Art, architecture, history, travel


Stuck in the ’70’s

Something that I care about

If you know anything about me you know I went to high school in the 1970’s. So what’s it like to be stuck there?

  • Disco
  • Oil Embargo
  • Jimmy Carter
  • Inflation
  • Gas is 30 cents/ gal I noticed my keyboard doesn’t even have the cents sign anymore
  • Nixon visits China
  • The Brady Bunch-are you kidding?
  • Peter Max
  • Psychedelic art
  • Bell Bottoms
Osaka Daimaru 1979

Osaka Daimaru 1979

More on Egypt 1982

Cairo is a fascinating city it reminds me of Istanbul in a way. It is not my first time to an Arab country, that would be Morocco. Egypt was under the rule of the Mamluks in the 13th century.  Occupied by Napoleon and the French for a short time, in the nineteenth century it was ruled by the Ottoman Turks. The Maghreb begins to the west of Egypt.

Mohammed ‘Ali was an Albanian governor of Egypt, not the boxer of course. There is a Mosque (masjid) near downtown named for him. He is revered as the founder of modern Egypt. In the early twentieth Egypt was a British protectorate. The Suez canal was built in the 19th century with British and French financing. It shorted the trip to India considerably.  For a short time Egypt was an independent kingdom. Cairo is the most populous city in Africa. The most populous country in Africa is Nigeria. The continent of Africa is larger than North America.

Upper and Lower Egypt

Upper and Lower Egypt

In Egypt Cairo is known as misr, the Arabic name for Egypt itself. For as any Cairene will tell you’ Egypt is Cairo and Cairo is Egypt. Cairo is the center of the Arab film and music industry. It is the media center of the Arab world. Oum Kulthoum was a very famous classical Egyptian singer known as the star of the East.

Climate Cairo is a desert. I have known two Egyptians.

Jumping off the Bus. We have started riding the bus. Well the curious thing is there aren’t any real bus stops here. When you get close to where you want to go you just pull the cord and the bus sort of slows down and you jump off. One time we ended up in the middle of a traffic circle. I think cabs might be safer.

No one will ever give you the price for anything here. Ask for the price and the answer will be, as you like. Then the haggling begins.

The Khan al Khalili خان الخليلي is the famous souk or market. It is truly remarkable. The sell everything from gold to shoes, clothes and spices from all over the world. The Egyptian cotton is especially nice. I bought an inlay tile box there.

We went to the Ramses train station to buy tickets for Luxor, ancient Thebes. The train is overnight deluxe first class with little amenities like an airplane, but of course you can lie down and walk around. The staion was very crowded. We met an Islamic woman and her husband at the station. The had a small booth selling books and appliances. They were very friendly and anxious to talk to us. Curious about what we were doing in Cairo, the United States, did we have children and things like that. I think they had met few Americans. They especially wanted to look in KT’s purse. She wore a bright green jilaba with a white lining and a hijab. He husband was dressed in a dark suit with no tie.

I reached out my hand to shake hers. She drew it back. She wasn’t allowed to touch another man. We bought a green copy of the Koran, القرآن al-quran. I still have that. They invited us to the back of their store to watch Egyptian tv and drink tea. It was a small B&W version. They had never met an American who had studied Arabic.

The Pyramids

Giza Great sphinx

The great Pyramids are what everyone wants to see. They are truly awesome. We didn’t go inside or even ride a camel. It was just too hot. We did meet an interesting man, however. He waned to give me a haircut. His name was Mohammed Jesus. He Even had a testimonial letter in English. Mohammed Jesus has been my barber for fifteen years he has occasionally done a good job. Even the newspaper al-Ahram means the pyramids.

Saqqara step pyramid

The Saqqara step pyramid is another group of pyramids outside of Cairo. They date to the third dynasty and are much older than the pyramids of Giza.

When we told people we were recently married they predicted One year one baby boy, two years two baby boy .   .   .  .  One man offered me 100,000 camels for my wife. That’s a big compliment. One thousand is considered an infinite number. Blondes are not common here. They wanted to touch Katie’s hair. I brought a beautiful Irish Catholic girl to Cairo.

We spent our honeymoon in Egypt 1982

Egypt has been in the news a lot lately. That’s where Katie and I went on our honeymoon.

I had wanted to go to Egypt, ever since I had taken a class in ancient art at Vanderbilt. We studied the art of ancient Greece, Mesopotamia and Egypt, Including the Old, Middle and New Kingdoms of Egypt.

We flew  from Cincinnati to New York Kennedy  airport  JFK. Margaret was still living in New York. We were looking for Margaret at the airport everyone sounded like Margaret. We flew on TWA to Egypt. When we told the stewardesses that we were on our honeymoon, they bought us a bottle of champagne. We really appreciated that.

Trans World Airlines Jet

Trans World Airlines Jet

My Greek friend from Regensburg had been to see the pyramids and told me how great they were. If you live in Athens with the Parthenon that’s quite an endorsement.

Athens We didn’t stay long in the airport in Athens, but I did want a cup of coffee. I had some change from other trips I had taken. I asked the man what kind of money they took. He replied, sir we take any kind of money you have! With that KT and  I started a list of funny things people said to us on the trip. Another man came running up to us at the airport shouting, are you strange here?

The plane made a scheduled stop in Athens ATH then on to Cairo CAI. We cleared customs and passport control. Unlike Europe they really look at your documents here. You have to buy a $2 cultural stamp to aid the reconstruction of Abu Simbel even though weren’t going there.  We got in at night. We took a taxi from the airport downtown.

With the help of a tout we found the Hotel Tulip. What a dump! The bathrooms were the worst. I hear it has improved. You still can’t beat the location, though. I think it cost $6 a night. KT held that over my head for years. Right in downtown Cairo at Midan Talaat Harb, not far from Tahrir Square. Tahrir square isn’t a square at all. It’s a traffic circle with a large pedestrian walkway.  Even then they were using a computer for check in at the hotel. Common now but not in 1982. Most places were still using those little cards.

Athough it means third war in Arabic Talaat Harb was a person. He set up the Bank of Egypt in the 1930’s.

Travel in the middle East is not as easy as in Europe. You are marked as a take from the beginning. Kids follow you around asking for bakshish–money.


Cairo We began our walking tour of Cairo with Garden City the embassy district. We learned the Arabic word for notebook, daftar they also use the French word or bloc-note. I need one to record my photographs. They have all kinds of interesting shops here, including dentists and prosthetic arms. We saw a really old jar of Tang in a window. The company I worked for at the time made an ingredient for Tang.Even then the banks were protected by machine gun nests.

That night we went to the island on the Nile. It is very hard walking around here because of the traffic. Went to the Nile Hilton for a beer. The food situation is very interesting. We have been eating a lot of falafel and chicken. Even though it is hot here, we have to keep covered up with long pants and long-sleeved shirts because of the sun. It is fun walking around and looking at things, because it is so different from home.  The farther South you go the hotter it gets. Thirty in Cairo, forty in Luxor, even hotter in the Sudan.

We saw the Mamluk treasures including the Mosque of Ibn Tulun and Sultan Hassan madrassa, near the Citidel of Cairo. One thing we missed which I wanted to see was the Coptic or Christian sites of Cairo. We just ran out of time.

Not far from Tahrir square are the headquarters of the Arab League and the American University of Cairo.  The AUC has a wonderful press to purchase books in English and Arabic.

Even though I studied Arabic at Regensburg, I can’t understand anyone here. Arabic is a digloss and the vernacular is impossible. It’s a completely different language. I studied modern standard Arabic or MSA.

The Egyptian museum was one of the highlights of the trip. Mummy of king Tut. It is full of antiquities. It was not far from our hotel.

Luxor  الأقصر or ancient Thebes is the home of the Valley of the Kings, Valley of the Queens and many other things such as the tomb of Queen Hatshepsut. The fifth pharaoh of the eighteen dynasty (New Kingdom) of Egypt. Wife of Tutmoses II, often considered one of the most successful pharaohs of Egypt and the first woman of history, even older than Cleopatra. She ruled 27 years in her own right after her husband’s death until usurped bby her son Tutmoses III. She lived 1550 bc. Her tomb was being excavated by the archeology society of Poland at Deir al-Bahri. One of the highlights of the trip for us. We had the whole place to ourselves.KT got her picture taken with the mummy for a dollar.

The Nile is fantastic and fits right in with my love of rivers. Like the Rhine the Nile flows from south to north. Luxor is in Upper Egypt, that is the south. Very important in ancient Egyptian history. The source of the Nile was unknown for centuries. It is one of the world’s largest rivers. Longer than the Mississippi.


There is no set fare for the ferry here. Everyday we paid half what we paid the day before and no one ever complained. We never saw what the Egyptians paid. You cannot drink the water or swim  in the Nile for fear of contracting schistosomiasis. A waterborne disease carried by snails. Treatment is difficult. It is a tropical disease affecting over 120 million people, mostly in Africa and Brazil. It’s nothing to be taken lightly.

You have to cross the Nile by boat to get to the side with the monuments. We rented bicycles to get around.  We rode our bikes by the Colossi of Memnon just like the 150 years old painting in the art museum in Saint Louis  they haven’t changed a bit. Erected 1350 BC they are the first things you see on the way to the Valley of the Kings. We have to be more careful KT is getting sick from the sun.

Medinet Habu and Karnak are one the right bank of the Nile they can be explored in the evening. There is also a nice museum in Luxor. Small but not as cluttered as the National Museum in Cairo.

We saw the famous Winter Palace Hotel. For people who come by boat from Cairo, the boat docks right there. the people get right off and enjoy a cold drink before sightseeing. We should have done that too. We are trying too hard to save money. It is our honeymoon after all.

We are staying at the Hotel Luxor. We learned or lesson in Cairo, we looked at the room first this time. After exploring Luxor for a few days, we headed south. The train made a stop in the interesting town of Kom Ombo. The farthest south  we made it was Aswan.

When we returned to Cairo we stayed at a hotel near the al Azhar University. The second hotel was much better. There was some kind of festival going on. It may have been Eid,  the end of Ramadan.

Marhaba 27 languages

3340 Morganford

ST. LOUIS, MO 63116

(314) 865-0301 Fax: (314) 865-0549

WELCOME in arabic. Italiano: BENVENUTI in arab...

WELCOME in arabic. Italiano: BENVENUTI in arabo. Slovenčina: VITAJTE po arabsky. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Linguistic Skills: fluent in German, studied for language identification –

404 Das angeforderte Objekt existiert nicht auf diesem Server.

  1. French, bonjour
  2. Spanish, Buenos dias
  3. Italian, buon giorno
  4. Arabic, marhaba
  5. Chinese, zǎo shàng hǎo
  6. Japan (Katakana, Hiragana), お早うございます
    (ohayō gozaimasu)
    お早う (ohayō)
  7. Farsi, sobh bekheir
  8. Dutch, Goede morgen
  9. Russian, dobroe utro ДОброе Утро!
  10. Ukrainian, Dobroho ranku
    Доброго ранку!
  11. Turkish, Günaydın
  12. Uzbeg, Hayirli tong
  13. Korean, 안녕하십니까 (annyeong ha shimnikka)
  14. Danish, God morgen
  15. Norwegianbokmaal God morgen
  16. Swedish, God morgon
  17. Hebrew, boker tov

    broken toe
  18. Gaelic Dia duit ar maidin
  19. Akkadian,
    Codex Hammurabi

  20. Hawaiian, E ôlelo mâlie , Aloha kakahiaka
  21. Amharic, Hello: tadiyass (informal)
  22. Bulgarian, dobro utro
  23. Romanian, Bună dimineaţa

  25. Polish, Dzień dobry!
  26. Udmurt (Volga Russia), Ziech chuknaen
  27. Mordvin, Шумбрат!
  28. Chuvash (Tatar)
    God old Turkish script
    , Chuvash (Russia) Yra ir pultar
  29. Finnish, Hyvää huomenta
    Hungarian, Jó reggelt (kívánok)
  30. Thaiสวัสดีครับ/ค่ะ (sawùt dee krúp/kâ)
  31. Komi бур асыв good morning!

– Видза олан!– How do you do!– Чолöм!– Hello!– Кыдзи тэнo шуöны?– What is your name?– Райда.– Raida.– Зэв мича ним!– Very beautiful name!– Аттьö, а тэнам мый нимыд?  – Thank you, and what is your name?– Витьö.– Victor.– Бура!– It’s great!

  1. Latin, Salve! 
  2. Greek khaire (rejoice)
  3. Akkadian, Codex Hammurabi
  4. Syriac

    Montage of languages. Prototype header for the...

    Montage of languages. Prototype header for the language portal. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


My top 12 favorite places in the World

St. Louis Arch

Gateway Arch, Saint Louis

Gateway Arch, Saint Louis

Washington Monument, USA

Washington Monument

Big Sur, California, USA


Big Sur, California

Waikiki Beach, Oahu, Hawaii


Waikiki Beach

SUNRISE at Hileakaua Crater, Maui, Hawaii

Maui, Hawaii

Hawaii Sunrise

St. Peter’s and Colosseum, Rome



 Kremlin, Moscow

Kremlin, Moscow

Soviet Palace of Congress and Opera House

Kronotski Stratovolcano,

Kamchatka, Siberia, Russia


Kamchatka,Russia! (Photo credit: pluckytree)

Great Wall of China, Badaling  八達嶺 

Forbidden City, Beijing 紫禁城

Peking Forbidden City

Peking Forbidden City

Itsukushima Shrine, Miyajima, Japan


The torii of Itsukushima Shrine, the site's mo...

The torii of Itsukushima Shrine, the site’s most recognizable landmark, appears to float in the water. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Three Views of Japan (日本三景 Nihon sankei?) /pilgrimage/shikoku/


date accessed 12/26/2008

Machu Picchu, Peru, So. America

Machu Picchu

Giza Pyramids, Egypt

Giza Great Pyramid

Great Pyramid, Giza

Deir al-Bahri, Valley of the Kings

  • Have You been on a trip lately?
  • Do you like to travel?
  • What are your Favorite places?
  • Please challenge my list. Have fun!