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Meet the Columnist

Columnist, Sheila Moss, is humor writer from  Tennessee. She writes  a weekly human interest column about daily life and the funny things that happen to everyone.

   She has written for  the Daily News of Kingsport,   Griffin Journal, Oakridge Now, Atlanta Woman Magazine, Aberdeen Examiner, Angleton Advocate,  and Smyrna AM, a supplement of the Murfreesboro Daily News Journal. She has been published by Voyageur Press, McGraw Hill, and the good folks at Guidepost Books.  Her articles have appeared in numerous anthologies and other publications, both in print and online.

    She is a former board member and past  Editor of  the Columnists.com, website of  the National Society of Newspaper Columnists, the oldest and largest professional organization for columnists. She is the Web Editor of Southern
Humorists.com
  and  a founder of the Southern Humorists writers' organization. She is writer, editor, and webmaster of HumorColumnist.com

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Horus....
   

The Egyptian Series

Horus, the all-seeing eye

The Temple of Horus is supposed to be the second largest of the ancient temples and the best preserved. It appears much like the other temples -- or maybe I'm seeing so many Egyptian temples that they are all beginning to look alike. I know the scarf and bead vendors are all starting to look alike.

Even though I try to avoid eye contact with the vendors, one especially aggressive person tries to become my friend by helping me down the steps and then throwing a scarf on my shoulder saying, "Free gift." When I don't reciprocate by going into his shop, he follows me to the bus and wants the gift back. So much for friendship.

To get back to Horus, he is an Egyptian god that is represented in carvings and statues by the symbol of a falcon or by a falcon-like head on a human body. He is also sometimes represented as the "Eye of Horus" -- or the "all seeing eye". There are supposed to be as many as 42 different representations of this deity, in case you were wondering who is looking over your shoulder.
 
The ancient Egyptians had a god for every aspect of life and worshiped them because they believe they would help them get through the afterlife. Their gods all had families, a wife and a son. There were many deities with animal features, cats, rams, crocodiles and cows. The afterlife was important to the ancient Egyptians as it was a journey to become like a god. I suppose they wanted to look like animals also.
 
The Temple of Horus dates back to 200 BC when Egypt was under the control of the Greeks and it has a strong Greek influence in the architecture. Egypt has been under the control of many other countries -- Persia, Alexander the Great, Romans, Arabs, Turks Ottoman Empire, Napoleon, Mohammad Ali of Albania, and the British -- almost everyone but the Egyptians, it seems. They have assimilated many different cultures but maintained an identity of their own as well.
 
I woke up this morning to the Muslim call to prayer, a long, melodic chant rendered over a loud speaker that was right outside the window. Apparently there is a mosque nearby. We are supposed to go into the town of Edfu on our own later this morning, but the town looks worse than Harlem to me. I note a police tourist guard walking around the waterfront with an automatic weapon. I'm not sure if these guards are military or a special force of some sort. If they need automatic weapons, why would I want to walk around on my own?

I have stomach cramps this morning anyhow in spite of being careful. Pepto Bismo doesn't seem to help much. A fellow passenger offers me a charcoal pill to purify my stomach like a fish tank. I swallow it down, and hope it isn't anything that will make me grow fins. I was very leery of the lettuce at lunch yesterday even though it is supposed to be triple-washed and put under ultraviolet light. Lettuce is one of the things we were told not to eat before we came. I'm now learning about it the hard way.
 
I decide to pass up the trip into town due to the cramps, difficulty of the eternal steps that must be climbed, the uneven cobblestone walks, and the hassle of sales vendors and beggars. Honey runs off to breakfast with the harem (what we called the all-female team also known as the "Blue Team") and then goes into town without me. It would be nice if he would tell me he is leaving so I would know he didn't fall off the ship; however, I decided not to sound the man overboard alarm. If he falls in, let the harem fish him out.
 
It is getting hard to keep track of the days of the week. The weather is always the same and the days are always the same. It never rains here. It must be terribly boring to be an Egyptian weatherman. One fellow passenger told me when she was a child she kept track of the days of the week because they were embroidered on her panties. Now she keeps track by seeing what day is on her pill dispenser. I suppose if you wear the wrong panties or skip a day of pills, you can never get back on schedule.


Copyright 2010 Sheila Moss
 
 



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