The past two weeks have been a learning experience to say the least. From picking up basic phrases in Arabic and learning concepts which govern occurrences sixteen-thousand feet down-hole to mastering the art of picking up pipes which are heavier than most dumb-bells I lifted in the Roorkee Gym, there has been a fair amount of inflow into the grey-cell area. It has been a great knowledge sharing experience for the people around me too! For example, the other day I had to explain to a fellow that Hind was not near Mexique but near Pakistan. He found the information hard to digest but he managed a smile at the end of it all. And then, there have been numerous occasions where I've had to inform fellow members of the human race that Islam and Christianity aren't the only two religions available to mankind. Another stunning fact, no?
As ignorant as they may seem, Egyptians are really friendly people. They make an effort to talk to you slowly and explain things again and again until finally you gather the essence of what they're saying. They're open and warm too. In fact, Egyptians impose their opinions upon strangers all the time. It's not something they consider rude. And they can barge into your room and then ask you if it's okay to come in. You can do the same to them, of course. They're a welcome change actually after all the stuck-up foreigners we get to see.
And then, there's the food! Salads and salads and a few salads more... There's olive oil, rice, bread and meat. These guys eat everything - from camels to pigeons. My 'bland' diet alarms them as much as a Vampire's would. I never thought I'd say this about salads, but they're quite delightful.
It's all a mix of the fun of discovery and the discomfort of change - something every travel is about, I suppose; the same bittersweet feeling that passes through you when the sun is about to set over a lonely oil rig in the desert. You know it's going a brilliant sight. But then again, it's going to get so cold!