Cairo, Egypt: The good news is that the Maven was seated next to a
handsome man who could have been Omar Sharifs brother. With rich black hair, bright
teeth, tanned face, and deep brown eyes that looked like marbles, the Maven found him hard
to resist. The bad news was that Omars brother was actually in the
adjacent car. True, we could have held hands for our vehicles were ever so close, but then
the Maven would have had to roll down her window and why bother when it was steamy hot
outside. Pity, this lost love. But then this was Cairo, home to 9 million people who are
all on the road at the same time lumbering about the swarming streets, hoping to reach
their destination by the end of the century.
As the Maven pulled into the five-star Forte Grand Hotel in Giza, she was shown to a nice
room, but what to say? Not exactly what she expected. The bellboy went into a little rant
about the accommodations, and the Maven complimented him on his tidy apparel and requested
that he wait until she check with reservations as obviously there was a slight error.
Oh, its the Maven! the hotel clerk said out loud. Sorry, we had
your reservation under Upgrade! Please come this way. And so your Maven was brought
to a lovely suite where she immediately ordered lentil soup and a huge plate of salmon
except it was really lox but why spoil the surprise of the chef, although this
wouldnt be a chefs surprise unless you called it to his attention.
But lets stop noshing for a moment and come to the truth: This wouldnt be
Egypt without a visit to The Sphinx, a very large statue of a lion with a Pharaohs
head. However, it didnt take the Maven long to notice that Mr. Sphinx had a missing
nose. Why was it chipped away? Did it fall off naturally? And did that make the Sphinx a
chip off the old block? Finally, did the solving of the ancient Riddle have to do with
getting a nose job? If the answer is no, then tell me why under the statue there are
calling cards strewn all over the place from plastic surgeons hoping to do reconstructive
surgery, and then having their client check into a Beverly Hills Hotel under an assumed
name. Inquiring minds want to know.
Before the Maven could do any more deep thinking, she was approached by a smiling merchant
selling papyrus bookmarks, mummy statues, alabaster gods and plastic pyramids.
The Maven picked up a little mummy that was painted black, mellow yellow and rusty orange.
The Pharaoh had a strange stare, but this was normal since he was about 3,000 years old
and tired of being handled by foreigners. Look inside, the merchant implored.
The Maven lifted up the lid and discovered a baby mummy. All at once the Maven laughed and
said Get thee to a mummery! Alas, this laugh was not shared by the vendor, the
mummy, or baby mummy. Instead, the man yelled out a price -- Fifty dollars!
Naturally, the Maven recognized this as a clever ploy and walked away, but stopped when
she heard a little voice from inside the sarcophagus. It was the baby begging her to take
him home so that he could watch reruns of Happy Days, a real favorite with
aging mummies still caught in a 50s time warp. Okay, Ill give you five
dollars, the Maven said sincerely. Thats when the street vendor did an
imitation of an actor from ER having a coronary. He coughed madly and clutched
his heart. Okay, the Maven complied having had it up to here with bad acting.
Lets do seven. The man looked tense. Nine dollars! He was
drowned out by the baby who called out Enough already, Maven! Just pay him.
Thats when he began singing the Happy Days theme song: One, two,
three oclock, four oclock rock...
Such sentimentality prompted the Maven to head for the real Mummy Room inside the Egyptian
Museum where she brushed up on the culture and civilization of this glorified ancient
world. It was all closely guarded as if someone from The Dating Game was in
the neighborhood looking for candidates. Its then that the Maven thought she heard
Al Jolson singing Muuu...mmy...How I love ya, how I love ya...
But now the Maven is getting silly. And its time to get serious especially when all
the guards were milling around the tourists who milled around the mummies who sat awfully
still. One by one they all had a well, mummified look to them and werent in the
least appealing until we spotted the greatest Pharaoh of them all, Ramesses II. Now there
was a man! He lived as long as Charlie Chaplin but had more children. The rumor is that he
fathered hundreds of offspring This was published in the Enquirer so you know its
true. But now the question is, Was he faithful to his wife? Youre joking, right? By
the way, wouldnt you like to hear some of his excuses when each woman realized he
was just another asp? On a more practical note, dont you wonder what his pick up
On a more surprising note, who would have thought that after thousands of years he would
have remained a natural blond? Evidently, this was the beginning of the Blondes have
more fun slogan which proved to be so catchy that back then it caused a rash of
henna bottles to disappear from the local shelves in the tombs. Never let it be said the
ancient Egyptians were not clever. How can you make a disparaging remark about a people
who used hair dye that didnt fade after so many centuries of rinsing? I tell you all
this with love & knishes from your (almost blonde) Maven.
"The LIVEWIRE" for Travel
Watch. Former President of the International Food, Wine & Travel Writers Association, and created the national writers conference, "The Days of Wine &
She is a travel and entertainment reporter living in the San Francisco Bay Area.
(More about this writer.)
- Web: http://www.i.am/lindamarie