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Sunday, November 14, 2010

Back in the land of pricetags and bacon

Dear Readers, No, I am not in prison for blogging about the lack of personal and political freedoms in Egypt, especially if you are a woman!  WMFC has been quiet lately as there was just not enough bandwidth to upload pictures.  Internet access was predictably difficult but my vodaphone dongle worked great for email and checking headlines.  I greatly appreciate your emails and comments----hope you like the upcoming pictures of old and new, arts and crafts.  Egypt was an incredible place, but it demands a lot from you, physically and mentally, in return.

The pyramid of Khafre, second largest of three large pyramids at Giza.  It is the only one with some of the original limestone casing remaining on its uppermost reaches.

love this guy's hat/headdress....

One of the ubiquitous Tourist Police.  They are everywhere, along with many other kinds of uniformed police and military, all carrying weapons of all sizes.  You don't go anywhere, including in and out of hotels, without going through metal detectors with bags x-rayed.  Most behave professionally, especially the tourist police, while others make leering faces (sexual harassment is rampant in Egypt), and some shake you or your cab driver down for "baksheesh", the universal bribing that seems to make the country's economy function.  This quote describes the baksheesh experience just about perfectly: "lavish remuneration and bribes, rudely demanded but ever so graciously accepted by the natives in return for little or no services rendered."  It's exhausting.

For scale, and also gives good indication of air quality.  The smog (dust and pollution) in Cairo is some of the worst in the world.