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Published: October 19th 2017
Well Egypt, this is it. Its time to say goodbye. Already! I always knew our romance would be short and sweet, and I was not disappointed. I loved you, I loved your people, I was blown away by your monuments, Antiquity and incredible achievements evident everywhere. I was saddened by your pervasive poverty but heartened by your vibrant spirit evident even among the poorest. Your open faced welcome, friendliness from police to porters, guides to gardeners, hoteliers to housekeepers. Your willingness to be helpful (with or without bakshish). Even your roguish attempts to get away with charging murderously high prices were covered over with such persuasive sweet talk. What's not to love!?
I traveled with you on the public ferry crossing the banks of the Nile, your life blood, from East Bank to West Bank in Luxor, sitting on the wooden benches surrounded by kaftans, turbans and scarved heads and never once felt alone or sensed hostility.
I walked your dusty streets without sidewalks, also in Luxor, revelling in being over taken by donkeys and motor scooters and horse drawn carriages, and one day a camel. I ate some of your local food, the variety of
breads, enjoying kushri and shawarma, happy to receive lime drinks and mango, and pomegranate! I ate dates and bananas and figs which I'd never had before, so thank you!
I gazed at the river Nile every where, the blood that runs through your veins giving you life. Leaning on the rails over Cairo and Aswan and Luxor. No people exist in your desert land beyond the presence of the Great River. Whether directly or by irrigation channels taken far inland. For five thousand years you have used the waters to great advantage, benefiting everyone.
Admittedly you could use a bit of tidying up, better habits of cleanliness. But I do love you. Perfection isn't necessary.
Sitting here in the airport lounge, your music playing electronically, I'm out of earshot of your resounding call to prayer, out of sight of your minarets. But your voice is all around me, your elegant writing that looks musical is everywhere.
You envelop me. I will carry you in my heart. I will miss you. Know that you are loved.
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