Tomb Raiders

26 Mar

Laura (my college roomie) and Joni (her mom) arrived here in Cairo last week to spend some time with us and see the sights. They only had a day or two in Cairo before we left to spend the weekend at the Red Sea. The rumors you’ve heard are true, in that very short amount of time, we did indeed manage to almost get ourselves arrested at the Egyptian Museum. Although I’d like to lay the blame on Laura, like many of our previous adventures and escapades, my charmingly spontaneous nature may have had a hand in this one.

There we were wandering around the museum, all innocent-like, checking out the multitudes of antiquities piled on top of one another. Seriously, the museum has far, far more priceless ancient artifacts than it knows what to do with. The grounds in front of the Museum are covered in various obelisks, sphinxes, and sarcophaguses (sarcophagi?), demonstrating that they’re collection is such that they can afford to use 6,000 year old pieces of history as lawn ornaments.

Anyways, back to the wandering around. So we came upon a large granite statue of two seated figures with an empty space in between them, much like those park benches you sometimes see with bronze figures sitting on them, inviting you to join. So Laura whipped out her camera and I crouched in front the statue like I was sitting on it and smiled pretty for the camera. The flash was like a bat signal to the museum guards who don’t mind that people have their grubby hands all over the antiquities, but jump if there might be an expensive electronic device they can “confiscate” to never be seen again. In our defense, we both honestly forgot that we couldn’t take pictures inside the museum.

The guy came at us frantically saying that we couldn’t take pictures and he was going to have to take Laura’s new camera (despite the fact that the camera is allowed in the museum, only picture-taking isn’t). I argued with him and showed him that I was deleting the picture (I didn’t), at which point he grabbed and started tugging away at it with me tugging back. When he saw I wasn’t going to give it up, he let go and said he would let us keep it…for 50 LE. That just made me angry, there was no way we were paying a bribe for the camera. Joni put it in her backpack and walked away from him and he immediately went after her like he was trying to get into the bag. Joni was carrying Finn (who conveniently started crying at this point, clever little partner in crime) and the sight of that guard racing after her kicked my maternal instinct into high gear. I ran after him ready to scream “get away from my baby!” when he saw the crazed look in my eye and made the wise decision to back down.

We spent the rest of the visit looking furtively over our shoulders for guards ready to pounce and steal our valuables but luckily word was out that we were not to be messed with.

And on a proud mama note, I will say that even in front of the dazzling golden mask of King Tut, people turned away from that beautiful wonder to ooh and ahh over how cute Finn is. Yeah that’s right, my boy beats ancient wonders of the world any day!

Notes on our trip to Dahab to come soon. In the meantime, enjoy the pictures up on Flickr. Here’s one of our little beach bum.
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2 Responses to “Tomb Raiders”

  1. mom March 27, 2008 at 1:36 am #

    Your little sand-eating beach bum is becoming a real cutie patootie!

  2. Javi (The brother) March 28, 2008 at 12:29 am #

    Just do like I did in San Francisco when homeless people were soliciting me for money- I started speaking fake chinese and shaking my head like I didn’t understand them. Same should apply to sticky fingered guards.

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