Munching Fried Chicken in the Shadow of Princes in Aswan, Egypt
In a tiny cove on the River Nile, hidden behind a dusty outcrop, the sounds of chicken frying and glasses clinking intertwine with the lapping of water against a felucca sailboat. The cliffs overhead are a wasp’s nest riddled with the black mouths of caves, opening on the Tombs of the Nobles — the overseers and princes of Egypt. Christmas on the Nile is any other day to the Bedouin sailors singing 1,000 year old songs while navigating the wide thoroughfare as though crossing the street, but to us, it isn’t. The chicken melts like butter in your mouth. The songs hold the echo of the afternoon breeze and the smell of beast and dust and tribe drift over the boat and disappear beneath the water’s surface. Not a bad way to find God — no matter which one you believe in.