Friday, July 23, 2010

I'm huge in Egypt.

My cousins warned us. The people in Alexandria are a bit, well, different than they are in Cairo. At this time of year, the city is completely taken over by tourists from the "countryside". Small-town, closed-minded folks who don't get out much. From what I gather, the difference in culture we'd notice arriving from the capital is comparable to leaving New York City for, say, a rural town in Alabama. Not the most metropolitan of destinations.

We quickly learned what they meant. It is truly as if the people here have never seen a white person in their life. Or maybe they assume all Americans are movie stars. The way people stare at us as we walk down the street is both amusing and unsettling. Jaws drop. Heads turn. Tracks are stopped in. They feel no need to be discreet in their fascination. Some look intrigued. Some look disgusted. Some look frightened. But they all want to get a better look.

The especially bold folks approach timidly and ask to have a photo taken with one of us. And the moment we oblige for one person, we become completely bombarded with smiling faces and flashing cameras. We are outrageoulsy curious what they'll tell their friends about who we are and why we are posing. Maybe they just want to show off Reece's ponytail.

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