Join 3,572 readers in helping fund MetaFilter (Hide)


Stay away from my afterlife
April 3, 2012 6:29 PM   Subscribe

A walk through the Egyptian Museum in Cairo with licensed tour guide Ahmed Mohammed, at the rate of 150 Egyptian pounds per hour.
posted by latkes (11 comments total) 7 users marked this as a favorite

 
She told me, “No, no, not like that. I mean, the bed is so narrow, they must have only done 67.” I asked her, “What?” She said, “You know, 67, they do it all over the world, especially in Russia.” I say, “How old am I? I’m thirty years old, I don’t understand what this means, 67.” For thirty minutes, she explains it to me. I’ve been married for nine years, I’ve never done 67. No joking!

Oh man, that's good.
posted by Hoopo at 6:38 PM on April 3, 2012


That's got sort of a "you are a smart man, you can tell me which cup the walnut shell is under" sort of feel to it.
posted by gjc at 7:02 PM on April 3, 2012


Snopes says that although it's a great story, there wasn't any mummy on the Titanic.
posted by PussKillian at 7:31 PM on April 3, 2012


You want to know all the secrets. Like Sphinx. Have you seen his nose? Broken.
posted by Stonestock Relentless at 7:31 PM on April 3, 2012 [2 favorites]


My experience of Egyptian tour guides is that most of them are let-us-say 'self-licensed.'
posted by ricochet biscuit at 7:40 PM on April 3, 2012


Reminds me a little bit of Ancient Evenings.
posted by ovvl at 7:47 PM on April 3, 2012


Database error makes me sad
posted by thecjm at 8:27 PM on April 3, 2012


~$25 usd per hr.


and


umbrellization
posted by edgeways at 8:50 PM on April 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


Reminds me of touring Palenque. In the first 15 seconds the guide had correctly figured out that I was into astronomy and history, my wife into architecture and design and my friend into woo.

I still remember when he described, in a single breath, the construction process of a structure, the years it was built and excavated, how it was perfectly aligned to the stars 1,000 years ago and how the alignment had been affected by precession, and how it was very good for the chakras to meditate there at sunrise. He the offered to sell me a bag of local magic mushrooms.

Turned out he had a masters in Mayan history, but makes way better tips talking about chakras and horoscopes and aliens.
posted by Ayn Rand and God at 9:35 PM on April 3, 2012 [16 favorites]


Yeah I wouldn't assume that anyone selling any expert services for cash in Cairo is for real.
One of the more entertaining aspects of visiting Egypt is the way people will just walk up to you, engage you in conversation, and lie their faces off with no hesitation at all. One time a guy was telling us we were going the wrong way to the mosque, and we needed to head in the opposite direction, oh and we should visit his uncle's papyrus shop on the way. The thing is, not only did we know exactly where we were going, the mosque had a big illuminated tower on it and we could see it, right there behind the guy's head the whole time.

Or there was the time I had a look at the taxi driver's license proudly displayed in his cab and saw it was in fact a FedEx shipping receipt. Also his meter, on close inspection, turned out to be not only non-functional but made of cardboard. Not that it mattered because I never saw a Cairo taxi driver use a meter anyway. That would get in the way of the bargaining.
posted by w0mbat at 1:21 AM on April 4, 2012 [1 favorite]


A caveat, before I start gushing about the Egyptian Museum -- I haven't been to Cairo since 2003. That said, the EM is one of the most incredible things you will ever see, for two reasons.

First, it has everything. It is the size of a football stadium, and it is crammed full of crap.

Second, it is the worst-curated museum you will ever see. I saw a card that literally said "About 1000-10000 years old." Yes, despite spanning all of recorded history plus a couple of millennia, the person who wrote that card didn't want to commit to that timeframe. Things are just short of piled up in corners like the most awesome episode of Hoarders ever. If you were driving through Nebraska and saw a hand-lettered sign at an exit that read "Bob's Musuem Meuseum Musi House of Green Lantern Action Figures," you would expect higher quality organization than you get at the Egyptian Museum.

The con men are everywhere, like w0mbat says. "No, the museum is not open today. Here, come inside and have tea." Gee, it looks like people are going in. "No, it is only open for Egyptians on Saturdays. Come inside. I will call my cousin. He is a guide. He can get you in."

There are Tourist Police officers all over the place. They are not there to protect foreigners from con men or pickpockets. They are not even there to keep foreigners from stealing stuff. They are there to keep people from blowing foreigners up, particularly white foreigners. Because that will get onto the NBC or BBC news broadcasts and screw up tourism. Your wallet being stolen will not get onto the NBC or BBC news broadcasts and screw up tourism, so they don't particularly care. If a pickpocket happens to run right by a Tourist Police officer yelling, "I got the American's wallet! I am such an awesome pickpocket!" in Arabic, and the Tourist Police officer is in a bad mood generally and needs to crack someone over the head with his nightstick, then you might get your wallet back.

I spent two consecutive entire weekends inside the EM and still wanted to go back. My head was so stuffed full of information that I couldn't hold it all in, which is just as well, because as noted above, the information rested absolutely anywhere along the axes of truth and usefulness.
posted by Etrigan at 7:04 AM on April 4, 2012 [3 favorites]


« Older Out-of-context-filter: the sometimes dorky, someti...   |   The National Magazine Awards 2... Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments