Tuesday, November 10, 2009

This Cold is Keeping Me Down

The cold I brought home from Cairo
is cramping my style.
Just going out to buy food exhausts me.
My get up and go has got up and left.

To pick up my spirits, I just have to remember
the fun of browsing in the Khan el-Khalili.
It was built in 1382 by the Emir Djaharks el-Khalili
and was part of the market
tradition
that established Cairo as a major center of trade
.


Like at Alice's Restaurant,
you can get anything you want (or nearly so)
at the Khan: gold, silver, brass, trinkets, clothing, shoes.
There are fragrant spices, pipes for smoking strong Egyptian tobacco.
There are carpets, lamps, art and artifacts.


There are gorgeous scarves and shawls, billed as Pashmina
that are really wool and silk fibers,
shawls that can be had for around $8
if you drive a hard bargain, hard enough that
the shopkeepers will tell you you're trying to make them go broke
and then delightedly close the transaction.


More than anything,
the Khan's a dandy place to people watch.
Young, old, locals, tourists, all the women
except a few tourists with their heads covered.


Shopping, anyone?
Bring your Egyptian pounds and get ready to bargain.
And if you're lucky, I'll show you where
the really flashy scarves can be found. Beaded ones.

At the belly dancing shop,
on the fourth level of the little building
where I took these birds-eye shots.

I'll even show you how to tie them,
so the beads dangle on your forehead
and make you feel dazzling.


3 comments:

Bonnie, Original Art Studio said...

Wonderful shots and memories. Their little shops look so orderly from above. Did you bring back a lot of souvenirs?

~JarieLyn~ said...

That looks like a great place to shop. How wonderful to have taken this trip.

JonesMoore said...

Wonderful photos of the market. I wish we had more of these in the u.s.!!