Thursday, June 17, 2010

Just around the river bend!

So many titles ran through my head while trying to make a title for this post, most of which had to do with Steamboatin’—a musical my brother and I were in when I was in grade 3 and he was in grade 5. I’m sure he remembers even though it was, oh, seventeen years ago.

Paddle wheeler rollin’ down the Mississip’!
Won’t you come and join us for a steamboat trip!
Paddle wheeler standin’ proud as she can be
All decked out and waiting for some company!

Step inside
(Just step inside)
We’re goin’ on a steamboat ride
(We’re goin’ on a steamboat ride)
Come with me
(With me!)
We’ll travel down in history!

It went something like that, anyway, and while judging from the decrepitated condition of the boat, this ride promised to be a ride through history, there was nothing remotely inviting about taking a ride on it. Our original plan was to ride downstream to Kanater, the Nile locks, and play around there for a while. However, no boats were running there when we arrived at the water bus station.


Rachel, Magdalena, and Big Miriam all had their hearts set on riding a boat, though, so we hopped on the river bus, anyway. It costs a pound to ride up to the station and we paid another pound to ride back. It wasn’t the trip we were expecting but we had fun.


We grabbed seats right in the front of the boat thinking it would be a thrilling ride—wind in our faces, splashed with the spray. It was nothing like that. Instead we found ourselves choking in plumes of black exhaust as the boat chugged, sputtered, and clunked along its way. It was a sad little ride.

Andrew and Miriam both pretended to be captain before the real captain hopped on board.

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We passed a few interesting things while on the boat, like a guy riding on the bow of another boat, and huge posters for the World Cup on ferries.


We pulled into the station and sat for about fifteen minutes while the boat reloaded with passengers and then we headed back in the direction we had just come.


I think the most exciting part was watching the girls have fun. Big Miriam was telling Rachel all about algae and Rachel was making up stories about crocodiles. They were having a great time!

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Little Miriam had a fun time, too, when she wasn’t being squashed by her big sister.


I think this picture is funny because it looks like the thought bubble is for Miriam. Apparently when she rides on Nile river buses she thinks “Viva Minnesota.”


This picture looks like it’s all full of love, and I think it was, for about two seconds…


And then it turned into this:


This is Rachel apologizing for almost ripping Miriam’s face off:


Having four little “white” babies/children in our company, of course, turned us into quite the attraction for the locals. Families kept sending their children over to gawk at our children. One family was particularly aggressive about it, the father continuously having his daughter deliver messages for him.


“My dad said to tell you,” she’s begin in Arabic before stuttering out the foreign words her father had told her, “Welcome in Egypt!”

“My dad said to tell you: What’s her name?”

At one point she brought her sister to me and said, “My sister wants to know what her name is because she doesn’t know what her name is.” It was an awesome sentence. I wish I could be seven again just so that I could say something like that and be taken seriously.

I always enjoy having children speak to me in Arabic because they are very patient with my inferior language skills than most adults are.

Anyway, the ride didn’t last long but it was well worth the few pounds we spent to make our girls—mainly Rachel because Miriam is acutely oblivious to entertainment—that happy.

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We went to el-Abd for gelato afterwards. It was yummy, as always. Rachel knew just what she wanted: chocolate and strawberry. And Miriam latched onto my cone the minute it was within proximity of her mouth. She got mango everywhere. I’m going to miss days like these.

And, yes, every post I write for the next few days will probably end with “I’m going to miss…” Deal with it.


  1. I love how when you tell your kid you're going on a boat ride, you had better dang well go on a boat ride, OR ELSE. Even if it's smoky and hot and dirty and not what you originally planned :). I had fun. Even if I hadn't enjoyed myself, I think the kids enjoyed themselves enough for all.

  2. LOL :) Well yeah you're kids are extremely adorable - attention well deserved.