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The Labors of Bucephalus No matter how tedious life at times could become, one look out the window was enough to remind me that not far away, the world-and adventure-were impatiently waiting.-R. Morse

True Wonders

EGYPT | Thursday, 20 March 2008 | Views [941]

Mj and I, what a cutie. (the camel, that is)

Mj and I, what a cutie. (the camel, that is)

Michael Jackson was cranky.  I know this because when I pulled left, he turned right.  When I snapped the reins, he slowed down, and when I shot a photo of him, he grumbled and moaned.  The camel is an amazing animal though, and one that I'm not sure I'd ever get used to.  With their floppy snouts, protruding teeth, and gangly legs, they look like something out of a fantasy novel.  And man, when they stand up you feel about twenty feet up.  It was a grand experience, riding about the Giza plateau atop a desert beast named Michael Jackson.  But I must admit, I feel slightly at a loss for words regarding the Giza Pyramids.  It resembled the feeling I had as a teenager upon seeing the Grand Canyon: they just don't seem real, and, how could they be?  I think my brain slightly short circuited as I looked at just one block of the Great Pyramid and tried to grasp the idea of the massive labor involved in this undertaking.  It is comparable to trying to imagine a new primary color, or contemplating eternity.  The concept simply does not compute in the human mind, and yet there it was: this ridiculously large superstructure weighing millions of tons, built millenia ago, by human hands lacking anything near modern technology.  The inside was mind-blowing as well.  A narrow shaft that climbs up, and up, into a small, unassuming chamber supposedly once laden with sumptuous and grand grave goods, plundered by unscrupulous thieves long ago.

The coolest thing though, is this: As my trip nears its end, it is not Aya Sophia, or Baalbeck, or Petra or even the Pyramids that is emblazoned in my mind.  It is the people.  Generous, kind and hospitable people who are vastly more interesting, and beautiful, than the most skillfully wrought pile of rocks.

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