Walking like an Egyptian

Say ‘Egypt’ and most people think -Pyramids, the Nile, maybe even Tutankhamen.

Red Sea

Here fishy fishy fishy

Not me.

I’m not ‘most people’. Say ‘Egypt’ to me and immediately I’m inspired by images of big hair, dark eyes in smudged kohl and a certain catchy tune that takes me right back to the 1980s, when I was a Kiwi school girl.

Of course that’s not the first time I’d heard about Egypt. As a young reader, during my Secret Seven phase (Enid Blyton) I had devoured historical novels that weaved plots around scarab beetles and secret hieroglyphics, not to mention a walking mummy or two! During Latin classes in middle school I read about Roman times in Alexandria and Cairo.  The fact that Alexandria still exists as a bustling modern city kind of blows my mind!

One thing I never dreamed about was actually going to Egypt. It seemed so far away from the Pacific Ocean, and going there seemed about as likely as joining my idols, The Bangles, in walking like an Egyptian. Back in the 198os, I was still stuck in a school tunic, knee high socks and garters kind of rut, waiting for my life to begin. Exams loomed and beyond that nothing else really existed. It wasn’t until after university (where I studied North African and Egyptian history) that the idea that I could go to Egypt – or anywhere outside of New Zealand – started to seem, even vaguely, realistic. By then I was sporting big hair and dark kohl eyeliner too.

I did travel quite a bit in those backpacking years, but  it wasn’t until I moved to the UK did it seem likely that I would see any of those things I’d carefully added to my ‘Must See’ list as a schoolgirl. Since arriving here in 2007 I’ve crossed off:


Las Vegas

Grand Canyon





Egypt is next on my list.

I want to see the Great Pyramids and the Sphinx. (Secretly I’ve always wondered if they are real or set up on a Hollywood sound stage somewhere, like the dusty surface of the moon in the Moon Landings!)

Sphinx #InspiredbyEgypt

It's not on a sound stage in Hollywood somewhere, is it?

I’d like to snorkel in the warm waters of the Ras Mohammed National Park, in the Red Sea and see how it compares to the tropical waters of Fiji and the Great Barrier Reef. What’s more I’d love to take my Englishman out to feed the fishes. Not kill him off obviously, that would be a shameful waste of a romantic occasion!

I mean hand feed the fish with him whilst snorkelling,  as I once did as a much younger backpacker on the Great Barrier Reef. If there’s one thing I miss more than anything here in rural Hampshire, it is the ocean.

Of course I have some land based activities in mind too – riding a camel, sharing tea with the Bedouins, star gazing in the desert, not to mention a little slouching around a souk or two. I’d like to see if I can find a carpet – maybe even an Ali Baba styled flying carpet?

Do they stock flying carpets that can manage the long haul to Down Under?

But most of all, I feel inspired by Egypt. By that sense that it is the cradle of civilisation, that I’ve studied all my life, in one way or another. I want to go and see how a place so old can be so freshly inspiring, and life affirming. But most of all, I want to go and recapture some of that youthful school girl enthusiasm for life, under the Egyptian sun… and I want to:

Walk like an Egyptian!


NB/I bet you can’t listen to that song without smiling, remembering a more innocent time in your life! This post was written as my entry into Easyjet’s fantastic Inspired by Egypt competion.


Easyjet holidays: Fantastic holidays Inspired by Egypt

Viator: http://www.viator.com/Sharm-el-Sheikh-recommendations/d827

Image: Flickr CC – Shelby PDX





'Walking like an Egyptian' has 8 comments

  1. May 10, 2012 @ 5:10 pm Jacq

    Ah yes. I love that song. It was big in NZ wasn’t it. We might go to Egypt next- the kids aren’t so keen but DH love the idea 🙂


    • May 10, 2012 @ 5:14 pm vegemitevix

      Of course now Jacq after writing the post I can’t get it out of my head. 🙂


  2. May 10, 2012 @ 6:01 pm Steve

    I did a Nile Cruise coupled with 3 days in Cairo back in 2000 – absolutely amazing and I would love to go back. Cairo was frighteningly manic but the Nile cruise was just sheer perfection. Truly magical.
    And thank you for The Bangles… I was a huge fan back in the day right from before they got famous.


    • May 10, 2012 @ 9:37 pm vegemitevix

      It does sound amazing. The Bangles’ song made no sense whatsoever, but that’s kind of their charm. That, and the kohl eyeliner and big 80s hair. I may have followed their example, but not as far as the cat suit…


  3. May 10, 2012 @ 8:00 pm MidlifeSinglemum

    Love the song and Just Another Manic Monday. I agree with Steve. The Nile is magical but Cairo is overwhelming in the shear mass of humanity. As we crossed the border back into Israel I had two main thoughts. 1. Gosh how green Israel is. And 2. I’m so glad I’ve been to Egypt, i wouldn’t have missed it for the world but now I don’t ever have to go back. One other thing – I surprised myself by falling inlove with the beauty of the Sphynx. Go figure.


    • May 10, 2012 @ 9:39 pm vegemitevix

      Manic Monday…love it. Ah, I’m getting sentimental now. How did you get on crossing the border from Israel? I imagine that could be quite tricky..? In love with The Sphinx? I think that’s something I need to see in the real, to really undersand.


  4. May 10, 2012 @ 8:32 pm Katriina

    Walk Like An Egyptian was one of those songs I recorded onto a cassette tape from the radio (remember doing that??) – I listened to it over and over and over. Egypt is still on my list of dream destinations – have heard endless stories of awe from friends who have been there.


    • May 10, 2012 @ 9:40 pm vegemitevix

      Absolutely did! I used to listen to Kayce Kasim on American Top 40 and tape all the songs I liked whilst lying by the pool basting in coconut butter. Weren’t the 80s brilliant!


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