Monday, December 28, 2009

Egypt


This is our day in Egypt, backwards. My pictures show up in the opposite order I put them in on my blog. So this is our shopping in the Bazaar, which is open 24/7. It's after midnight, and as we come walking up, a member of the police decided this very large, very American group needed an escort. He tagged along in his pink shirt, nice suit, and semi-automatic weapon on his belt. This is a Hookah (sp?) lounge. People use these funny pipe things, with flavored tobacco and usually some kind of opiates.

See our body guard? At one point during our shopping a woman was shoving her sleeping baby at me, asking for money (I had none-Jon was carrying the money) but she wouldn't stop, and the body guard stepped in. She grabbed his hand and started swinging hers to make it look like he was being violent with her. Then another woman stepped in and did the same, making it look like a horrible fight. The officer looked like a marionette puppet, rolling his eyes, while I was about to bawl.





Something funny I noticed while in Egypt-the women were in traditional, non-trendy clothing while the men were extremely trendy. They all had designer jeans with bedazzled bums and designer, well, everything! I've never seen so many well-dressed straight men!

So the Bazaar is like a long alley filled with people, with shops on either side. Pretty narrow, right? Imagine our surprise when, after we were done, we piled into our bus and drove right down the middle of the alley! People just moved out of the way, I guess. My eyes were closed during this-I may have been screaming, not sure.






The whole group in front of the pyramids and the Sphinx.





So, after our camel ride, our guide, Nirvana, told us the Spinx was about to close, and that we may not make it. We ran like our lives depended on it-I was in the rear of the group, and when they arrived at the entrance I hear my mom shouting, "where's Cherise?! Get Cherise!" I ran up to the entrance to find her with several men with guns, who had apparently told her it was too late. When she sees me she grabs me and pushes me toward the guards like some kind of offering, asking if they'll let us in now. I felt really bad to let her down like that, but it was the wrong day to use me as a bartering tool-I was looking pretty nasty. One guard, probably out of sympathy, says "one minute" (so I'm like a "one minute" wife-is that like a "one cow"wife?) So we start running, again, like our lives depended on it. Funny thing is, the other men with big guns didn't hear anything about the "one minute" we were promised. So we're running from these guys, and the camel guy is mad about something and chasing us, which wouldn't scare me but Nirvana looked seriously scared, so we're this big American group running from everyone, trying to soak in the majesties that are Egypt.


















RUN!!!!






















Our camel guy pulled the turban and robe from under the camel's saddle. He offered me a turn to wear his gross turban, but I think the rule about not eating or drinking anything in Egypt could also be taken a step further to not wearing things stored on a camels dirty smelly back.












Look at this camel's face. They make the most horrible noise while they open their mouth and show their teeth-it's this " mmmrrraaaaa" and the camel driver (?) makes the same noise back to it to tell it what to do, so you've got these two "mmmrrraaaa"ing at each other in the most hilarious way. Not so hilarious-how they demand their tip, then separate you from your spouse, insist you tipped for only one (while his son says the same to your spouse) then makes you both tip the other person before you can get off the camel. Awesome.




























The Great Pyramid-we went inside this one. Napoleon blasted that hole to make an entrance.










I don't remember why I was leaping in the picture-"hey, look at me, Mom! I'm in front of a pyramid! Look at MEEEEE!"
















Run, Phyllis, Run! She was not entirely trusting of Egypt. She and my mom went to Egypt about 20 years ago, sans husbands. She said wild horses couldn't drag her back. Apparently, all it took was peer pressure. But it felt like she was waiting for us to get scammed, robbed, or deserted by our tour company. Ok, we all were, just a little bit.

















Ok, men with big guns took our cameras before we entered this pyramid, leading me to believe they would not react kindly to someone (mom) sneaking one in her bra and taking pictures in the tomb room. You can almost hear me right here saying, "Mom! There are surveillance cameras in here! We'll all be in Egyptian prison!!!!"


















This is the stairway to the tomb room. When I got to the top, where the entrance to the room was, an Egyptian man was standing there, offering his hand. Idiotically, I took it, and he "welcomes" me by coming in for a KISS. I pulled out my best Kung Fu and yelled out between hi-yas, "no! No kissing!" I found after that he got a kiss in on Sandy, and grabbed her bum.








































This is the Egyptian museum, with an awesome King Tut room.





















This was a bathroom stop on the way to Cairo. When we (a big group of Americans) came in, a few people grabbed all the toilet paper out of the bathroom and made us pay them a dollar for a piece. Then a lady stands by the sink with soap. Yep, another dollar.
























On our way home



Boarding our flight to Paris

How we spent our evening in Paris






Cute tiny food. It was cute until we were still hungry...I'm all, "Give me a Big Mac-can't you see I'm American?! Supersize Me!!!"










Me, secretly packing sassy boots when I heard we were being sent to Paris. Secretly, because as sweet as Jon is, he wouldn't understand carrying around heavy boots for 36 hours so I could wear them while I slept in Paris. He was right.








Malta

My husband is so hot.















Malta-sailing in

This was the view as we sailed into the island of Malta.


Now, if you are getting distracted by my long eyelashes and you're thinking-"wait-Cherise has no lashes! Is she spending hundreds on extensions every month?" Let me tell you about a lovely product called renewlash. It makes your eyelashes grow. Seriously. But if you start using it, let me warn you-let it dry before going to bed. I found a lovely row of lashes growing on my cheeks below my eyes from my face being smooshed on my pillow and the magical serum gettin on my cheeks.







Turkey-Ephesus

Us in our taxis...
In front of the theater
An advertisement for a brothel.

On the steps of the theater. They've fenced off the top portion because when Kiss had a concert there, the noise level and the size of crowd made it start to crumble.



The Library












































Just outside of Ephesus. The taxi drivers we paid kept taking us to stupid shops we said we didn't want to go to. It was a little scary being driven around by people who really hate Americans. So when the sign said Ijshmir (the port where our ship was waiting) left and our driver turned right, we all panicked a little. I even came up with a plan to save us all (it was a kind of long drive). I would jump into the front, throw open his door, kick him out and take the wheel. In the end, it was just a route that kept them from having to pay a toll, but that didn't keep the absurd thoughts from crossing my mind, like how bad I had to go to the bathroom, and if I was shot and killed the news report would say something like, "mother of four found with a bullet wound to the whatever, and poo in her pants"











Greece-the Parthenon

These were not actually the original sculptures, but duplicates displayed-get this-underground by the metro. Courtney is tiny enough that she could squeeze in behind it-Dan got stuck.
Sooooooooooooo cold.

Mom, Sandy, Courtney and I


The garden outside the Parthenon





























Most of the group-minus 3 guys taking the pictures








I loved the women columns behind me. The were called Korei (I know I got that name wrong)