Saturday, September 29, 2007

21. September - Cairo

Last day in Egypt. Despite all the temptations of other museums and markets, we decide that we really just need a day of total R&R before shipping out again. We’ve also missed all the open pool hours to date, so today is a Pool Day.

Our flight leaves the Cairo Airport at 1:30 in the morning - technically, the 22nd - there seemed to be no other earlier options. We meet Ramy and Mais at 10pm to load our bags and head out. This evening we also have a government official escorting us with an AK47. He is a quiet type, keeps to himself for the whole ride. Bailey’s theory is that the Egyptian government doesn’t want to risk any embarrasment that would potentially arise in the event of U.S. journalist/media types having any “issues.” Or, we, ourselves are the risk. Who knows. Needless to say, we make it through the airport check in smoothly, quickly, and entirely without incident. -- Except that Finn has been hit by dehydration from the hours in sun & pool added to the heat and now is sick to his stomach.

The airport is packed full at midnight with many travelers (pilgrims?), in proper full-coverage white dress, filling planes headed to Mecca. Ramy stands at the gate waving for as long as he can see us, and we wave back, shouting “shokraan” (thankyou) until we round the corner. It’s a sad farewell to Egypt and our friends and not nearly enough time - even by the kids’ standards.

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