Charm Your Way to Better Photographs

Trip Start Sep 07, 2008
Trip End Dec 09, 2008

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Flag of Egypt  ,
Thursday, October 30, 2008

Egypt is famous for its juice bars. We started the morning with a trip to the juice bar just down the street from our hotel. I had fig juice, Wreath of Roses had guava juice, Blink Blink had mango juice, and Click had banana juice.

Then we walked just a few minutes down the road to the Egyptian Antiquities Museum, one of the top five museums in the world. They're renowned for their massive and priceless collection, but unfortunately not for their skill in displaying it. We were hindered by poor lighting and inadequate or nonexistent labeling, but still we had a great time amongst the astounding ancient pieces.

We headed straight for the Tutankhamon displays on the second floor. The famous golden King Tut burial mask, sarcophagi, and jewelry are in a small, hot, glassed-in and gated room, with no regulation of how many people are pushing in to see the pieces. The press of people was claustrophobia inducing, but the artifacts were more opulent than any image on a page or screen can convey.

In the photos-prohibited King Tut room, Blink Blink and Wreath of Roses got caught snapping pictures. The guard was going to confiscate the cameras of these "arrogant Americans" who weren't following the rules, but Wreath turned on the charm, saying she wasn't American she was Mexican (which is true of her ethnic identity but not her nation of birth). And Blink Blink batted her gigantic kohl-rimmed eyelashes at him. Not only did the guard give their cameras back and let them keep the pics they'd taken, he also later pulled them aside and said, "Quick, quick, picture now" and intentionally turned his back so he would not see their illicit snapping.

We also might have seen a fragment of the beard of the Sphinx, shot off by Napoleon's army, but we're not sure. We went around the museum three times looking for it, and the room where it was supposed to be contained only unlabeled rubble.

My favorite section of the museum was the Akhenaten room. In addition to being significant for his move toward monotheism, there is genetic speculation that he might have been an ancient gender bender, possibly hermaphroditic.
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