As any other child, I was dreaming, eyes wide open, to magical places that I was reading about in books. I was imagining them through my child vision and they are still alive in my mind now.
I recently went to Egypt, and to be honest, my inner child imagined something else. I am perfectly aware that IMAGINATION sometimes… ok ALL THE TIME exaggerates and embellishes things and situations especially when you highly anticipate them. My inner child was happy in Egypt, but of course in my imagination everything was different. I don’t want to stress this out so I’ll just go on with what I liked.
I first landed in Alexandria and when I had the chance to move around the city, I felt that ancient perfume with strong scents of history and shining gods. Ruins of once impressive edifices are all over the city, as a reminder of the rich past. First thing I saw in the morning was the sea. I love the sea. I stood there on the balcony with a cup of coffee in my hand and I watched it. Green… dark green… patches of algae… dark blue. The sea where battles where held. The sea that Caesar crossed and met Cleopatra.
Then I went to see Bibliotheca Alexandrina. I was impressed but for me the bibliotheca was supposed to be as in the books I read… old, of yellow stone, all dusty, with wooden shelves and with grey ghosts of ancient wise men reading in every corner. Massive books with leather covers and old yellow worn paper inside, written in old and curly letters. Yeah the inner child actually expected to see that. Don’t get me wrong, I was impressed with the establishment. It’s huge and impressive but it’s modernity stroke me. I just wasn’t expecting this. I loved to be surrounded by so many books though, I felt warmth filling my heart when I entered.
Whenever I travel to a new country I have this feeling of… happiness mixed with some sort of heart warming and soul shaking kindness… I have no words to describe it, it just makes me feel some type of way. I can only compare it to the feeling you have when you look at something that you love.
Anyway, I’m loosing my way, as always. ADHD at its best. Back to Egypt and its wonders. From Alexandria I left to Cairo on a car ride with my friends. I love watching all the places through the car window and tattoo all the images in my brain. Train rides, car rides, tock tock rides, they all give me the same feeling – joy and maybe some sort of nostalgia. The feeling that I am far away from everything I know, with all new around me, makes me feel small but also privileged. And, just like in the memes, I turn my trip into a movie, looking lost outside the window.
Cairo was something else. Loved the new, more modern part but what I really wanted to see was the pyramids. All my childhood I draw them in my head. I sparkled gold on top of them and I admired Nefertiti, Cleopatra and Ra. I lived there with Tutankhamun and Ramesses and I saw all the fights and intrigues of that time. I saw betrayal, I saw stone on top of another stone and tombs filled with hieroglyphs and felt the smell of embalmment scents. I saw opulence and decadence and brave men fighting alongside gods. The inner child spent so much time there, sometimes even being part of it.
On the way to the pyramids we took a horse and carriage and we crossed the colourful and yet poor area around the pyramids. But it’s so vivid and at every corner you see children playing or riding horses, you see dogs and old men looking at yet another good round of tourists. We are looking back at them with the same feeling probably. There is a bad smell in the air but it makes it authentic. It’s raw and it’s bleeding around the Pharaohs’ playground.
At the beginning you see the pyramids but then you lose them. You see their tops and you see them from afar and you have no idea about the majesty they carry. But then you reach the desert and it takes you around them and from afar you see them in all their splendor. Unfortunately when I went, the access for tourists was restricted. But that ricksha ride and the feeling I had when we stopped opposite the pyramids was enough to please the inner child. They are what they promise to be and actually, I felt pretty good that I couldn’t reach anywhere near or inside them. Like this I kept my imagination active and I was not disappointed in any way. Some things are better from afar… at least sometimes.
I am sure I will go back to see them again. I need to see other place too. Adult me has equally as much fun as the inner child, don’t think differently. I just like to let myself go and see everything through the eyes of young me. It just makes me happy.
When I was young, I felt this need of seeing things and places, it was like a thirst. And most of the time I was unhappy with my inability to leave or to explore, with the impotence of being stuck in one place. Sometimes, when I was crying my weaknesses in front of my grandmother, she will take me in her arms and tell me: “just go wherever you want when you will grow up, just go and see the world don’t get stuck in one place like me. Go and live your life as you want to” and then she will wipe my tears with the back of her dress. Her words always guided me and haunted me. I hear her in my ears like an echo, I see her beautiful face in front of me and from time to time I meet her in my dreams. She’s happy in my dreams and I like to believe that she is happy for me being as I am today.
This was my trip to Egypt and all in all I had a lot of fun. I appreciate everything for what it is and I am grateful I had the chance to see all this. I appreciate little things, details and I like to believe that I see underneath the (sometimes) superficial surface.
It’s all about being happy and taking things as they are. In my imaginarium I can always have everything the way I want it.