November 22, 2005
As a kid, I had read a number of stories from the book "1001 Arabian Nights". In several of them, they described street market scenes with row after row of merchants selling their wares on the streets. Oftentimes, there would be shouting as the merchants competed for the business of the shoppers. Walking through the business area at night on the streets of Aswan brought home these stories in an incredibly vivid and exotic way. There were very few foreigners that spoiled the ambience of the marketplace. All around us, for as far as the eye could see, narrow streets curved their way through the town, down side streets and even more narrow alleyways. Along every foot of this, there were shopkeepers sitting outside calling out to the passersby to look at their items.
I found the Egyptians here in Aswan to be incredibly polite people. Despite the large crowds and the attempts of the merchants to get your attention, the noise level was much lower than I would have expected. Mostly families and small groups of friends were seen doing their shopping in the cooler hours following sunset. We spent about three hours slowly making our way around the street market. We had dinner at a little kabob shop and talked to a number of merchants. Many were interested in talking to us about our life in the USA just as much as they were interested in selling us things to take back to our country. For a nice, relaxing evening, I would definitely recommend walking through the streets of Aswan after sunset. It will take you back to a much simpler time.
From journal The Sands of Time