From the linked story

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Demelza

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okay okay...nuff said.....got your point selkie, however when I suggested that she say she was Canadian I didn't realize it would upset a Canadian !! I was mearly saying what I think is a good idea should she feel that being in the middle east and pronouncing that she is American would make her feel vunurable, and why not? I still stick to that. And why should we asume that one of our friends here from the forum would be one of the 'nasty' ones anyway ???
When an Australian gets mistaken for being British abroad, I don't get mardy, I find it amusing !! personally am English, when a Scott for example or a Welsh, or an Irish say that they are British abroad and the locals that lack education think that that means they are 'english' it really doesn't wind me up atall. We are all human x
 

Gabi

New member
I understood it. It was rather antagonizingly phrased, however. There was nothing in my post to suggest anything about my personal relationships with Americans. My post was purely about the repercussions Canadian travellers are encountering from American tourists lying about their nationality. You suggested to someone that they should do this and I was describing why that was *not* a good idea. Lying about their nationality does not help the American tourists and it does further damage to their international reputation. The only other people who lie about their nationality are criminals; when an American tourist lies about their nationality, the local people wonder what else they're hiding. Its not good, it creates problems for the honest American tourists who don't stoop to such tactics, it further damages the reputation of the American tourists, and it causes problems for the genuine Canadian tourists. I am not anti-American; I am anti-dishonesty. I am also anti-jumping to conclusions and putting words in people's mouths :mad:
Yoiks - well I know you're not anti american hon - but me, I'm american and I would be tempted to make a disclaimer these days.

I just suck it up and remind people that all americans are NOT alike and did not elect the same officials and do not approve of the same attitudes :mad:
 

Shanazel

Super Moderator
Selkie, was there something you didn't understand about my apology? If it pleases you to continue your portion of the rant, you are welcome to do so, but I am finished with the subject.
 

Moon

New member
I suggest you post another exciting travel story, Demelza :) To come back to the original topic.
 

Shanazel

Super Moderator
By all means, another travel story from Demelza. Do you travel to the middle east specifically in search of costumes? I am really curious to know how you go about something like that. Do you have special source or do you wander the souks and markets in search of treasures? (Oh, please tell me romantic stories and not that you buy them at the equivalent of Macys!)
 

Demelza

New member
aaahh bless you both moon and shanazel xx

I will tell you more stories, I will write tonight with a glass of wine !

In the mean time I'll tell you how I get my costumes. . .

Well, the situation is this..... My Egyptian husbands family are in the business. . . HOWEVER...very recently we had a big fall out (actuallly just before I went down to Cairo) ....so I - being my stubborn independent self, decided to purchase most of my goods elsewhere from old friends. I went to the market in Cairo - "Hussain" or "Khan il Khalili" as it is otherwise known. It is a HUGE market, very very old - beside the Hussain mosque. The streets are narrow - most of them are half the width of a car...and they smell so nice. Imagine a beautiful infussion of spices and incense, apple tobacco, toasting chestnuts and corn....it's just wonderfull. I know allot of the dealers there... because we (being my husband and I) also deal in camel chairs, shishas, etc etc... so I smile and great my way through the dark passage ways. In some places I have to walk through what can only be described as pitch black arches, some of which are maybe 50 meters long. I am not the kind of girl to get afraid, but if I was it would probably be when I walk through those bits on my own !! There are many poor children and women, men with diseased legs etc. and as much as I can I give them any change I have in my pockets. Other than that the sights are delightful, brass vases and plates, copper trinket boxes, bright cotton galabyas and wooden instruments...nut stalls selling pecan, pistachio,sudani nuts and roasting cashews ! ....... and I walk. Anything I hear behind me goes in one ear and out of the other...I never look behind. and I walk......sometimes I look up at the little balconies where children's off-white vests adhorn the washing lines, and the smell of home cooked egyptian food floats down. And I smile....... Eventually I reach my dealer. His shop is down a dark alley way, but once inside I am greeted with all the colours of the rainbow... and shelves and shelves of 'just delivered' costumes and hip scarves. It is also a family run business a father and 3 sons. The father sits just outside the door with his shisha pipe and tea, usually entertaining an old friend or something, and the sons who are all in their early 30's make the deals. So usually I stand in front of the fan for a couple of minutes just to cool down, and they bring me coffee..'ahwa'...strong thick sweet coffee in a little cup. There are also 4 young girls who work in the shop, they organise the shelves, take costumes down, hang them up again, search for the right colours and sizes, and pack boxes of orders. I've never seen such professional box packers !! The way they rip the boxes down to make them smaller and tape them with duck tape and spin them around is always intrieging !! So I sit, and joke with the guys, and the girls, catch up with their news, and start to choose my goods. I choose a pile, then discuss and argue the prices. (maybe they offer me a little hashish to chill) - (oopps)....And we laugh and discuss the price again and I bargain again and change my mind on colours and styles and choose aload more. . . So thats how it goes. I spend a couple of hours, then go back again maybe later that day, then the next day and the next, to see if more costumes have come from the ladies who make them. . and once its all done, the girls pack the boxes like lightning as we do a final count and receipt (fatora)...and I bring a boy from the street who has a cart to heave the boxes out of the alleyway, through the narrow streets, through the tunnels/arches...left then right then right then left, up more passage ways and dark sweet smelling streets, past the mosque and onto the rmain road, and onto the roof of a taxi or 2. . . . Usually at the end of a deal we take a trip to a cabaret, laugh drink and dance and stay till the early hours....the work that end is done... xx
 
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Moon

New member
Demelza, if you ever decide to write a book, let me know when it's finished! I'd really like to read it!
 

Demelza

New member
ooohh moon......how I would love to !! but I just don't have the patience...I find it hard just waiting for the kettle to boil !! Maybe I could just do little pieces and then add them all together at the end ? watch this space xx :rolleyes:
 

Shanazel

Super Moderator
Wow, not Macy's at all! Okay, maybe not a book, but how about an article for Salome's site? You could write in over several days while waiting for the kettle to boil:) .
 

Moon

New member
Shanazel, I think that's a GREAT IDEA!!!

Demelza, just curious, did you ever ride through the desert in a jeep?
 

Demelza

New member
hello moon !! how are you ?
I've travelled through the desert on several things ! A jeep being one of them x
I love the desert, I love sheepskin rugs and crackling fires....the best thing of all is the aray of starts. You can see so many more when you are in the desert, they shine bright blue and feel so close.
 

Moon

New member
demelza said:
the best thing of all is the aray of starts. You can see so many more when you are in the desert, they shine bright blue and feel so close.
I know what you mean :) Never seen bigger, brighter stars than in the Sahara. I missed it already after just one week.
 

Shanazel

Super Moderator
Please do, Moon- but Demelza, Moon's story doesn't let you off the hook. You have a fan base here, girl!
 

Demelza

New member
ha ha haaaa !!! you want me to write articles ? ? Shanazel I don't thing Salome would appreciate it ! ;)
 

Moon

New member
Well, it's not as exciting as any of your stories, Demelza, but all right :)

I've been on holiday in Tunisia for 1 week with my mom when I was 16 years old. During that week we went on a 2 day excursion to the desert (by bus, not by camel, as my mom and I both suffer from a small "fear of camels" since we've been in Egypt) I immediately loved the feeling of calmness I got when I saw the flat extensiveness of that part of the desert (which some other passengers called "boring":eek:). I don't remember everything we did that day in detail, but we went to a berber house and to an oasis, and I saw the dirtiest toilet ever (ok to much detail). Later, we arrived at a more "traditional" part of the desert (with sand hills) where we could choose between a short camel ride or a short ride in a horse carriage. Of course, my mom and I chose the latter and we shared a carriage with an English lady (who was sooo happy my mom and I were there, as she was alone and thought the drivers of the horse carriages were scary). The ride was quite funny, except the driver was making jokes all the time about he wanted to buy me for 1000 camels. I thought he was spitting out his own rotten teeth all the time, but it appeared to be little sticks he was chewing on. The poor English lady had to sit next to him.
Most tourist who'd chosen the camel right almost couldn't walk afterwards because of muscle pain.
We spent the night in a hotel, after the guide told us we would leave the next day at 4.15am (we eventually went to bed at midnight, because we had so much fun with a few other Dutch people who stayed at the same hotel as we did). Because the desert hotel was quite full already, we shared a bigger room with 1 bathroom and 2 different bedrooms with a Dutch couple. After I took a shower, I noticed a few puddles of water just outside the bathroom.

The next morning, the Dutch couple took a shower and when we all went to have breakfast, we noticed the carpet of the hall was all wet, because of the water from out bathroom! The other Dutch lady couldn't stop laughing.
We would travel by bus to see a sunrise in a salt lake, and I decided I could try to sleep some more during the bus travel, because I almost hadn't slept at all. However, when the bus began to ride just didn't want to sleep, as a was so impressed by the biggest stars I've ever seen. I just couldn't stop watching, it was so beautiful! (most of the other tourist ]were sleeping by the way). We stopped after a few hours to see the sunrise in the salt lake. Very nice (although it was still cold there. Someone told me the Sahara has 4 seasons in one day. The spring during the morning, summer during the afternoon, autumn during the evening and winter during the night.).
Later on, we would travel further with jeeps. We shared a jeep with the Dutch people we had so much fun with, and a nice Irish man. Unfortunately, the Irish man couldn't follow most of the conversation in the jeep, as the driver only spoke Arabic and French, and he didn't speak both. I did speak a bit French at the time, now I've forgotten almost everything. I could only say "no" in Arabic (was it "la"?), quite handy with those obstrusive street salers.
We shared our winegums with the driver and he shared his dates with us. We saw a fata morgana (which before than I always thought were personal, only seen by people who have a sunstroke or are dying from thirst) All the time, we drove on a desert road. One of the Dutch guys started talking about Paris-Dakar, and that it was such a pity we couldn't drive through the desert hills like that (it was forbidden. It damages the desert flora & fauna if I remeber right). At that moment, the driver started to drive slower, so the drivers of the other jeeps started to overtake him. When all the other jeeps were quite far away from us, he suddenly turned the jeep right into the desert. We drove through the desert hills for only 5 or 10 minutes, but it was so wonderful, so exciting! Although I don't know if my stomach would have endured more than 10 minutes ;). The Irish man was a bit shocked at first, because he didn't follow the converstion.
Afterwards, the driver went back to the road and drove us to the next point, a mass of rocks where one of the Starwars movies has been filmed. The driver showed us a picture of himself with the director of Starwars. He was so proud of that picture.
The rocks were beautiful, and when we got back into the bus, I heared an English tourist say: "That jeep ride was boring."
That day, the bus drove us back to the northern part of Tunisia, back to the hotels in the cities. I felt sad when I saw the Mediterranean See again, instead of the see of sand. (But I had still a wonderful holiday after the excursion, really, I just had to get used to it again ;))
At home again, The only desert souvenir I had (before my holiday pictures were ready) was a desert rose I bought. It may sound a little obsessed, but I often smelled it the first days after I got back. It had a very typical smell.
When I now look at the pictures I've made in the desert, I'm sure most people won't like them. Most of them are made from a riding bus, so they are a bit blurry. They are also very monotonous: sky and sand, sky and sand. Only those I made of the rocks and the oasis seem impressive. But if I watch them myself, my memories come back and I feel happy. The desert rose has lost its smell.
 
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