Thought I'd show you what I brought home from the Khan the other day. This is the goddess Bastet (go here to see a previous Bastet post) this time portrayed with a human body and a cat's head. I suspect that tiny figure is Hathor (goddess of joy and motherhood) . Of course every time I think of Hathor I go into the whole Stargate SG-1 geek mode...
And these are my new canopic jars made out of "marmar" aka alabaster. This must be what alabaster looks like before it's smoothed out. I was really excited about these and of course the first thing I did was drop the Isis jar on it's head right after my husband said "be careful with these ones." The jar didn't shatter, but definitely looks older now. Canopic jars are what the ancient Egyptians stored the mummy's internal organs in for reuse in the afterlife. (If you've seen the Brendan Fraser "The Mummy", canopic jars played a big part in it.)
And here are the jars in place in my cabinet - nice and eclectic the way I like it. This time I'm storing my jars where the cats can't get at them (tho it appears I'm as big of a hazard as they are). The first year we were here, I had some jars displayed on the sideboard, but the cats managed to knock the jackal-headed one down twice, so it's missing its nose and an ear. I'm hoping that I can just buy a replacement lid, and not the whole jar. Forget about rebuying a whole set.
Now to answer some questions from the previous post. I've never seen men's undergarments for sale here (I'm sure they are for sale, I just haven't been in the right place for it). Nor plain old cotton undies of any variety. And I like to buy my underwear hermtically sealed, so I can pretend no one has ever touched it. I once watched a seller here rummaging his hands through the panties, holding up a handful and calling out to customers. Euw.
It is completely a woman's choice whether or not to veil here (or her father/husband's choice but let's not go there) and isn't mandatory like it is elsewhere.
The most common thing is a head scarf, called a hijjab. You'll often see women wearing the hijjab along with high-necked, long-sleeved shirts, long skirts with jeans underneath, flip-flops (very common here since shoes must be taken off in mosques) and gloves. Throughout the year - it looks darn hot. The older women usually wear some kind of black galabiya and hijjab etc that only leaves their face showing. Far more Egyptian women wear the hijjab than don't.
There are also women completely covered in the whole Saudi-style abaya who only have their eyes showing. That apparently used to be quite rare here. A friend and I once dined in a restaurant overlooking the Nile. There was a woman right in front of me wearing the low jeans with the thong riding high and a couple of tables away a woman completely covered. Interesting study in contrasts.
I also had an email asking about anti-Americanism and if it's been a problem esp now. I have personally not had any negative reaction to my being an American. Keep in mind, I'm smart about where I go and stay away from areas that are likely to have protests. And I'm usually either in a tourist area or buying in a market place that caters to expats. I haven't heard about any protests about the current situation, could be because the universities are having their summer breaks.
I've had several cabbies tell me how much they love America. "America good, Egypt bad."
Having said that, when we were down at the Khan someone yelled at us, "Hey Yankee." We just kept going and he called out after us "You are Yankee, I can tell by how you smell." Now that's not the politest thing anyone has ever called out to me. The friend I was with just thought he was trying to get our attention, not trying to be rude. The whole Khan experience is about getting yelled at by hawkers trying to get you into their shop. It's the thing I hate the most.
Here's a question for you. You dial a number and whoever answers speaks a foreign language. Uh oh, that's not who I wanted, must have mis-dialed. Try it again. D'oh, same foreigner. How many times do you then try that number? An Egyptian will call over and over and over and over again. I can't be wrong - surely whoever answered the phone must be wrong. He's called my cell phone over ten times in the last two days, but surely the next time will be the charm.
Now that I have all that off my chest... Did a bunch of sewing yesterday and taking photos for the challenge quilt instructions. I'm working on it, guys. I'm thinking of writing it as a mystery, although there will be a separate page to go to see the quilt. How does that sound? I personally cannot stand mysteries, but I know loads of folks who love them.
I've started playing around with my website as well. Wow, that google page creator is wonderful. It's actually easier to use than Blogger, because you can control where you want the photo to go and what size you want it. Wish they'd make that available for the blogs.
This post is long enough. See ya later.