Traveling: Useful for Watching the Humans

Oh you know, I was just floating down the Nile on a ship.

On April 16th, 2012, at approximately 12:03 pm, I returned at last from a journey that spanned a total of 1190 miles (1927 kilometers), and approximately 4 millennia, stretching from Istanbul in the north to Aswan, Egypt in the south, from the time of the mysterious Pharaohs to the more familiar civilizations of modern Turkey and Egypt.

Though I remain pale as an alabaster rose I do, however, sport the beginnings of a shapely frecklestash.

I saw the sultans’ puffy pants and the bare breasts of ancient Egyptians; the pith helmets of eager yet uninformed tourists, and the North Face jackets of unhappy American families. I sampled the modern cruise cuisine of Egypt, tasted the street fare of Istanbul, dined from the secret recipes of palace chefs, and ate starches whenever possible.

My sperries received a beating from all of the walking and then another lashing from me for being a mediocre shoe. My clothes are stinky and there is multinational grit in my purse.

So what did I do after all, in the grand scheme of time and space? What did it mean to travel to distant lands, even farther from my already distant home and sleep in beds that were not my own in places where I didn’t know who washed the sheets?

What does it mean to sit in a shady park full of blooming tulips and look out over the Bosporus, commenting on the rooftops of strangers in a country where I could not pronounce anything correctly?

For me, as an alien, these journeys give me a chance to deepen my understanding of human culture, helping me to better imitate it in my own life. Witnessing other humans acting in a way similar to humans in my region increases my functional knowledge of their kind. As I view the holy places of civilizations long past and watch others imagine the hope and desperation of those who surrounded the temple walls, I learn the act of historical empathy from the humans themselves, one of the most difficult emotions to mimic.

I am more than a little humbled by the grace of the mother queen, who granted me the privilege of leaving my base and seeing a timeline of human history that spans four thousand years. It is also fascinating to think that I am in some ways a continuation of that same history, because we plan to wipe out the entire human race and bring all of it to an end.

More on the trip and its starches to come soon.

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24 thoughts on “Traveling: Useful for Watching the Humans

  1. I think freckles are a sign of awesomeness. I would love to have the chance to travel in some of these far off places and see some of the great history first hand. But alas, I am a forgotten alien in a world afar, so say hi to the mother queen for me, and stay free, one of three.

  2. Great critical thinking–love the thought it provokes. Looking forward to more!

  3. Roly says:

    Reblogged this on Sarchasm2 and commented:
    Great post as usual. Take a read

  4. I’m interpreting the story I’m writing as a prophecy. So watch out. Bad times are ahead. I wouldn’t tell anyone, but you’ve got a cool blog so I make an exception. Also this:

  5. Wow. Nice…got a little dark there at the end (not just freckly). Hopefully with people like you learning historical empathy, we’ll learn to love instead of hate.

  6. Jas says:

    you made even a travelogue hilarious… loved it…

  7. jensine says:

    Did a nile cruise two years ago and I loved it, it was like travelling through time and I swam in the nile

  8. Audrey says:

    It sounds like quite the adventure, love hearing your take on it! Can’t wait to read about these starches…

  9. Addie says:

    I love multinational grit found at the end of a long journey.

  10. tedstrutz says:

    Soak it all in… but please be careful and don’t wipe out the human race, where I am at least.

  11. tomwisk says:

    Ya gotta see who’s out there before you know who’s inside.

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