You’ll experience things in life that have a great impact on who you become. For me, it was the summer of 2006 and it was the trip you will hear stories from for the rest of your lives. It wasn’t just any trip, it was the trip. Much of my perspective and outlook on life today was built on those few months of that summer when the sun scorched our skin and our curiosity lead the way.
We arrived at the pyramids, crossing one more wonder of the world off our list of “yet-to-see”(We arrived in Egypt after visiting the Taj in India). We’ve all seen the pyramids photographed in every light and from every angle, but seeing them through my own two eyes was like being taken back in time. Cross the road to the entrance and poof!, magically you’re taken back thousands of years. The seemingly endless Sahara desert stretched further than my eyes could wander and off in the distance camels and horses roamed up, over, and across the sand dunes. Every so often I was tempted to wipe the dirt from my eyes and turn around on my camel to glance back across the street at the KFC in an effort not to play games with my mind, which was suddenly confused as to what year it was, what land I was in, and how the hell I mysteriously ended up in King Tut’s neighborhood. “Walk like an Egyptian” kept playing in my head. That, and the thought that the seven dwarfs may have been involved in the pyramid building process; For the entrance into the pyramid was made for none other than Dopey, Sleepy, and Grumpy alike. I remember being taken back by the grand scale of the outside versus the claustrophobic inside which was seemingly just enough space for Snow White to rest peacefully.
But my memory of the pyramids themselves is not what I want to share with you. Instead, I’d like to talk about the bottle of Coke you see me holding in the picture above. If you look closely, you’ll notice the Coke is full. Why, you may be thinking, is the refreshing Coke full when I’m on a camel in the desert in 100+ degree weather? Because the Coke was also hot. Very hot. Too hot to drink. Which begs the question I know you’ll be asking next: Why would I buy a warm Coke? To which I’d answer, I didn’t buy it. Well, not initially at least. It was kindly given to me by the man leading us around on the camel. Only “kindly” isn’t really the right word. He insisted I take the Coke, even after I sincerely said “No, thank you”. And by “given to me”, I quite literally mean placed in my hands. So to be polite, I took it. And, to be polite, I took the smallest of sips. It was flat and warm, as I suspected. When the camel tour was over, the man helped me off and held out his hand for more money. He didn’t speak English, but it was made quite clear that it was the Coke I owed him for; The Coke I initially refused. The Coke I only took one sip of. The Coke that was flat and warm. Just as the situation started to get heated, I gave him some money and vowed never to be polite again.
Not everything in the world is fair and not everyone in the world is nice. Don’t be afraid to trust people, but know there are scam artists. Don’t become one of them. Offer your guests a cold and refreshing beverage and tell em’ it’s on the house.
Oh ya, save your money and visit the pyramids. And go with your best friend. It’s worth it.