The Egyptian Compliment
Aswan Travel Blog› entry 7 of 94 › view all entries
May 7th, 2010 – by: Saskia007
Egypt has been a tourist destination for centuries. The Greek historian Herodotus even visited in 455BC and wrote about his time here. Therefore it is no wonder that with all these foreigners, there are a lot of vendors eager to sell their wares and one simple way to do this is through flattery.
Compliments are always nice to receive, but when Iâm traveling looking a little worn out, a little worse for wear, in grubby clothes and just generally looking like a packhorse, I seem to enjoy receiving them so much more.
When strolling around markets, bazaars or souks compliments are always given freely and nicely but with one objective in mind - money, and more to the point how much money can I make from these travellers by selling my goods to them? I enjoy this game and I see these sellers as part of experiencing the local culture - but this isnât to say that I donât play along with them; so far on this trip I have been from New Zealand, Australia, Holland, Spain, Fiji and Guam. Sure some of these places get quizzical looks from the questioners and you can see them trying to rack their brain about some fact they know, or better still a phrase that might lead to further conversation; the haka for the New Zealander, âGidday mateâ for the Australian, âAh, Maastricht is a very beautiful cityâ for the Dutch, but the others places seem to have them stumped.
Therefore when a compliment comes around that captures your attention you do stop and talk with the compliment giver, as was the case with the âsometimesâ quote. I was hooked - why didnât he think I was a beautiful Queen all of the time? Sure I might smell like a donkey (because I recently rode one in the Valley of the Kings, not because I have perfume entitled âEau of Donkeyâ which I use while Iâm travelling) and I might be wearing the same clothes Iâve had on for the week, but didnât this just make me more exotic? More pleasant on the eye?
As it turned out, the âsometimes manâ didnât have anything to sell. He just thought I was a beautiful Queen âŚ. sometimes. I put this down to the language barrier and I decided I had clearly misheard him as his âsometimesâ sounded a lot like sâall times, which obviously meant âall the timeâ. Clearly.
So this is part of the game, itâs been going on for eons and it will continue well into the future and as a traveler you sometimes need to let your guard down and interact with people but one way to do that is through the sharing of different cultures âŚ. I canât wait to find out more about the Egyptian culture tomorrow and I know theyâll love to learn about my culture âŚ Co ni chi wa, tomorrow I might try and see if I can teach them about Japan.
Sayonara from Aswan
Join TravBuddy to leave comments, meet new friends and share travel tips!