January 23rd, 2008

Sea dragon

Travel by felluca

One in the afternoon and we're cruising the Nile on a felucca. A felluca is a medium-sized sailboat with a flat platform in the middle; ours is covered with cushions and manned by a crew of three. Somehow we seem to have landed on the SS Bob Marley; there are two flags with his face on it flying from the stays, reggae on the tape deck, and dreads on the crew. Sadly, we have no toliets at all. We are also quite cold, thanks to the breeze and our inactivity, so we've all got several layers of clothes on. The crew is nice and does make tea fairly regularly. On the banks of the river are donkeys and cows and the occasion al herd of goats; not much to see, really. We sit on the deck huddled under blankets and read and hope we don't get sunburned as the canopy has been stored for the day. J is appreciating the chance to elevate his foot, and I'm hoping my cold will finally go away. I've mostly stopped coughing but my left tonsil is very swollen. Really, I'm done with this cold now, can it please be over?picture.jpg

Yesterday was quite quiet; only two hours of sailing before we docked (as it were) near a farmhouse. Two dogs were enthusiastically holding their own against a murder of crows who'd found a ripe goat carcass on the riverbank. We had a dinner of Mystery Stew then went up the hill under the moonlight to "the Nubian house," a traditional walled compound where we sat by the fire and hung out for a few hours. Some people smoked shisha ; most of the Ozzies got drunk; I had a henna tattoo done on my hand. Later our tour leader gave us a mock belly dancing lesson that had the residents of the house giggling their heads off. J and I were too tired to participate (though we laughed) and happy when it was time to go back to the boat, bundle up, huddle in our sleeping bags and curse our drunken neighbors as they laughed and shouted at each other into the wee hours.
Sea dragon

While I'm away

For you folks with my cell phone number, just a note that texting me is free, I tell you, free! And I'd love to hear from you because even with all of these people here I feel a bit lonely. I guess I don't entirely fit in with "norms" all that well but since I'm usually surrounded by so many lovely people I just don't notice much anymore. But I feel like all of my stories are boring and unless we're talking about international water policy I don't have much to say. At any rate, we're well-fed and docked for the night, andbI got halfway through another Jo Clayton book (Drinker of Souls) tonight, and the trip is halfway through. No running water and literal pit toliets tonight.