A week in the desert…

This past week we have spent in Wadi El Naturn, recovering from our hectic week in Cairo. I got a cold just before we left Cairo, so it has been nice to have a place to rest, where there is nothing to distract me. The only thing we had planned to do this week was go and visit a few of the old Monasteries that are in the area. This taught us a valuable lesson about Egyptian culture, and how they relate to time. Here’s how it went down:
Day before planned event: Dave suggests to Noor that we go to the monasteries. Noor says “Yes! Yes of course, I will take you. At what time would you like to go?” Dave says, “Maybe 10:00?” Noor says, “Absolutely! 10:00 is perfect!”
Day of planned event, 9:30: We eat breakfast. Noor is nowhere in sight. After breakfast, we head back to our room and get ready to go.
10:00: Sitting in the courtyard, waiting for Noor.
10:45: Sitting in the courtyard…..waiting for Noor.
11:00: I say, “I’m going back to the room to check my mail while we wait. Come and get me when he comes.”
12:30: Dave arrives back in the room. “Noor says it would be better if we went after lunch. Probably 2:00.”
2:00: “Where is Noor?” We both wonder. Asmir says, “Noor went out to get some groceries very quick. He will be back very soon. Very soon.”
3:00: ….
4:00: Still no Noor. We make a joined decision that it would be better to go the next day to the Monasteries.

5:00: What’s that off in the distance? It’s Noor! He’s finally arrived! We go to Noor, and say “We think it would be better to go tomorrow. That way we will have more time.”
Noor: “No! Please! Let me take you now. I will take you now. Please. Please!”
Dave: “Really, it’s okay. We would rather go tomorrow.”
Noor: “Please!! Please!! I will take you right now! Please!!!! Please let me do this!”
Dave: *awkward silence* “Umm…alright.”
We all cram into Noors little truck, which barely makes it to the first monastery. When we arrive, Noor informs us that the Monastery is basically closed because it’s too late, but he will walk us around the grounds anyway. We follow reluctantly, knowing that there will not be much to see because of this. After walking around the grounds hastily, Noor says: “Maybe I will take you tomorrow. That way we will have more time.”
We agree.
And by the way…we never ended up going the next day…
Lesson learned: Egyptians must have a different time system than us. I’m pretty sure it is something like, one hour our time equals one day Egyptian time.

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