Friday, February 13, 2009

" ... do they have purgatory in Islam?"

What a week ... beyond the fun stuff we've been doing our future has been dangled in front of us like a toy mouse. Wednesday it still seemed as though our permit would never come. Enter grand plans of a Nile cruise into Nubia and an extended tour of the Nile Valley. Come Thursday the permit paper-work is miraculously found and Nile cruise dreams are crushed and replaced with a short 10 day excavation season. Too bad I haven't had a souvenir buying excursion ... looks like there will be no days off until the end of March!

While the uncertainty was trying, I have finally gotten excited about actually doing some work. Vacation living is all fine and good, but the American work-ethic has corrupted me into thinking I need to earn my keep. It's amazing how different the Egyptian attitude towards work is. Everyone makes jokes about the Egyptian work week -- and work day. Tea figures prominently three times a day, and Thursday is your day to prepare for your weekend -- Sunday is to recover. I don't think it's totally a bad system. While it makes getting things done harder, it makes not getting things done easier, and who was it that said humans are made for doing things anyway? What about living? Plus, what if you really like tea?

So ... we're still waiting for the magic permit to physically arrive in our hands. Until then the survey team has gotten permission to walk around the site looking innocent and avoiding anything that looks like "work". We'll start practicing laying grids around the house today and then tomorrow (inshallah) we'll begin.

Can't say it's not dramatic!

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