Everything is research. But what better research than to actually visit the location where your story takes place? Every mile we sailed up the Nile, every minaret, every jewel of rural life, every interaction with the wait staff and passengers, every time we ducked through thick crowds of vendors, provided more research than seeing all the ruins Egypt has to offer.
Here are a few of those jewels that I could never glean from books. And do please excuse the quality of the photos. Some were shot from a moving bus.
|Typical farm and canal. The unfinished pillars atop the roof are supports for housing for the next generation.|
|The modern and the timeless continually crashing into each other.|
|A market in Cairo, just for selling birds. Parakeets, cockatoos, you name it, they got it.|
|Friday prayer spilling out onto the sidewalk, Luxor. If I could play the call to prayer, I would. It is haunting and powerful.|
|Transporting fodder or cane across the Nile.|
|Spice Vendor at Philae, featuring some of my fellow passengers.|
|Ash-brewed coffee at a Nubian village. The coffee was brewed with ginger root and other spices for ... ahem ... virility.|
|Courtyard at a Nubian house, featuring a sand floor and reed thatch. Domed ceilings regulate temperatures to keep the interior cool. I want a house like this.|
|Lush farmland stretching to the desert. West bank, Luxor/Thebes. The ruin at the edge of the green is the Ramesseum, which features largely in my story.|