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Columnist, Sheila Moss, is humor writer from  Tennessee. She writes  a weekly human interest column about daily life and the funny things that happen to everyone.

   She has written for  the Daily News of Kingsport,   Griffin Journal, Oakridge Now, Atlanta Woman Magazine, Aberdeen Examiner, Angleton Advocate,  and Smyrna AM, a supplement of the Murfreesboro Daily News Journal. She has been published by Voyageur Press, McGraw Hill, and the good folks at Guidepost Books.  Her articles have appeared in numerous anthologies and other publications, both in print and online.

    She is a former board member and past  Editor of  the, website of  the National Society of Newspaper Columnists, the oldest and largest professional organization for columnists. She is the Web Editor of Southern  and  a founder of the Southern Humorists writers' organization. She is writer, editor, and webmaster of

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Valley of the Kings....

The Egyptian Series

Valley of the Kings

They are off to the Valley of the Kings running as fast as they can run with honey ahead by a nose. I overslept this morning and have to jump into the clothes I wore yesterday and go without makeup. Meanwhile, honey is chomping at the bit and raring to go -- to eat breakfast, that is.  
My stomach is cramping yet again. I'm sick for the third time. I don't think I can make it to the starting gate, much less to the track. My knees burn like fire, my feet still hurt from yesterday and I'm ready to lie down and roll over.
Honey will have to run without me today. I would like to see the Valley of the Kings, but this old nag is dropping out of the race. It seems as if it will be one of the most strenuous tours yet. They might as well shoot me and put me out of my misery.

We are supposed to go out again tonight, after the Valley trip is over. I'm hoping there will not be a lot of rough cobblestones to walk on I've not fallen down yet except for a couple of small tumbles, like missing a rock and setting in the sand -- nothing that would break a wrist or skin a knee.  I've seen a couple of other people take some pretty hard spills, but no one from our group yet, fortunately. 
After he returns, we check into a hotel and I get to hear all about how I missed the best part of the entire trip. I figured he would say that since it was the one I didn't go on. But you can only do what you can do, and a nap did more for me than all the tombs in Egypt.
After honey calms down some, we decide to take advantage of the break and shop in the hotel bazaars instead of resting. There are many shops and restaurants right in the hotel. It has an inner court with balconies overlooking it and flowers growing over the rails, very picturesque.
The guide tells us that everything is more expensive at the hotel shops, but things seem cheap by American standards. So, I buy a beautiful tote bag, a necklace, and a couple of inexpensive scarab bracelets. A person could go crazy bargain shopping here.
In the hotel restaurant there are food bars with every food you can imagine since they serve so many diverse people. Beans are a typical breakfast for Egyptians, but Americans like their eggs, omelets, and pancakes. There are many kinds of sweet rolls and cheeses. However, there is no pork served in any hotel. The H1N1 virus was a good excuse for the government to ban pork in the entire country. Muslims don't eat any pork for religious reasons. They substitute beef or chicken sausage. 
The shop owners are all very friendly and say hello. Sometimes they ask where you are from.  Yesterday I told a shopkeeper I was from America. He said, "Obama is a good man." I agreed, "Yes, he is a good man."  I had expected that they would not like Americans here, but found this not to be the case. 
My world is very different from the world here, but we have things in common also. I wish more people could come here and meet the people and experience the culture. Egyptians have learned a lot about westerners from being under British rule for so long. All the younger people know English because they learn it in school. Egypt is our best friend in the Muslim world.
I have learned a lot about respect by observing their ways and traditions and have learned to be more accepting of things that are different or not understood. Our guide believes that there is much misconception about Egypt and Muslims in the media. I hope it will become possible for us to all get along. There is so much we can learn from each other.
Later the male maid at the Luxor hotel came to clean the room. He asks where I am from. When I tell him, I'm from Tennessee, he says, "I'm from Luxor." Egyptians have a good sense of humor and often make jokes. 


Copyright 2010 Sheila Moss

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