October 31, 2007


Dear Loved Ones

Places around the world my "international" cell phone doesn't seem to be working #86 - Alexandria, Egypt. I will try to find a calling card because I miss your voice(s).

In other news, I went to the Bibliotheca Alexandria today - very cool but also kind of just a library. Highlights include a handwritten passage from Homer's Odyssey, and other very cool things.

Alexandria is beautiful (not entirely gorgeous, but thriving and full of character). One of the most breathtaking coastal cityscapes. Since Israel I've developed a thing for Middle Eastern Mediterranean cities.. there's something kind of simple and serene about they way they've been built up. I am LOVING the charm and the people and speaking Arabic (ok just saying hello and thank you but whatever), and looking forward to amazing food, coffee, company and nargele.

Anna! To answer your question - tonight is the crew Halloween party (despite the fact that this holiday is only celebrated by 1.3% of the crew population, everyone is getting really into it). I will be Uma in Pulp Fiction because I have black flood pants and a phenomenal wig, and because I do not feel like wearing shoes.

At 2:45am, 10 of us are getting in a mini-van and driving to the Pyramids for a sunrise tour- should be amazing.

I know I didn’t update in India. I’ll try to put some thoughts together soon about it, because it was an unbelievable trip and a very important one, too I think. It’s #2 on places I want to get back to (behind Vietnam, though Egypt and transiting the Suez Canal are definitely sparking my interest in the Middle East and Africa (ok basically I need a job that will require me to travel the world.. Dan/Kissairis/Lewis make up the couch, maybe I will come to DC to study politics & journalism it will be GREAT!)

Quick highlights include eating with my hands from a banana leaf, watching a TV show being filmed at AVM studios, Sir Benemore’s cameo in this trip around the world, the seaside sandstone temples and Mother Teresa’s orphanage.

Since I’m lazy, here’s a cut-and-paste email I sent to a friend who gave me a Polaroid camera as a going away gift (THANKS)-

So I wanted to tell you how much happiness your Polaroid camera brought to some of the people I met in India.. There has been this guy Sami - a rickshaw driver that me and my friends have used here - who took me yesterday for the last time when I went to Mother Theresa's orphanage (intense, amazing, ). Anyway, Sami brought his girlfriend with him this time, and she was sweet but kind of sad- there is such poverty here, so much homelessness or straw huts constructed on the side of the road.. So many rickshaw drivers sleep in their rickshaws, and it's open and not hidden and scary and sad. Anyway, Sami's girlfriend came with us and she was so sweet. So when they dropped me off at the port, I asked if I could take their picture. Outside the port, there are always beggar children and families, and a million rickshaw drivers.

The second I took out the camera and took their photo one for me one for them, everyone was asking me to take their picture. And they all wanted to keep it, which I thought was odd until I realized that this might be the only photo they've ever had of themselves, and will they pass it down to their children and will this become an heirloom? I had about 17 pieces of film with me. I only got one (the first, of Sami and his girlfriend).. I took photos of a couple children, three men who sold drums (together), a man with his truck (he was so proud to own it) and his friend, a very old woman who later came up to me – you go from the street to the customs house to sign in.. usually when they come up to you it is to ask for money to feed their family -- but she just asked my name and kissed my hand and said thank you.

Anyway, it was fifteen minutes of utter chaos and some of the most amazing smiles I've ever seen. I wish I had copies of these photos - they were amazing and you would have loved them - but it almost is better that I don't, I think, I think the whole idea is so much more of a pure and authentic experience and interaction and it was amazing.. maybe having copies would make it feel more touristy (tourist or witness??).

But anyway, I wanted to thank you for them, and for me, it was one of my favorite parts of the trip, just laughing and hugging and giving these people something that they don't have.

SO – that was part of India. I’ll write more later.

I’m off to get dressed and do the twist.
<3 MR

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

So good to read about these amazing moments you have experienced. You are truly lucky to be where you are in these moments of your life. I think you are right,you have truly given the most precious gift ever to these wonderful people, not only the photos , but of the girl who took them.
I know you will keep these pictures in your heart and mind, forever.

And thank you Missy's friend for this gift.

Enjoy the people, the food, the cities and here's to eating with your hands

Now , Happy Halloween and go twist the night away!

Love, Mommy