prepare for banalities
Today was a good day (and I suppose those are the best kind of day to write about).
I woke up for 8 am breakfast and to all our delight instead of the usual bread and cheese Gabor our lovely cook had made Tammaya (falafel) and fuul (beans). A slightly productive morning working on my presentation of the temple and Roman fortress at Douch in Kargah turned into a really interesting class on early Christianity in Egypt. Cue my favorite lunch of grilled eggplant, fresh veggies, gibna betta (cheese), and pita. There was no water in the showers so I convinced Megan to go to the hot “spring” with me. We brought Andrew, Matt, Kyra and Iris along for protection … eventually we needed it.
The hot “spring” is really a key-shaped concrete trough with hot spring water pumped up from deep in the ground. The water is perfect bath temperature and runs from a big pipe, through the trough, and out into the irrigation ditches. To get there you walk down the hill from the dig-house, a cross and down the road a bit, and towards a small pump house and stand of palm trees. There wasn’t anyone there when we got there, and we jumped in. Besides the slightly iron-y smell it was really nice -- deep and clear. Our first visitor was a man, his young son, and donkey who were apparently there to fill up plastic jugs of water. The little boy came and sat with Kyra and put his feet in the water. We exhausted out Arabic talking to him. Basically we found out his name was Mahammod, he was from Mut, and he liked the water. We couldn’t remember how to ask him how old he was. Then who should show up but Ashraf (our all around friend and guide) and some of the house staff -- apparently to wash the dishes! Cue some awkward gender dynamics. Megan and I were the only ones in the spring (granted with shirts on in an attempt at modesty) and Ashraf jumped in no problem. It was pretty clear the rest (including man with son and donkey) were just around for the novelty of the girls in the pool. Nothing explicit but obvious nonetheless. Somehow different than outright heckling. Didn’t really bother me as I’d been a prepared, but it was clear that the other girls hadn’t gotten in for fear of just a thing. Regardless I found it to be pretty relaxing, dish-washing or no.
A nice walk back to the house in time for Arabic. Good dinner of kofta (grilled, ground lamb), Egyptian pizza, and roasted potatoes. Half-way through this post the Australians showed up with Uno and funny accents. Somehow it got to be 11:30 which is late when you have to make a 7:30am breakfast … a tout a l’heure!