Camel Jockey

I came across a batch of old photos that had been lost for a decade or two. Here’s one of me from the summer of 1968:

That trip to Egypt was the thrill of my brief lifetime back then. I had always been a devoted aficionado of archaeology, so visiting Giza, Luxor, and the Valley of the Kings was a dream come true.

This was the year after the Six-Day War, and they still weren’t too fond of Americans in Arab countries. However, I was bundled in with an English tour group that was passed through passport control en masse — so no problem.

We had to visit Israel after Egypt, Lebanon, and Jordan, and not before, so that we wouldn’t have any Israeli-stamped documents when we went to the Arab countries.

After a particularly hot day in the sun of Luxor, I gave in to temptation and drank a glass of ice water poured from a pitcher in front of me on the dining table. Big mistake! I was horribly sick with Tutankhamen’s Revenge most of the time we were in Beirut.

7 thoughts on “Camel Jockey

  1. I did a similar trip some 20 years later. The dreaded ailment hit me in Damascus after a bottle of decidedly dodgy Syrian beer.

    • Peter, I got myself well and truly done by a plate of smoked salmon at the Meridian Hotel across the road from Garden City in Cairo where I used to take my own bottled water. A mate of mine who also carried his own water once made the mistake of asking for some ice to put in his drink at the same establishment. Ooops!

      However the real upside of all those years I spent adopting an international collection of intestinal flora and fauna is that I eventually became pretty fireproof, so to speak, and remain so to this day.

  2. I used to carry one passport solely for visiting Israel and South Africa, although Israeli Customs & Immigration would, if asked nicely, put their entry and exit stamps on a removable insert inside a standard passport if was to be used ‘elsewhere’. 😉

    P.S. I used to ride around on a Giza camel as well, although mine was prettier than yours!

  3. Oh yes, all cultures are equal, for sure. May I ask you all to check your Campbell’s Tomato Soup. Why an Imam has to pray over a vegetarian soup, must lead you to what I am. Why? Why do we have halal foods? I know in my life, no imam is going to pray over MY food. I only know Campbell’s tomato soup. Never buy it. Its up to all off us to buy or not. In Canada, buy Alymer, made in Canada, no iman, YUK!!

  4. Camels are such unlikely looking animals! Are they proof or disproof of the existence of God? Or are they proof or disproof of the theory of evolution? I wonder if they get fleas.

  5. Baron, my mother-in-law went on a world tour in 1939 and was in Egypt for a short time. Being from Memphis, TN., she and her ladyfriend wanted to travel down to Memphis, Egypt and get a postmark from there. She did not realize that there was no post office there. They finished their tour in Europe (sans Germany) and left England on the last cruise ship to America as Hitler invaded Poland. Seeing you on that camel reminded me of this story.

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