May 30: Luxor to Cairo

My ass is still sore from the camel.  I mean the one I was riding.  Oh, never mind.

Best breakfast so far at the Luxor hotel:  nothing but fruit, as Tony Robbins recommends.  Orange, grapefruit and watermelon slices, washed down with real orange juice (not that bug juice we had on the boat).

Bizarre flight from Luxor to Cairo.  Before takeoff they showed the usual safety video, but it was anything but usual.  The video was done in Arabic with French subtitles, then repeated in English with German subtitles.  In the "no smoking" segment there was a chubby mustachioed Arab guy puffing away until a flight attendant asked him to put it out.  Then in the "oxygen mask" segment they showed the same chubby mustachioed Arab guy STILL puffing away until, startled by the dropped oxygen mask, he hurriedly put the smoke out once and for all.  This was actually funnier the second time in a different language set.  Also there was a creepy white-Asian royal/dominatrix type woman playing the English-speaking flight attendant.  Near the end of the flight we were all given facemasks on account of the sandstorms.  What sandstorms?  Indeed.

Cairo airport (domestic terminal).

Back at the Oasis Hotel I tried to nap, but as soon I hit the sack at 1 PM the loudspeakers started.  And went on for a full hour.  I'd heard the calls to prayer throughout the week, but apparently on Fridays they go on a lot longer.  One might think that these loudspeakers would be positioned some distance away from a hotel patronized almost entirely by non-Muslims, but think again.  It sounded like one was right outside my room.  Then at 4 PM I made another attempt at a nap, and precisely at 4 PM another hour of Arabic rambling started on the loudspeakers.  Secular country my diarrheic ass.

At dinner I learned about "drop bears", yet another bizarre mutant creature formed out of the Australian genetic pool.  These fellas resemble koalas, but they catch their prey by literally dropping out of trees onto their victims' heads.  Sometimes they mistakenly drop onto people's heads, so watch out.  I didn't let on but Dave had me going on this one until he came clean.