When we arrived in Egypt we had been traveling for a very long time. I think we were about 14 days into the trip. We had been to Paris and Venice and it was not our first time to either, so we felt at ease in both locations.
That was not the case with Egypt.
Of all the places I have ever visited, Egypt is the one that felt the most like I was in a foreign country. It seemed like everything was odd. Simple things seemed different. I don’t know exactly how to explain it, but I will try.
In the United States we throw trash in a garbage can and a truck comes and gets that, and a bigger truck goes to get that, etc. I don’t even know where it ends up, but it is handled by some type of system larger than I care to think about. Its just the normal way it works here. In Egypt, they don’t handle the trash at all. If you used it, you dropped it when you were done with it. It laid there until it rotted, someone else wanted it or it got covered over with some more trash. I know, it’s a “third world country” everyone keeps telling me. But somehow in my brain I didn’t expect the trash to be like it was. I hate this hotel !
I feel spoiled by our systems. I feel blessed, but also spoiled. I love the magic system that makes old crap go away in the United States. (Yes, I know, I know, we pay for this and we make entirely too much trash but that’s not the topic of this post.) Anyway, it took a minute to get used to what in my head was one, or probably the most amazing places that I have ever been, having so much trash to wade through. How can the world let Egypt, the Pyramids of Giza, the most amazingly, spectacular place left from an ancient civilization just become a trash collection site? It stumps me.
It got me to thinking about home. I started to think of how many times people have came to our area in West Virginia and shook their heads at the crap that people toss out their car windows onto the side of the road. It really makes me angry at my neighbors.
We live in some of the most amazing mountains. The trees are beautiful and green and when you go away from here for a while you really start to need to smell the leaves again and feel dirt and rocks under your feet. I hate concrete worlds. I dream of living in Paris or Venice but so help me, I fear I may miss my mountains.
The night that we arrived in Egypt, it was late. Like 4 in the morning. So, all the things that felt so different stood out more than they would have had we seen them for the first time at say noon, with the lights on. Had we been on our own for the trip, without our guides, I really think I would have ended up spending the whole time in my room. Except, my room was so damn dirty that I couldn’t wait to go someplace else. It was a catch-22. I was afraid to go outside and inside I didn’t want to sit down anyplace.