Discovery: The most rewarding part about Egypt

When you visit Luxor, Egypt, go to the square near the Luxor Temple where all the streets converge. Looking away from the Nile, imagine the intersection is a giant clock face and head toward 11 o’clock. On the left side of that road on the corner sits a small sandwich shop. Go there.

I wouldn’t call them sandwiches in America, but that’s what they’re called in Egypt. They’re made with these pockets of bread split in half. You can get a whole one, both halves, for four Egyptian pounds, which is like $.60.

They sell some with eggplant, some with mashed potatoes, some with beans, and some with felafel. I’ve tried each of them multiple times. Each sandwich comes with salad and sauce on top and a felafel ball on the side. If “amazing” weren’t such an overused word, it would be called amazing.

These are the discoveries I’m talking about:

  • finding delicious food that’s also ridiculously cheap by American standards,
  • spotting photo angles that avoid dozens of other tourists while still capturing more of the site than most photos can,
  • happening upon light beams that drill through ancient temple walls because you caught them just at the right time of day and year,
  • getting lost down back alleys that wind through curious, island villages,
  • stumbling into quiet coves where feluccas sail softly past in the afternoon,
  • crossing waters clear 20 feet down but somehow still deep navy blue,
  • meeting friendly locals who are actually friendly, not just trying to sell a scarab charm,
  • realizing you’re touching or photographing or posing in front of or standing at or sitting on the exact same location that thousands of other world travelers have enjoyed before you,
  • and so much more.

It’s bound to happen if you’re careful and you care. It’s bound to happen if you pay attention and explore. Yeah, it can be annoying for sure, but are the rewards worth it?

Is the Nile long?

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