As soon as the airplane cabin door opens, it becomes so hot. And I mean, HOT. I had always wanted to visit Egypt, but I didn’t think it would be blistering hot every day. It’s the middle of winter in my town in Kentucky.
My tour guide, Amman, had told me over the phone that we would be “riding in style” to the hotel, where I would stay for the next week. I was studying abroad to learn about Egypt. My parents were a little unsure at first, but they eventually let me go.
I climb down the steps from the airplane, which landed in the middle of a dessert with a few rock and canyon formations. I look down, watching my step so I don’t fall down the steps. When my feet hit the sand, I look up and am greeted by the friendly face of Amman. He is wearing a white, baggy shirt and pants and a white turban.
“This way, Miss Clara,” he says, leading me around a large rock building. He says my name as if it’s foreign. Well, I guess it is to him. Good thing he has a name easy to pronounce.
He continues to lead me with graceful steps, while I shuffle along in the sand with my old Converse. When we get around to the back of the building, I immediately see what his taste in “style” is.
There are two camels, lying down and covered in sand. They are both the same dusty, dirty, caramel color, which makes me want to throw up. They are layered with faded, ratty blankets, with colors that used to be green, orange, yellow, red, and blue. They blankets look like they are about 1,000 years old. To make matters worse, they smell like port-a-potty toilets. This is going to be one, long trip to the hotel.