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 overseas girls whereas carefully last open to actual friendship; and, as a vacationer, she skilled occasions that ranged from the funny to the hair-raising--including an come upon that begun as some of the most scary of her lifestyles 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 global by no means ceases to captivate the reader.
"A pilgrimage approximately pilgrims and holy areas that's not basically enlightening but additionally 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 take place round her." -Jonathan Raban (on Whoredom in Kimmage)
"Mahoney, who has been rowing for 10 yr, brilliantly juxtaposes an account of her personal palm-blistering hours at the Nile....with the diary entries of 2 Victorian travelers-Gustave Flaubert and
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Additional resources for Down the Nile: Alone in a Fisherman's Skiff
The yankee drank. The Egyptian stated, “Now, if I positioned my finger on your glass of juice, might you continue to drink it? ” the yank stated that he wouldn't. “My element is obvious. ” I requested the consultant if he could kill his sister if she misplaced her virginity. with no pause, as if this was once a cheap or even a typical query, he acknowledged, “I, for myself, wouldn't kill my sister. yet i might placed her out of the home and disown her simply because she had shamed the relatives identify. ” The advisor went directly to inform me that a few Egyptian males didn’t are looking to visit the US to avail themselves of the possibilities there simply because they feared they'd see ladies in states of undress and wouldn't manage to regulate themselves. “And then God will be indignant with them,” he acknowledged. “They think quite a bit in God. ” whilst I advised — gingerly, my voice buzzing with hesitation and soft speculation — that maybe Egyptian males didn’t appreciate girls, the advisor caught his arms down the open throat of his blouse and fished up a silver locket on a sequence. within the locket have been tiny images of his veiled mom and spouse. “Here,” he stated proudly, “is the facts how a lot I recognize ladies. ” “They’re your relatives,” I acknowledged. “I don't have any photos right here of my father! ” He defined why Egyptian males are allowed to have multiple spouse: if a man’s spouse doesn’t get pregnant, and he wishes childrens, he can take one other spouse. I puzzled if a similar utilized in opposite, may a girl be allowed to take one other husband for a similar cause. “Of path now not! ” he acknowledged. I had walked by myself alongside the sting of Lake Nasser, which struck me as a heavily unnatural physique of water. Neon eco-friendly, it regarded toxic. It appeared like a wilderness flooded with antifreeze. I stood at the shore, stared on the water in ask yourself, and had the sensation that if I fell into it my flesh might dissolve immediately from my bones. the warmth was once wounding; I needed to slim my eyes to slits to guard them from it. As I walked alongside the sting of the lake, I observed, from time to time, a tiny patch of eco-friendly, a withered clump of timber, or a feeble stripe of grass. I observed lizards and clouds of sand fleas at the shores, dragonflies and tiny anthills, all of which instructed that basically the main minuscule existence types might thrive in those harsh stipulations. Abu Simbel and Lake Nasser have been at their most sensible while the rabid solar was once long gone, after which it struck me as the best locations on the earth. I sat on my own at the hours of darkness through the pool and listened to crickets and the rhythmic purring of frogs. I stared on the sky for an hour. faraway from any urban, faraway from something in any respect, a city so small that its man made mild had no influence at the surroundings, Abu Simbel’s evening sky used to be a city of its personal, a big velvety parabola embracing the earth. Venus shone lengthy at the water in a manner that mimicked the moon, and the large Dipper sat very low at the horizon. the entire position was once a deeply swirling mass of stars. I felt in need of breath and totally insignificant its hugeness and intensity. This used to be an evening sky you didn’t need to bring up your eyes to.