My Side

While Aden is busy in class...

Sunday, June 27, 2010

City of the Dead

November 25, 2009

A typical Wednesday morning turned into a trip to Ghamra where Nacia and I were looking for a bus station to buy tickets for Dahab. After finding the station and buying the tickets, we stumbled across another City of the Dead. This particular city had more plants and flowers than the previous one. There were also more signs of the living.

There was a wall that was completely covered with plaques. We were informed that it was dedicated to Palestinian martyrs.

Then out of the blue, little children started to show up. They all wanted to be held. As adorable they were, they were also dirty. After playing with the kids, which was more like them jumping on us, our clothes and our hands were covered with dirt.

Nacia told one of the moms that I liked babies. Once this news was out, mothers in the area brought out their newborn babies one by one.

More people started to come out and started to invite us to stay with them. They also asked for pens-go figure. Since time was running short, we had to decline their offer and head back to the metro. Maybe next time I can sneak a baby with me.

I'm just kidding.

How We Got There:
Took the metro line towards El Marg (1 LE)
Got off on the Ghamra stop
Somehow found the bus station
Then somehow found the City of the Dead near the station

Trip Tips:
Bring loads of pens

Good Stuff of the Day:
There are plenty of babies

Room for Science:
We are mutants. Our bodies are constantly mutating. Thank goodness, most of them don't manifest physically. Wait... we're suppose to have two bellybuttons right? One on the front and one on the back?

Garbage City

November 18, 2009
While Aden was in class, a friend and I decided to visit Garbage city. We took the metro to Aqaba and walked towards Khan-al-kahlili until we saw a beautiful Greek orthodox church. It looked out of place among the raggedy markets. We entered through a gate and were greeted by a monk who informed us that the church was the Greek orthodox headquarters for all of Africa.

After visiting the headquarters, we got into a taxi to go to Garbage city. The driver took us somewhere different and dropped us off in the middle of the highway. After taking more money than he deserved and leaving us deserted, we were really upset. But that frustration was soon alleviated by a sweet coptic boy who picked us up in his pick up truck. He took us to St. Simon's monastery so we offered him money but he refused to take it. He was only fifteen years old and his response to our confusion was that he was helping us because he was doing it for Allah. We were deeply impressed. Not a split second of temptation crossed his mind to take the money we offered. As a token of our gratitude, my friend gave him an Egyptian ribbon.

The canyons toward the monastery had beautiful carvings of stories depicted from the Bible. We went inside a cave church where the walls were also carved with important biblical events.

After admiring the beauty of the place, we were once again offered a ride down the hill. The sincereity of the people in Garbage City is an irony of their habitat. The streets were filled with garbage but they were organized into different piles of garbage. Each family has specific responsibility and role in the community. There were kids sorting through garbage along with their parents.

Wearing flip flops through the city was not really smart, I almost stepped into a dead rat followed by a live one.

Just outside of garbage city was the City of the Dead. The name pretty much says it all. The place was a ghost town. Every corner, street, and tomb looked pretty much the same. There was peace and serenity about the place. There were no cars honking, loud nasal voices, nor was there garbage. There was one family that spotted us and came out to ask us for a pen. There is something about Egyptians and their desires for pen.

After our visit to these cities, we hustled our way back to the metro. We did bump into herds of goats that were being prepared for the Eid.

Can't wait for the streets to be filled with animal blood.

How We Got There:
Took the metro towards El Marg (1 LE)
Got off on Sadat
Transferred to the Shruba line
Got off on Aqaba
Walked towards the Khan
Took a taxi somewhere near the Khan (12 LE)
Got off on a highway
Walked towards the Maqattam Hill
Got picked up by a coptic boy

Trip Tips:
Don't wear flip flops

Good Stuff of the Day:
Garbage is our friend

Room for Science:
We're walking dead. Our outer skin layer is bunch of squashed dead cells