Houseboats, many of them larger than my house on the farm, line the shore along the neighbourhood of Agouza. The houseboats have a reputation of being a rather racy place to live, something to which I can't testify. The beauty of the spot, aside from being along one of the busiest streets in Cairo, is a real attraction.
Thursday, July 26, 2007
Wednesday, July 25, 2007
Egypt is a playful country. People work hard but they see a lot of humour in life and they like to play, whether it's an actual game or a joke or just a bit of clowning with a friend in the street. And we do have some stunning props! This lovely red granite sarcophagus lies in the desert near the railway to Fayoum and everyone who sees it has the irresistible urge to climb on or in it. I have a whole collection of sarcophagus photos.
Monday, July 23, 2007
The Nile isn't just the giver of life to Egypt, it is the heart, lungs and soul. It's easy to believe that a river is a living being after meeting the Nile. One can stand on a bridge or sit under a tree for hours just watching the rafts of water hyacinth sail by on their way to the sea. I find that the city always looks better across the water.
Saturday, July 21, 2007
Well, not exactly. One of my hens and one of my turkey hens were both feeling very family-ish and decided to sit on eggs. Since the eggs were in one nest, they had to work out a system. I walked in one morning and found this staring me in the face. I grabbed my Nokia and got off the shot.
Thursday, July 19, 2007
I have to admit that I LOVE these buildings. Sure, they are absolutely ghastly and annoying when you have to see them every day, but they make great landmarks. To the best of my knowledge there is no building inspection in Egypt so people can get away with all sorts of horrendous constructions. This particular one has been about 5 years in the making and is on Road 213, near the American school in Maadi.
Tuesday, July 17, 2007
You don't have to go far out of the city to see houses built of the traditional mud brick. Like adobe, it is better insulation than modern building materials and since it really doesn't rain much on the west bank of the Nile, the melting factor is diminished. The bright paint that the villagers favour not only pleases the eyes but it also protects the mud from moisture.
Saturday, July 14, 2007
Friday, July 13, 2007
Tuesday, July 10, 2007
Donkeys are the lifeline of Egypt and they are much smarter than people think. It isn't uncommon to see a donkey trudging home from market with his master dead asleep on the cart. Gives cruise control new meaning.
Monday, July 9, 2007
One of the more charming, although not necessarily sanitary, salesmen on a hot Cairo street is the Arasouz man. Arasouz is licorice or anise and they make a drink from it which is sold from an urn carried around on the salesman's hip. The origins of the block of ice are dubious and the cups are just rinsed out, so I have to admit that I've never tried it. To be honest, I hate anise anyway. But the chink, chinkety, chink of the metal cups being hit together as he walks down the street is always a welcome sound.
Sunday, July 8, 2007
I've known this man for almost fifteen years and have probably bought about twenty flutes from him over that time, first for my own children and now for other people's. His face is wonderful and his smile as he patiently instructs purchasers in the delicacies of blowing a bamboo whistle is irresistible. My driver was the latest victim of my purchases of two whistles for his sons.
Wednesday, July 4, 2007
A large section of Khan el Khalili is set aside for the herbalists and the oil merchants. They sell the essential oils of flowers grown here and oil distillations of herbal remedies. An oil mixture to encourage the growth of hair includes such oils as those from the seeds of basil, arugula and a number of other plants. I can't say if it worked, but it smelled interesting.
Tuesday, July 3, 2007
My Google alert system passed me a fun story the other day. (http://www.allheadlinenews.com/articles/7007794154) Apparently some fishemen such as these had their boats attacked by a 16 foot (about 5 metre) crocodile in Giza. Witnesses saw the croc kill a dog and go back into the river. Nile crocodiles have been hard to find in the Nile since the high dam was built and passage from the lake behind the dam was closed. But there are shops in Cairo that sell exotica and there are people who might think that a poor little crocodile deserved a life of freedom rather than a bathtub. Once in the river, I imagine that life wouldn't be so tough.