fredag 12. oktober 2007
The Train Journey
We didn't know that you could fly from Cairo to luxor in less than an hour. For the sake of Allah - it was our first time in Egypt, and let's face it, not far from the first time outside our own home country.
But our travellers guide had a nice picture of the Ramses Train Station so this was where we was headed in the pitch black Cairo night. If only our taxi driver spoke English! You should think that would be important in his profession? In the end I was reading desperately in my mini dictionary ... and this is how my first Egyptian Arabic words were : "Il mahatta...!! Mahatta Ramsis!!"
The sun rose over Egypt as we found our second class seats. Second class on purpose, we didn't want to see hoyty toyty tourists, I was there for Egypt, and Egypt was what I got.
The hours rolled by along with the landscape, and I got to see what Egypt looks like outside of the pyramids area and Nile Hilton. I saw farmers working in the fields much as they did hundreds and thousands of years ago. I saw the tractors and the trucks of the sugarcane industry.
I was brought "lep" and "shai" and slept for an hour on the shoulder of my friend, with my dream more outside the window than behind my closed eyelids.
I think I had imagined going to a country that was some kind of a museum, but here by the railway it was - more alive than ever. We went through cities that I never heard the name of before and where tourists very seldom go. Yet hundreds of thousands lived here; it is everyday Egypt.
After nine hours of shifting landscape we went off the train in Luxor and walked up Sharia Mahatta. "Finally we're here", my friend said. I just smiled to him, and I knew, that our travels had just started.