The Real Experience

Reis is happy to be in Egypt

(Reis) We finally we arrived in “the real Egypt” when we landed in Luxor from Sharm El-Sheikh in the Sinai. I was so excited! The wait was over, after four years of longing and wanting to go to Egypt, it was finally over. The whole idea started when I was in first grade doing an Egypt project with my buddies in school. We made a presentation. It really only had the basics: Tutankhamen’s tomb, the Sphinx, the Great Pyramids of Giza. As I aged, I began to find fascination with the subject, and I started looking up a few things. In third grade, I did research on the history. By fourth, I started reading up on my Egyptian mythology; I was then enthralled with the history, culture, myths and people. Now I was here, in Egypt, in the land of the Pyramids; of Tutankhamen; of Osiris, Anubis and Isis; of falafel and pita; of bazaars and alabaster; of busy Cairo; of the nomadic Bedouins. I was completely intrigued by everything. And boy, was I overjoyed!

One week later:

The temples of Ancient Egypt are extremely fascinating. Well, at least to me. Temples like Kom Ombo, Edfu and Philae. It’s really cool for me to actually see these famous sites in person, not just in pictures in an Egypt book. Actually going to the temple has a whole different meaning. Unlike seeing pictures in 2D, I was there, experiencing in 3D things like hieroglyphs and architecture. Andrew and I developed a game to find and photograph all the major gods and goddesses. This game allowed us to go beyond the regular tourist’s point of view of lines in rocks, and actually see the stories and their meanings. We were intrigued, constantly asking “which god is that?” or “is that so & so?” It’s like going behind the scenes. I also like all of the rituals of the temples: shaving off all body hair; making offerings of food, drinks, crops and jewelry to the golden statue of the god(s) to whom the temple is dedicated; or even having a certain number of priests allowed in a room with the number decreasing to one as you go toward the center — the Holy of the Holies. These tiny details make the temples my favorite in the Ancient Land of Egypt.

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6 Responses to “The Real Experience”

  1. Reis — you couldnt bein a better place for becoming conscious of the passage of time. You say “as I aged” and that is a phrase that is quite startling in your context: all kids want to be “grown up” as soon as possible, but that is a sort of vague state of being. Sudden transformation. You are realizing that it is actually a slow process of change and it shows in the way you interpret the world around you. I was introduced to Egypt by your greatgrandfather, who studied its architectural history when a young man, and always quoted the words AbooZimmmmbel (guess-what in German pronunciation) as a sort of mantra. Your interest in the Egyptians is just great — it was an extraordinary civilization. However I hope that the animal-headed gods did not prevent your appreciation of the delicious oranges and little melons there.

  2. Forgot something: You describe going into the temples and the sequence of diminishing spaces you walk through till you get to the Holy of Holies. The sequence of spaces is a sort of tunnel. A funnel on its side. A processional. Passing through different-shaped spaces is the very essence of Architecture. How you hold the roof up is technical. How it feels inside there is the art.

  3. reis when you get back you and emma and andrew are going to show me all the pics.
    how is it? miss you


  4. Nice jump Reis you got some height on that one hahahahaha.hope you guys are
    having fun miss you ,Raffi

  5. Hi Reis-
    I remember studying about Egypt with you in first grade in Mrs. Power’s class. How many gods and goddesses were you and Andrew able to find? Did you get to meet Zahi Hawass? I have been watching his show on the History channel (he has quite the temper!). I can’t wait to see the photos you took.
    Miss you-Brettito

  6. Hey Reis-
    you must be very excited to be in Egypt right now. how is it? I’d love to hear more about your adventures so please post soooonnnnnnnn!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Have a great rest of the trip!
    – lauren A.