Friday, October 28, 2005

back in Alex.

I am back in Alexandria. I got here yesterday and will be leaving again tomorrow morning. I am going to Cairo to arrange my trip to Aswan and Luxor (etc.). I will only be in Cairo for the day and then will start my trip tomorrow evening.
I miss Siwa already. It is such a beautiful place. I stayed in the desert 4 nights. I went to 7 or so springs (one hot). I loved just walking around or sitting and writing in the sand and daydreaming.
The first two nights our camp was at the bottom of a giant sand dune. The third night camp was in an area that is littered with seashells and looked like I think the moon's surface would look like. It was so beautiful. The last night was just into the desert a bit, on a small dune, because we didn't leave the town until late because I was busy doing other things. I ate dinner at FatHi's home after the sun set, and his sister decorated my hands with henna. His sister is 18 and has been married for 4 months. They marry very young there and the men can have several wives (if they can afford it). The families in Siwa are all very big. Some people that I was talking to said that they met a man whose new wife is only 10 years old or so. Nasser's father had 3 wives but only one is there now. He has 10 sisters and brothers.
Then, after eating at FatHi's I went to Nasser's home for a while and met most of his family. The youngest is Mabrooka, who is 2 or 3.
The food was great the whole trip. They eat a lot of milk products. For fittaur/ifta (breakfast/the first meal after sunset during Ramadan) is generally fresh dates and plain yogurt, along with some sort of milk to drink. The dates that I had here in Alex are nothing like the dates in Siwa. I didn't like the dates in Alex, but the ones in Siwa are great. I heard that Siwa is famous for its dates. They were sooooo good. Take a bite of date and a spoon full of yogurt and it is sooo delicious. Generally we then ate rice and vegetables and chicken. That seems to be the usual meal there. At 4 in the morning, the before sunrise, the meal is then bread and cheese (several different kinds) and apricot jam. I miss the dates and yogurt. I am trying to find the same kind of dates here but as of yet, have had no such luck.
Nasser's mom made most of the meals except for one, when we were in the moon-like area. His aunt lives near there, so she made the food while we went around to the local sites.
My last day in Siwa, I went to the Mountain of the Dead. It is full of tombs that were cut into the sides and everywhere. Most of them are just simple holes or spaces, but a few of them are painted and decorated. I went into two of them. There is also one tomb that has mummies in it. There were 4 whole mummies and some parts (torso and head, a head, bones, etc).
I wanted to buy some things while I in Siwa (Siwan things) but ran out of money and the ATM there wasn't working. Poor me. :(
Well, that's it for now. I have to go buy a train ticket.

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