Monday, 15 October 2007

Curse of the Pharaohs (Day 6)

First thing in the morning we boarded a feluka in Aswan. The plan was to get down the Nile with an occasional stop.

Our first stop was in a Nubian village. It was much needed, because the effects of the Curse of the Pharaohs were just kicking in.

It was a simple village, with colorful walls around the houses. We were invited into one of those to have tea. It is a habit in Egypt to offer a glass of tea to a guest. Usually one can choose among a few different ones: karkade, mint, black or black with fresh mint. Low quality black tea blend is the most common. They all come with a load of sugar.
I usually have my tea without sugar, so I had to adapt to the Egyptian way.

The Nubian house we were visiting also had a large yard enclosed inside a wall. On the sandy floor there was a half made feluka sail.
In one of the yard's corners stood a toilet. I am not exaggerating when I say that our party of 13 visited it more then 15 times in half an hour. I think you can figure it out yourself.
No, it wasn't that pretty and yes, it was the good old Pharaoh's curse. The tea after our camel ride the day before was definitely the thing to blame. Oh well, what could we do - when it's there you just have to live with it for a few days. It just meant we had to start taking anti diarrhea pills and everywhere we went, toilet paper went with us. I didn't go so far to try to use the local water hose way of cleaning myself.

This didn't stop us from tasting more interesting local dishes and drinks. On one of our next stops it was time for some freshly prepared local food by our Nubian crew. We had aish (local flat bread), vegetables (cucumbers and tomatoes), feta-like salty cheese and bean kofta (fried green-bean balls).

I took a few photos of those dishes - you should have no trouble guessing which is which.

We followed our guide's example and stuffed the bread with different combinations of those dishes. It was a simple yet very delicious lunch.

There was even a large amount of watermelon for desert. I flushed it all down with a cold beer. Ahhhh... it felt good. It is not always easy to get hold of a beer in Islamic countries, so we took every opportunity we could.

Later in the afternoon we were about to meet the Nile from up close and personal. But more about that in my next post.


whathisname 16 October 2007 at 08:58  

Very interesting!

The name of the blog describes the blog itself very nicely. While reading your entries I almost felt that I had experienced them myself.

I really liked to see dishes on this post!

PS. I subscribed to your RSS. I'm looking forward to see more!

Travel-PB 18 October 2007 at 08:34  

Thanks for the nice thoughts.

I hope you enjoy the rest of the trip.

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