to be just the transport for slaves and other goods coming up from the south. It wasn't too hard to imagine all that going on still.
The villages we had to drive through to get out there were definitely the dirtiest we've seen on this trip. A whole village with garbage piled sky high. I think there we plastic bags in that pile that had been there since the invention of plastic. The canals were also super polluted and horrible smelling. You wouldn't believe it. It was a flashback to India where any sign of water was a guarantee of a horrible smell.
We are trying to set up another video of the camel market outing for you guys. Hopefully soon.....

Friday, July 06, 2007


It's always exciting having a "New BEE" join us. As you get to see all the different reactions that we all once use to make. Trust me, there are plenty of smiles that come from watching the "Breaking in stage". Just watching Clayton reminds me of how I was when we first started our trip and now I can say to myself "I know exactly how that felt.. HAHAH and yet there are still so many new things to see each day. I like to think back when we were just leaving home and how I had no idea what was going to happen blows me away. I've come so far because of all this. I can only imagine what I will be like after another year of travel. OMG. Clayton is a great sport and fits right in as the true Watkins he is! Muahah!!

We are always having fun or getting ourselves into some kind of silly trouble.
I couldn't stop laughing when Savannah, Clayton and I were doing our laundry. First Clay and I could jump around on the nasty dirty clothes in the tub (mixing the soap up) acting like grape squishers ( the water was seriously black) then rinse and pass to Savannah where she would be scrubbing and rinsing! I tell ya.. It was hilarious. Quite different from the niffty washing machines back home where you press the magic button and walla. Huh Clayton...what was that??? You actually had fun doing it... ahahah! Nice!

We can be pretty creative too on how we decide to entertain ourselves. Whether it be..... Constructing my famous #1 paper airplane model and having contests of who can aim and destroy theirs first in the ceiling fan (this was actually harder than it sounds ) but in Clayton's words " hello fun", or playing sweet and sour on the tram and getting some funny looks from the locals. Many would smile and wave back but others would give that stupid foreigner look. We just laughed anyway.

Throwing water bags and wet toilet paper wads out the window of our 5 story building at the traffic down below was a sight to see. This all started with dad no less taking the first toss just for fun. What a goof. Next thing you know we are all chucking wads out the window but quickly transfered to water bombs as the toilet paper here is expensive and worth saving. Oh, and just so dad can get a little off the hook he did mention something about not hitting the pedestrians. Believe it or not (I wont tell who) but one of us by fluke shmucked a dude right smack dab on top of the head as if he were wearing a huge X that said "drop water bomb here". Next thing you know we are all running and jumping around the room in shock saying "OMG I can't believe that just happened" and laughing our heads off. Mom on the other hand had no idea what was going on as she was in another room. shhhhhhhhh heehee.. The guy who got hit came up soaking wet and yelled at the hotel manager. We became dead silent when we heard the "Knock knock" at the door. All with wide eyes....and every second feeling like a life time and a half. Then the only sound that was made was by Rhiis who whispered.. "Don't answer it" but we pushed dad out the door anyway to deal with it since he "started it". Of course dad is good at playing the I don't know whats going on roll, so when the manager asked if anyone was throwing water out the window dad simply said "water????" Go figure. Too funny. Good thing the manager liked our groupy. He totally defended us. It was awesome!! Home free baby!

Clayton still needs to work on his currency. He thinks of everything in dollars instead of in Egyptian Pounds. He'll flip out at the prices, for example he will shout out in shock "50 bucks for two Starbucks drinks, what the hell is this?? HAHAH Hopefully by the time he gets home he will be saying "5 bucks for a burger.. whats this all about??"

I really liked the night swim the other day in Alexandria even if we had to wear all our clothes, the water was the perfect temp and the waves were wicked fun!! Alexandria was cool, I really like the fort, It looked like one of those perfect sand castles you would make at the beach with a little kid. The Catacombs were sweet, I love tombs and crawling around in the dark! Rhiis is pretty funny sneaking his camera into the sights by hiding it between his legs..ahahah How creative! We did manage to keep straight faces and get it pass the guards. You guys better appreciate all the pics and video clips coming out.

I must say it's wonderful and so nice having more guys in the group to defend us girls from sicko gross perverted disgusting dirty Egyptian guys. Every day we have to deal with stupid people. It's really handy having our translator around. Rhiis has had lots of fun showing them who's boss. We won't take any of their crap comments. I loved how Rhiis threw a very stupid obnoxious kid off the tram and smoked a dude on the back of the head with a water bottle. It was freakin rad ahahah. Ammon is right there pushing the idiots out of the way and giving them a piece of his clever smarty pants mind. Where does he come up with this stuff?. Dad usually takes up the rear and poor Clayton is just itchin to take a shot. LoL. Dont worry you will have plenty of chances! Its cool having body guards. Great job Boys!! Hurry up Sky your missing out on all the fun!

Other than that, I could never get sick of all the yogurt and fresh fruit. I can't believe I use to hate mango. What was I thinking?? It's sooo good! YUUMMM. It's a blast having a huge group. There's so much character. We are all family out here it's great.
Over and out from Egypt.

Sunday, July 01, 2007


Having successfully driven the male population of our group into the majority for the first time in 2 years with the addition of Clayton (Rhiis is already considered part of the family) we immediately caught a train to Alexandria. It's quite amazing what a little distance and a large sea will do to the weather. It is technically cooler up here, yet with the increase in humidity we really haven't made a whole lot of improvement in the sweat reduction department. Same thing, different cause. I think I prefer the dry heat than cool and muggy.

Alexandria was founded by Alexander the Great (surprise, surprise) ~330BC though today there is actually very little remaining of those early days. The most immediate thing one notices upon arrival from Cairo is a brilliant blue sky, wind, more manageable traffic (though there are definately more sirens), and a mixed smell of sea and garbage. It has been claimed by a few members of our now huge group that the smell here is worse than Cairo. Maybe the Cairo pollution just destroys one's nose completely......

We checked in to a hotel with room balconies opening out to overlook the bay and fully welcome the sea breeze, at times more a hurricane and the doors are hard to open against the wind. The colonial architecture here is quite nice and the high ceilings are much appreciated in helping to reduce the heat (no A/C for us). These buildings stretch all along the waterfront and into the old part of town and can't be more than a couple hundred years old, but the maintenance here in Alexandria (indeed all of Egypt) is appalling and I suspect the balconies on some of these buildings will see people falling right through the floor in another year or two. It is quite crowded and busy these days as all of Cairo seems to head up to Alex during the summer to escape the heat and play in the sea. The beaches here actually seem rather small, crowded and dirty (the best are too far out of town or are part of private complexes) so we decided not to go at all though dad, Clayton and Bre did go for a quick swim right off the corniche to say they'd made it into the Med.

Rhiis (fyi, pronounced rhyming with "piece") had previously lived in Alex for 9 months so is quite familiar with town and had us off to the good restaurants and more interesting sites. Alex is most famous for it's ancient lighthouse and library though neither stands today, nor even shows any remains of it's existence. The lighthouse (one of the original 7 world wonders) stood for 1700 years before finally collapsing in an earthquake in the 1400s. Part of it's remains are now underwater, and many of it's blocks were used in the construction of Qaitbey's fort which stands roughly on the same site, silently guarding the entrance to the main harbour. The fort is not particularly large but is in great condition and we had fun exploring and trying to get into trouble.
On a different day we went to check out the catacombs under the oldest part of town near Pompey's pillar. Pompey's pillar (it's not actually for Pompey but for emperor Diocletian) is a single Roman column nearly 30m tall, once used as a pedastal for a statue long gone. It must have been truly bizarre standing there for so many centuries, towering above little Alexandria through the rest of it's turbulent history. Now it seems kind of neglected, standing in the middle of yet another rundown neighbourhood, surrounded by the ruins of the original town and temples. The Catacombs were very cool (literally which is part of the attraction at this time of year). They consist of 3 layers, accessed by a spiralling staircase around a central well, through which the deceased were lowered. Not nearly as extensive as, say, the catacombs in Rome, they were still quite large and date back to pre-Christian Greco-Roman times. The symbology is interesting because they have carvings of the ancient Egyptian Gods, but with Greco-Roman faces and clothing making for a truly weird effect. Oddly enough, the lowest level is now flooded due to the watertable suddenly rising after the taming of the Nile with the Aswan dam. You'd think there'd be less water, but it is definately a recent effect.
I've saved the library for last because, well, I'm writing this blog from inside the new Alexandria library. The original ancient library (built almost immediately after the city was founded) was the most important and complete library of the ancient world serving world scholars for several centuries before being burnt down by early Christians seeking to force their view of the world on everyone. Only a single scroll survived the destruction and much ancient knowledge was lost, until being rediscovered much much later by "modern" scientists and philosophers. Really, the Europeans deserved to end up in the dark ages. The modern library, built beside the location of the original, was opened in 2002 and is a beautiful piece of work. Architecturally kind of bizarre from the outside (it looks like a huge, sloped, grey disc), it is very spacious and well lit with natural light inside creating a very relaxing atmosphere in which to work. I almost wish I had an excuse to come here all the time doing research or something.
Tomorrow we are heading back to Cairo for a few days to show Clayton the main sites before finally heading down to southern Egypt.