Jamie Rest in Peace
Trip Start Jun 03, 2009
86Trip End Ongoing
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Where I stayed
The Palm Tree Hotel
They arrived in Siwa and got a donkey carriage to the hotel (aka sweat box for $2 a night), and decieded to walk around and get some real food
That night with our personal bodyguard Fethi, brought us around town. We went to dinner at Abdu, where we later ate every meal in Siwa
Sarah's ride to Siwa was quite exciting. She travelled with Klaus, a German man with dreadlocks from their hostel in Dahab. About 2 hours into the trip the bus broke down in the middle of the desert. The bus struggled down the road, and had two false breakdowns before the final breakdown. The bus driver told us it would be a while before they could get another bus to the location, and klaus and Sarah had a connection in less than an hour. We debated what to do, and decided to see if we could find a taxi to the next station. Sarah stood on the road, klaus for some mysterious walked away from her, and then within 2 minutes a Bedouin man stopped and offered her a free ride. Klaus came running from behind the bus, and they both hopped in. Luckily they made it to the station in time for their bus, which was also the last bus for 24 hours.
When she arrived everyone in town was already expecting her, and had her wait for Lindsey and Brittany. Then Fethi picked us up and drove us out to a Bedouin camp in the desert for the free "Sorry you got harrassed by the local crazy" dinner. The dinner was delicious, and the stars were amazing. We sat around a campfire and had tea and looked at the sun setting over the dunes.
The next day we returned to Abdu for breakfast and then rented bikes and headed out to Tanta Waa. Tanta Waa is named that because as Waleed was building the restaurant, the locals would walk by and say. "Tanta Waa?" meaning, "what the hell is it?" We played jenga and drank the best mint lemonades and melango juices we've ever had. As we were sitting there, waleed told us he had tried to catch a rooster in the morning, but was unsuccessful because one person is not enough to catch one. Brittany quickly volunteered to help to prove Tom wrong because he claimed that no one can catch a chicken with their hands. Waleed was happy to accept our help. After a day of swimming in the springs with the local kids, we biked to the salt flats- a large expanse of white salt sheets that could be confused for snow if it wasn't 135 degrees out. As we approached the salt flats there were numerous dead buffalos and camels laying next to the road. The salt flats were empty so we were excited to be able to show a little skin
After the salt flats, we hopped in the back of Waleed's pickup truck and picked up huge bales of alfalfa for the goats. We then got to his farm prepared to catch a rooster. First we fed the goats, there was a cute little one and Brittany asked its name. The goat didn't have a name so Brittany asked if it could be named after her. Waleed agreed, but said that Brittany was a male, and all male goats are killed for food. We were upset, but were happy to find out the next morning that Waleed had actually made a mistake, and Brittany turned out to be a girl. Before going after the rooster we gained some strength by drinking the goat's milk straight from the udder.
Then we began the rooster chase. Waleed positioned us by the door, and gave us one job- don't let the rooster out of the pen. We laughed, thinking this was the easy job. Waleed began the chase, and it flew straight towards our faces with its beak of death pointed straight for our eyes. we shrieked like little girls and ran away. The rooster got out of the pen. We then got demoted to the rooster chasers and stuck waleed at the doorway. Needless to say, we proved Tom wrong with our strategic route running, diving and intimidation techniques. After catching the rooster, Waleed decided it was too small for us all for dinner and told us to pick out a goat instead
We dropped Jamie off at the butcher where the cat mysteriously ate the liver. Apparently thats the best part of the goat to eat, luckily for us we didn't have to try it. We picked up salad and bread, and then headed off to Tanta Waa for the BBQ. We were joined by a french couple, a deaf teenager named Chesney (nuget: egyptian sign language is different than american sign language) and a sheep farmer, who assured us the entire time that his sheep would taste better. There is no alcohol for sale in siwa, but the locals have become quite creative and make their own. Waleed's night watchman supplied us with his tasty date moonshine. We were apprehensive to try goat, but we all liked it.
The next day we had an early wakeup call from Waleed and went back to the farm to be his farmhands for the day. There were 3 goats that needed to be milked. Goats must be milked every 2 or 3 days. While milking the goat, you have to remove the alpha male from the area, because the hormones he gives off will make the milk taste bad
That afternoon, after lunch at Abdu of course, we went on a trip to the desert with Fethi in a 4 x 4. We visited the hot and cold springs, drank tea (again), sped and flew over the massive dunes, and went sandboarding and sand sledding. We ended the day back at the Bedouin camp and had another BBQ with Waleed Chesney and Fethi. We had an unexpected guest, we aren't sure of his name, but we called him fancy pajama man because every man in Siwa wears blue or white pajamas (actually the traditional outfit which is a long tunic over flowing pants) but fancy pajama man wears shiny reflective black pajamas. After the cookout we went out into the desert. Fancy pajama man showed off his new fancy black shiny car and did tricks all around us for hours. Apparently he fancied Lindsey. Fethi introduced us to a rousing game of "Finie" which has turned into Brittany's favorite game and the bane of Sarah's existence
Brittany won so she made everyone run to the top of the dune. Sarah stopped because fancy pajama man was doing his tricks all around her. Then we spent the night on tiny mattresse under the amazing sky. We woke up to a fly infestation, and decided it was time to get the hell out of egypt. To distract ourselves from our misery we played a game called "You know you've been in Egypt too long when..." (please see end of entry)
That afternoon we were honored with an invitation into Fethi's house. Please note, we haven't showered since we had milked the goats because of lack of facilities. We are also still wearing our goat clothes. We took a donkey boy to his house and met his wife and three childen. This was the second Egyptian women we talked to, but she didn't speak English, so we didn't really talk to her. His wife served us delicious COLD mint tea and canteloupe. Unfortunately, Sarah made the mistake of smelling herself and immediately became naseaus from her own stench. For the rest of the visit, she sat in the corner trying to hold back her vomit
Glums and Glows
Glum: Run in with the local crazy man
Glow: Being Waleed's farm hands
Glum: Smelling herself and almost throwing up in Fethi's home
Glow: Finding out she liked goat
Glum: Making a scene coming in and out of Siwa
YOU KNOW YOU HAVE BEEN IN EGYPT TOO LONG WHEN:
You have not seen or talked to a woman in days
The locals have to move out of the sun before you do
You are standing in the middle of the Sahara during the middle of the day and think its not hot
You smell yourself and almost throw up
It doesn't phase you to argue over 20 cents
You hiss back at people
You blatantly ignore everyone on the street that talks to you
You are mistaken for a homeless person
When you forget what a real pillow feels like