Archive for July 18th, 2007


aswan (or why no one but egyptians go south of cairo in the summer)

July 18, 2007

After our second day in Aswan (the furthest south our egypt trip will take us) I feel qualified to give you all a short quiz regarding the temperature of aswan.  Essentially the game will be to try to guess where the coolest parts of aswan are.  So ready to play, good. 

First guess: In your air-conditioned room
Sorry nope, good guess though.  One could easily be fooled that the big air conditioning unit in the corner of the room will actually make it possible to take a nap without waking up sleeping, but that would be wrong.  During the hours of 2-4pm even the air conditioning can’t compete against the suns rays on the roof and through the window facing west.   (This condition is not aided when your roommate decides that he should point the air-conditioning unit towards his drying clothes (which also included the general direction of his bed) while leaving your half of the room breeze-less.)

Second guess:In the wee hours of the early morning
Again good guess, but not a chance, even the complete absence of the sun is not enough to cool aswan down.  We discovered this truth this morning when we got up at 3am to catch the convoy down to the Abu Simbel temples (a 3 hour drive away).

Third and Final guess: um in the shade?
Actually this is the closest to cool I have found here in aswan.  This does seem to be true during the evenings and especially if there is a nice breeze off the Nile.  Then and only then does one begin to feel slightly cool.  (Alternate answer would be putting your pajamas into the mini-fridge to cool them down before changing into them)

Other than the heat, Aswan is a lovely town and I have to say preferable to Cairo’s craziness.  Small and Nile side, Aswan has manageable streets and less traffic.  Unfortunately the continual issues of doing our best not be ripped off and escaping the clutches of the street hustlers remains paramount.  Some of my favorite sayings of the hustlers include in no particular order:

“Come inside, everything free”
“Looking is free, no-hassle shop” (said while blocking one’s passage down the street)
“We have everything, vanilla Viagra” (not sure if there is supposed to be a comma in there or not)

After tonight we start our two day fellucca trip in the Nile before landing in Luxor where we have been promised a hotel with a pool, which let me tell you, we are very excited about.  This also means no Internet for a few days, so see you on the weekend.  (which is really weird to think about, because it has been over a month since the day of the week has meant anything too me)

UPDATE: A certain paragraph near the top should read “wake up sweating” not wake up sleeping” although as some people have pointed out that is an interesting thought indeed.