Down the Nile: Alone in a Fisherman's Skiff

By Rosemary Mahoney

Whilst Rosemary Mahoney, in 1998, took a solo journey down the Nile in a seven-foot rowboat, she stumbled on sleek Egypt for herself. As a rower, she confronted crocodiles and testy river currents; as a feminine, she faced deeply-held ideals approximately international ladies whereas carefully ultimate open to real friendship; and, as a tourist, she skilled occasions that ranged from the funny to the hair-raising--including an come upon that started as some of the most scary of her existence and ended as an edifying and chastening lesson in human nature and cultural false impression. no matter if she's assembly Nubians and Egyptians, or discovering connections to Westerners who traveled up the Nile in prior times--Florence Nightingale and Gustave Flaubert between them--Mahoney's expert interest concerning the international by no means ceases to captivate the reader.

"A pilgrimage approximately pilgrims and holy locations that isn't purely enlightening but in addition very funny." -Paul Theroux (on The Singular Pilgrim)

"Mahoney is a perfectly powerful catalytic agent: she is going to eire and simply makes the rustic occur round her." -Jonathan Raban (on Whoredom in Kimmage)

"Mahoney, who has been rowing for 10 12 months, brilliantly juxtaposes an account of her personal palm-blistering hours at the Nile....with the diary entries of 2 Victorian travelers-Gustave Flaubert and Florence Nightingale."
--Lisa Fugard, New York instances e-book Review

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He winced and frowned at me as if I have been insane. “Fuck, no! they might be indignant. they'd kill me and inform me it's not that i am their son anymore. ” “Are you Muslim? ” He used to be silent a second. He crossed his monstrous fingers on his chest and nibbled at his decrease lip. He decreased his voice. “Well Muslim, yeah. yet I don’t do Islam issues right away. I don’t do Ramadan. I don’t learn the Koran. Later, while I’m older, i'm going to do these issues. ” “Why later? ” “To make strong with God. ” I requested him if he ever had Egyptian girlfriends. “Shit, no! I hate the Egyptian girls! They speak an excessive amount of. I paintings all day, get domestic at 11 at evening, and he or she will be speaking speaking conversing like a loopy woman. and so they is all non secular. they wish a child, a pleasant condo, pay money for not anything. ” He spanked his palms jointly as though to rid his arms of airborne dirt and dust. “Never. No Egyptian women! ” British girls glided by, one in a sleeveless shirt. He ogled the woman’s palms, regarded her up and down, wrung his palms, sighed with hope. I requested Ahmed if he ever met a international lady who used to be indignant by means of his advances. He smiled. “Yeah! plenty of them they don’t love it. at some point I’m sitting the following and German woman she walks by way of. I say to her, ‘Don’t stroll away! You holiday my middle when you depart! ’ She flip round to offer me a punch. Like this” — he grimaced and raised his fist — “and she say, ‘I holiday your center? the way you like I holiday your neck, you bastard! ’” He giggled on the recollection. “I check with each lady who cross by way of. i would like to capture them. I lead them to cease and seek advice from me. Egyptian males, we all know that each one those international ladies they're prostitutes. ” I checked out him, attempting to make a decision even if to giggle or protest. “I am a international lady, Ahmed,” I acknowledged. He raised his arms at me and subsidized up at the sidewalk, figuring out he had made a mistake. “Yes, i do know, girl, yet no longer you. ” He waved at my lengthy trousers, my boots, my long-sleeved shirt buttoned as much as my throat. “You isn't really prostitute. That’s visible. ” “How is it seen? ” “You costume cautious. I can’t see what you appear to be other than your face. you were given satisfaction. you were given great face too. You feels like chicken. yet lot of them, woman, think me lot of them is prostitutes. ” The boy was once now not silly, simply crude and a blabbermouth. I requested him if he knew what the notice prostitute intended. He gave a proud little shrug to point that the query was once too effortless for somebody whose English used to be pretty much as good as his. “Yeah. in fact. Prostitute suggest someone who take funds for intercourse. ” “From what you’ve simply instructed me, Ahmed, it sounds as if those eu ladies you’re speaking approximately aren’t taking cash for intercourse. It feels like they've got intercourse with Egyptian males simply because they need to. actually, it sounds to me like it’s the Egyptian males who're taking cash for intercourse. ” Ahmed stared at me, his lengthy lashes blinking speedily, his golden eyes shining with confusion within the sharp afternoon mild. unexpectedly the good-looking boasting chatterbox had not anything to assert. His vast face appeared to have close down. He used to be nonetheless as a stone. I helped him alongside. “I suggest, you acknowledged that your self, correct?

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