Again this morning we woke before the sun, and travelled three hours through what the Egyptians call the ‘Western Sahara’ (not the actual Western Sahara, but rather the Sahara to the West of the Nile), to Temple of Abu Simbel, by far my favourite of all. Overlooking the massive Lake Nasser, built by Ramesses the 2nd, the statues along the front of the main temple are simply goliaths. More interesting is that he also had a second temple built, dedicated to his favourite wife – Nefertari. Lining this second temple are statues unusual because Nefertari is sized the same as Ramesses. Traditionally, the wives were sized quite a bit smaller, placed either between, or to the side of the man’s legs.
Nicely done, Nefertari. Nicely done.
The Taj Mahal was also built for a woman. All of Cairo was rebuilt to look like Paris, the country bankrupted, by Tewfik Pasha in his attempt to woo a French woman. This dumbass was later exiled. And, he never did get the woman.
Also Troy. And Antony and Cleopatra etc etc.
Can anyone think of such a grand gesture made for a man? Inbox me please, if yes. I couldn’t think of anything (while noting, of course, that men have (and still) had the financial and power advantages over women, facilitating such things).
We are docked in Aswan and I spent my evening enjoying the view of a Nubian village (which I will visit tomorrow, I am so excited!!!!!!!!!!), and a walk along the Cornish that ended with me confused and frustrated in a Vodafone, wondering if I was speaking with a man or some AI and his Google translate mouth.
Luckily, my evening closed with a heart-filling conversation with beloved N before I said good night to the moon, and drew my curtains.
Today, I am grateful for:
1. One very particular conversation, ongoing since October.
2. Friends who are sharing their schedules from now until mid April, that we might land in the same country at the same time.
3. Having taught baba how to take a selfie. (More on this adventure soon.)