inevitable diarrhea blahg post. OR…captain’s log.

it can be difficult to describe whether the world begins to feel bigger or smaller when you become more comfortable in a place that is otherwise foreign to you. different than playing the “oh you’re from jersey? do you know my boy, G?” name game with douchebag tourists from whogivesashitwhere, you begin to feel overwhelmed and awestruck by how big the world is and how many people, for good or for bad, we really do share it with. after one nomadic month i now have facebook friends from jordan, france, switzerland, austrailia and egypt. “nice going mr. ambassador, way to have more facebook friends,” you undoubtedly and predictably jest. good one, but allow me to make like a cardboard box and break it down, yo. this very evening i found myself on a wonderful pillow-strewn rooftop in luxor*, drinking beers, playing shithead, sharing laughs and listening to phish as i enjoyed an ethereal middle-eastern sunset. while the majority of my previous sentence no doubt surprises few of you, the delightful new idiosyncrasies supplemented to the usual crap can really give you a fresh perspective. seated around megan and i was a girl from denmark, a frenchman, an australian, a guy from switzerland, a young lady from japan and a dude from philly all sitting at one table enjoying happy hour together in egypt, a completely neutral location for all of us (though the swiss guy was totally digging on the neutrality) but as one great brotherhood of man. all of us strangers in a strange land, but all sharing an unspoken bond as not just travelers but also as people. it was so simple yet so exciting. and aside from obvious and hilarious culture and language barriers, we were able to communicate and joke and laugh and it made me feel extremely fortunate and proud about what I’m doing here. unfortunately what it actually is that I’m doing (besides using pages of my journal as makeshift toilet paper), i’m still a bit fuzzy on. but it’s becoming ever more clear to me that the fun of the journey and really the most paramount part is figuring all of that out along the way.

*and you may ask yourself, “how did i get here?” friend, my answer to you would be “a long-ass train ride.” fortunately we had our wonderful and adorable egyptian friend, dina get our train tickets for us at the cairo train station which was crucial for two reasons: one, there is no way in hell we would have been able to figure out how to do ourselves. and two: as an egyptian, she paid less than half of what we would have had to pay as americans. apparently as of a march 2009, they make all non-egyptians, or “whiteys” as i like to say, travel in the sleeper cars for “safety”. coincidentally the sleeper cars also happen the be about 4 times as expensive, but the sly punces we are, we outsmarted them and nobody seemed to care in the slightest. goodbye cairo—15 hours later—hello aswan. aswan would be a great city if it didn’t make me feel like a naïve dante walking readily through the nine circles of hell. honestly, i’ve never been somewhere so fucking hot in my entire life. walking off the train it wasn’t so much like a sauna as it was like literally walking into the fiery gates of hades to forever suffer among the damned for however long eternity decides to take. as the thick beads of perspiration danced on my pale western forehead I began to see goblins and imps juggling brimstone out of the corner of my eyes. the pushy shopkeepers in the market became demons bargaining with me for my soul and as fate would have it, it was about that time that the travel’s diarrhea kicked in. i like to call it traveler’s D. J

note: those faint of heart should note that this is the part where I talk about doody for a while. i invite you to continue reading and hopefully you will find me as hilarious as I find myself.

maybe it was the weird-ass bamboo juice or maybe it was the bits of fried liver i asked the nice brown man to put in my koshery. i don’t know. i’m not a doo doo scientist. but man ohhhh man have I pooed my little brains out since. the worst of it was obviously over quickly, (so quickly it was a christmas miracle I made it to the toilet unsoiled and without tripping over the overzealously unfastened linen pants precariously coiled around my ankles without killing myself in a bloody, shitty disaster. can you even imagine the headline in an arabic newspaper? i imagine if you spoke arabic, you’d have an easier time. but as per usual I digress.) but after a week i feel as though my insides are slowly and arduously pulling themselves back together. my captain’s log is still far from solid but i’m happy to report that i can once again fart with confidence. i remain optimistic and unfazed and hope to be dumping proper in a couple weeks time. actually, I revoke my previous statement. the actual worst of it was probably the 3 am bus ride to abu simbel, crammed into the back row of an un-air-conditioned microbus between to japanese tourists, their portable fucking AV room full of media equipment and an australian bloke who seemed slightly disappointed that it was not the young lady, but hairy smelly me, who squished in next to him. the next 4 hours were a titillating olympics of cold sweats, clenched sphincters, and nausea supreme, as i tried to the very best of my ability not to shit or puke all over the 20 other passengers in the microbus. they will never know how truly lucky they are.

but what would traveler’s D be without spending three butt-clenching days on a felucca? for those unprivy, a felucca is apparently a type of sailboat piloted by retards who bounce the boat back and forth between the river banks like a pixilated pong ball in a demonic atari game. so what do you get when you cross a crew of 13 international transplants with two inept pot-head captains who routinely crashed the boat but make decent babaganoush? i still can’t answer that, but i can tell you it was ridiculous as it was memorable. lanky as he is sleazy, the incoherent captain ayub accompanied by his counterpart, the unintelligible captain Hussein, a man likely three times his age with a jack-o-lantern smile and a laugh like a bale of hay in a smokestack were the two senior officers of our motley vessel. it must have been written in the stars that these two misfits found faluccaing because i can’t imagine them doing anything else…that is, besides singing the same song over and over and over again for three straight days. a song that will forever be painstakingly etched by an orangutan with a prison shiv into the walls of my subconscious. and it goes a little something like this:

EYE-EYE-OPEY-OPEY-EYE,

singin’ EYE-EYE-OPEY-OPEY-EYE,

EYE-EYE-OPEY, EYE-EYE-OPEY,

EYE-EYE-OPEY-OPEY-EYE!

roughly sung to the memorable folk tune “she’ll be comin ‘round the mountain [when she comes]”, there are only two verses (excluding the EYE-EYE-OPEY bit, of course) and i found them to be quite indicative of the life of a feluccaman. “she’ll be sailing the felucca when she comes” and “she’ll be smoking marijuana when she comes” respectively. you can be sure that when they’re not doing one, they’re doing the other. so we crashed a fair number of times (in the exact same way every time in fact). it typically went; “uh, ayub, we’re getting awfully close to the shore.” “yes yes, habibi, good good.” *WOMP* then we would watch as he and hussein, somehow surprised, frantically scrambled to save the boat and right the course…and repeat. it was like a cheech and chong movie. but we did make a lot of great friends on the boat that we are currently still traveling with in luxor. you can really get to know someone when you’re trapped on a tiny boat and peeing in front of them for days at a time. i even felt a special kinship with my two favorite capitanos, ayub and hussein. ayub said two things to me i’ll never forget. one, “someone was snoring last night. you sounded like a chicken inside of each other.” i still have no idea what he was talking about but it continues to puts me in stitches. and then his one pearl of wisdom he imparted to the crew, “eat your eggs,” he told us with an ironically sober tone, “the egg is the cousin of the marijuana.” i have no doubt he believes it.

that belongs in a museum!

that belongs in a museum!

you ain't foolin no one, buddy.

you ain't foolin no one, buddy.

ahhhh

ahhhh

ship of fools

ship of fools

where are all the pictures?

where are all the pictures?

the curse of the mummy

the curse of the mummy

welcome to the bub, would you like a peer? FAIL

welcome to the bub, would you like a peer? FAIL

FAIL

FAIL

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3 Responses to “inevitable diarrhea blahg post. OR…captain’s log.”

  1. Uncle Carl Says:

    Ah , the memories you have brought back to me .
    The long train rides , my guitar by my side .
    The wonderfully crazy people that I met .
    The incredible smells (mostly pungent) yet quite memorable .
    Great blog . Say Hi to Megan for me .
    Love you , Buttercup.
    Uncle Carl

  2. Chelsea T Says:

    Glad to hear the stomach/bowels are slowly returning to normal. Nothing worse than having to clench and feeling like ur gonna vomit at the same time.
    Good luck on your return to ‘regular-ness’

  3. Alex: Sounds like an adventure. Any luck with the back scratchers? I sent your Dad a new check so you can use the original for toilet paper.
    Be well.

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