Saturday, June 2, 2007

Friday, May 11th (part 2)

After the Citadel visit, we went to the Cairo museum. Statistically speaking, if you were to look at every artifact in the museum for 10 seconds it would take you 9 months to see everything in the place. We got to see the treasures of King Tut, including the famous funerary mask, and it only reiterated to me what a rip off the exhibit at the Field Museum this Summer was. I mean, we got to see EVERYTHING. No pictures were allowed, of course, so you'll have to go to Cairo yourself when you get a free moment.

Lunch and a much-needed rest was had at the Le Meridian Pyramids Hotel. When they say Pyramids, they aren't kidding. This is a picture of me on our balcony. And those are the Pyramids. Mind blowing.

We then went to The Official Papyrus Institute. Papyrus is a plant that is found in Egypt that is made into paper. Going to the "Official" Papyrus Institute in Egypt is sort of like going to the "Original" Ray's Pizza in New York - every papyrus institute we saw claimed to be the official one.

That is because you can be easily duped into buying what you think is papyrus paper, which is extremely durable and long-lasting, and actually get paper made out of bananas. Kind of like thinking you are getting New York style pizza, but you are actually eating a recently thawed Tombstone pizza.

It was then on to what many feel is an absolute travesty - The Sound and Light Show at the Pyramids. Admittedly, the presentation is kind of cheesy - laser lights flash on the three Pyramids and the Sphinx, all four of which can talk. I'm not kidding. These monumental structures are voiced by Shakespearian-sounding English men and women. They talk about their feelings (the littlest pyramid sounds a bit like Baby Bear in the story of Goldilocks), and what they have seen in their thousands of years of existence. The Sphinx is the most vocal of the four structures, presumably because it actually has a mouth.

I know why people hate the light show, but I have to admit I didn't mind it. First off, it was our first sight of the Pyramid Complex at Giza up-close, and I have to admit when I saw the head of the Sphinx so close to me, tears happened. Yup, I got weepy. You just never think you will see these things in person, and there they are, right there in front of you.

Secondly, I realize it seems absolutely absurd, and even a tad blasphemous, to have rock concert-like effects and voice-overs and the like at the spot of the only remaining Wonder of the World, but to me it makes perfect sense. In fact, I think the Ancient Egyptians would condone it. These structures were built so that the people inside them, and all they represent, would live forever. They are immortal, so much so that we have taken their graves and incorporated them into a state-of-the-art, money making event. Their wish has been granted.

We then went to a restaurant that floated us down the Nile River while we enjoyed traditional Egyptian entertainment, like a belly dancer who mostly just showed off her boobs, and a singer who crooned, "My Way." This guy twirled until you thought for sure he couldn't twirl any more. Steve loved it.

And then, bed. Actually, we watched a lot of TV first. I got to watch Conan! And, oddly enough, Mystery Science Theater 3000 was on Egyptian Television. So that's where that show went.

No comments: