Cairo Adventure

I'm ready for my lunch break.
I'm ready for my lunch break.

Last year I flew to Egypt

To visit Cairo

For only one day.

I wanted to see

The Pyramids at Giza

About twelve miles away.

I traveled there

Astride a large camel

With one tremendous hump.

Do you know it is painful

To sit in the saddle

On top of that large bump?

One thing I learned

The hard way

That could cause a person’s death.

There’s no other animal

On this earth

That has such noxious bad breath!

Omar, my camel driver

Took a back route

To show me something new.

The land was barren

Nothing but sand

Not one green plant in view.

He led me to

A dried-up oasis

Deserted now for some time.

And sticking out

Of that desert sand

Was an ancient box covered in grime.

I discovered writing

On the outside

In language from the Hebrew Torah.

Do you think

I tried to open it?

No way!

It read: "If found,

Return to . . .

. . . Pandora!"


Historical Footnote:

According to Greek mythology, Pandora was the first woman created from clay/earth by the gods as revenge against man for obtaining fire from Prometheus.

Zeus, the ‘capo di capo’ of gods, gave Pandora a jar as a gift and warned her not to open it.

Of course, she was curious and opened the jar (later called Pandora’s box) releasing the contents which were all the ills which would subsequently plague mankind. Only Hope, a single blessing, remained trapped within.

The statue, Pandora, was created by Pierre Loison in 1861.

© Copyright BJ Rakow, Ph.D. 2012. All rights reserved. Author, "Much of What You Know about Job Search Just Ain't So." Includes valuable information for older workers, and how to negotiate salary successfully.

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Comments for Cairo Adventure 65 comments

snakeslane profile image

snakeslane 4 years ago from Canada

Love the ride drbj! You've covered a lot of bases in one short bumpy camel ride. The camel photo is so (trying to think of a nice way to put it) gross...Funny. I appreciate the insight into Pandora's box, I didn't realize that there was still hope. Thank you, enjoyed Cairo Adventure very much, Voted up and all. Regards, snakeslane

RealHousewife profile image

RealHousewife 4 years ago from St. Louis, MO

Why is history always trying to blame the female for the ills of the world? huh? Now I bet a guy dreamed up the Pandora's Box story:) haha This was my one of my favorite stories when I was a child. I knew that I would have been just like Pandora - I would have a burning desire to know what was in the jar!

Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 4 years ago from TEXAS

What a delightful romp! Love the aside history about Pandora and her little box of horrors, too.

RH, I guess it might appear and be that she's blamed for the ills it unleashed, but wasn't it a male - and the captain of gods, to boot - who passed this buck to her? If he had half the sense of an ordinary god, he'd have known the futility of telling a gal not to open it. He had to have had it planned all along, just as it happened! Of course, any of us would have had to open it! Pandora was no exception! Old Zeus knew just what he was doing when he handed it to her. So who's to be held accountable for all the ills of the world? Looks to me that he just wanted to side-step the blame, if all the story is brought to light. 'nuff said. ;-)

I hate to mention it, BJ, but that camel's countenance looks like a bit of a - ahem - Freudian slip? tra la la- whistling innocently . . . but I perceive that I'm not alone in noticing. - Ahem - snakeslane?

acaetnna profile image

acaetnna 4 years ago from Guildford

Wow I enjoyed this piece, thank you.

Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 4 years ago from United States

I think I will avoid any camel rides that might be coming in my future. Words escape me when trying to describe the camel picture. However, I loved the history and the Pandora box story. Voted up, very interesting with a bit of humor.

Mhatter99 profile image

Mhatter99 4 years ago from San Francisco

Thank you for taking us on this adventure.

drbj profile image

drbj 4 years ago from south Florida Author

I do appreciate your sense of sensibillity, snakeslane, in not using an adjective more gross than 'gross' to describe my Dromedary friend. Thank you for loving this short, bumpy camel ride and the Cairo Adventure.

Yes, despite all the ills in the world there is still Hope. Thank you, too, m'luv, for the Voted up and all.

Regards backatcha.

drbj profile image

drbj 4 years ago from south Florida Author

You make a good point, Kelly. History often puts the onus on the female of the species. And you may be entirely correct in your supposition about the origin of the box as a substitute for the jar. Heh, heh.

Delighted to learn that this was one of your favorite stories as a child. I do not know personally many folks who would have been able to resist opening that jar.

breakfastpop profile image

breakfastpop 4 years ago

Ouch!!!! Oh and awesome too!

christopheranton profile image

christopheranton 4 years ago from Gillingham Kent. United Kingdom

Poor old Pandora. I never knew, until this moment, that she had a jar instead of a box. She has been causing trouble ever since she opened it.

At least she has given us a scapegoat. It lets all the politicians off the hook.

teaches12345 profile image

teaches12345 4 years ago

I have not been up close to a camel, but I'll take your word for it to avoid them up close. Let Pandora's box rest! Great poetry.

drbj profile image

drbj 4 years ago from south Florida Author

Thanks, Nellieanna, for finding this a delightful romp and loving the Pandora story as well.

You are correct. It was a god of the male persuasion, Zeus, himself, who gave the jar/box to Pandora in the first place. Just like many of our current politicians, he found a way to pass the buck.

So you and snakeslane have some second thoughts about that en'gross'ing image of the camel? Eh? Well they say that beauty or whatever is in the eye of the beholder. Right?

The Frog Prince profile image

The Frog Prince 4 years ago from Arlington, TX

Splendid. The opening graphic is a stitch. Pnadora's box? I best leave that untouched drbj.

The Frog

drbj profile image

drbj 4 years ago from south Florida Author

How nice to see you here, acaetnna. Thanks for stopping by and enjoying this piece. The camel thanks you, too.

drbj profile image

drbj 4 years ago from south Florida Author

You are prudent, Pamela, to avoid any future camel rides - especially upon this camel. You are also discreet not to venture into the 'camel-description' arena.

Delighted you enjoyed the history and the Pandora box story with a bit of humor. Thank you, m'dear for voting Up.

drbj profile image

drbj 4 years ago from south Florida Author

Hi, Mhatter99. The pleasure of taking you on this Cairo adventure was mine, all mine. Thanks for coming along for the ride.

drbj profile image

drbj 4 years ago from south Florida Author

Hi, bp. I love both the 'Ouch!' and the 'awesome.' Thank you for taking time off to visit from your busy political ruminations.

drbj profile image

drbj 4 years ago from south Florida Author

Hi, christopher. For a moment there, I thought you had written: 'Poor old Pandora, I knew her well.' Yes, it is not common knowledge but before she had a box she had a jar. Makes one wonder doesn't it?

Of course, by performing the feat of opening that notorious container herself, she has absolved all political leaders of blame as you so astutely mentioned.

drbj profile image

drbj 4 years ago from south Florida Author

Yes, do take my word for it, Dianna. You would not want to be up close and personal with this particular camel. Its breath could mummify a Pharaoh. And discretion is definitely the better part of valor when it applies to the box of Pandora. Thanks for the visit and enjoying the poetry, m'dear.

drbj profile image

drbj 4 years ago from south Florida Author

Thanks for the 'splendid,' Jim. The camel graphic is one of my favorites. And you are wiser than you know, my friend, to leave Pandora's 'box' untouched. Even with a 7-foot pole.

AliciaC profile image

AliciaC 4 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

Thanks for another amusing hub, drbj. I've learned something new too, since I didn't know that Pandora opened a jar instead of a box. I enjoyed the entertainment and the education!

drbj profile image

drbj 4 years ago from south Florida Author

Delighted you found this amusing, Alicia. Few folks seem to know that powerful Zeus originally gave Pandora a jar according to mythology. Over time, the jar became a box. Thanks for enjoying the 'entertainment and education.'

Becky Katz profile image

Becky Katz 4 years ago from Hereford, AZ

Wonderfully amusing poem. Camels are really disgusting critters. Besides their foul breath, they spit at you if they decide they do not like you. I was raised in Nevada, where wild camels run. Many do not know that but the cavalry tried to use them as mounts instead of horses in the desert in the mid-1800's. The experiment was a dismal failure so they turned the camels loose. They still run the deserts of Nevada.

CMHypno profile image

CMHypno 4 years ago from Other Side of the Sun

Excellent poem drbj!

Do you know the old joke about the camel driver in Cairo drbj?

'One day drbj was walking through the camel market in Cairo and stopped to watch an old camel driver emasculate some young males using two bricks.

Ouch thought drbj, so asked the old man if it hurt.

'Only if I get my thumbs caught between the bricks' he replied. profile image 4 years ago

drbj - how on earth did you do that pic? Did you take your meds twice this morning thanks for another laugh!

drbj profile image

drbj 4 years ago from south Florida Author

Thanks, Becky, for the 'wonderfully amusing' designation.

You are so right. I had forgotten, but besides camels' disgustingly foul breath, they are expert at spitting. And accurate. Yecch!

I knew about the wild camels roaming in Nevada because I found an old crazy law and researched where the dickens it came from for my hub: '53 Dumb Crazy Stupid Laws.' The law read: 'It is illegal to drive a camel on the highway in Nevada.' My comment: 'Better stay on the side streets.'

Take a look. You'll find 4 other crazy law hubs linked there, too.

drbj profile image

drbj 4 years ago from south Florida Author

Thanks, CM, for the 'excellent poem' citation. And I enjoyed your joke. Man, that was painful! Painfully funny, that is. Those camel drivers have to be brave and talented to accomplish that feat.

Now I know why I saw so many thumbless Cairo camel drivers. And I thought their malady was a specific form of leprosy. (Ugh, my comment was worse than the joke.) :)

drbj profile image

drbj 4 years ago from south Florida Author

Hi, pd. Delighted you had a laugh. Liked that camel pic, eh? It's a result of NOT taking the meds, heh, heh!

always exploring profile image

always exploring 4 years ago from Southern Illinois

Another funny poetic ride, ( On a Camel no less. ) Thank's for the laugh..I always wondered about Pandora's box. Ha

drbj profile image

drbj 4 years ago from south Florida Author

Delighted, Ruby, that you enjoyed another funny poetic ride and had a laugh, m'dear. My pleasure. So you always wonderd about Pandora's box? Hmmmmmm. That's one of the things I love about you, sweetie. Your sense of humor!

Alastar Packer profile image

Alastar Packer 4 years ago from North Carolina

Holy mackerel and mountain oysters, drbj! do you know what the camel's lunch looks like?! Of course you do lol! Ha ha loved the poem- people shouldn't fool around with Mother Nature's milk or mess around with Pandora's box!

drbj profile image

drbj 4 years ago from south Florida Author

I love that 'Holy mackerel and mountain oysters,' Alastar. You know I'll find a way to use it somehow. I know you know I know what the camel's lunch resembles. Just wanted to give every reader an extra lil bonus. Thanks for loving the poem and you are spot on. Never fool around with Mother Nature, Zeus or Pandora, with or without her box.

Alastar Packer profile image

Alastar Packer 4 years ago from North Carolina

Righto drbj! Have you by any chance seen the 1928 silent German film Pandora's Box with Louise Brooks?

b. Malin profile image

b. Malin 4 years ago

Makes you wonder, how people are able to ride a Camel SO LONG in the Desert with out crying out in PAIN...Or dealing with the Bad Breath! Wonder what the Camel is thinking...Who is this IDIOT riding my Hump? I'll just Breathe on him for the next 10 hours!

This was a Fun Poem to read, with a little Education thrown in so nicely, Drbj.

Nell Rose profile image

Nell Rose 4 years ago from England

As one of those people who have indeed ridden on a camel I can catagorically state that yes its not very pleasant! lol! especially as it was trying to mate with another camel at the time! true story! I was in Tangiers Morocco at the time! talk about giving me the hump! haha! love your poem, so funny! and Pandora she was quite a gal with that box, nell

Docmo profile image

Docmo 4 years ago from UK

Aw drbj its like a twilight zone episode captured in a poem. Loved your twist. I do know another song about the camel. I'll cut out the rude bits and you can fill in the blanks:

The sexual life of a camel

is funnier than you thinks

at the height of the mating season

He tries to ------ the sphinx

The sphinx's ---- -----

is clogged with the sands of nile.

This accounts for the hump on the camel

and the Sphinx's enigmatic smile!

drbj profile image

drbj 4 years ago from south Florida Author

Funny you should ask, Alastar. I never viewed the 1928 silent German film, 'Pandora's Box,' with Louise Brooks, but I know it won awards and the star and I share the same birthday, month and day (Nov. 14) ... but not the same year. :)

drbj profile image

drbj 4 years ago from south Florida Author

It ain't easy, b., riding a one-humped Dromedary camel for very long without feeling pain. And the bad breath is no joke as is the camel's propensity to spit when you drop your guard.

Would not be surprised to learn that the camel might be thinking, as you suggest, I'm just going to get even with this idiot who thinks I'm a beast of burden.

Thanks for finding this a fun poem to read with a little education on the side.

drbj profile image

drbj 4 years ago from south Florida Author

What an interesting camel ride that must have been, Nell, in Morocco. Trying to stay comfortably atop the hump while your camel is trying to perform a hump ... on another camel. Definitely a funny hub there, m'dear.

Thanks for loving my funny poem and yes, Pandora was quite a gal with that 'box' of hers!

drbj profile image

drbj 4 years ago from south Florida Author

What a lovely thing to say, Docmo . . . this hub is 'like a twilight zone episode captured in a poem.' Thanks for loving the twist, too. I also loved your ingenious poem and was able to fill in the blanks without resorting to 'Gray's 'Anatomy'.

So that's why the Sphinx has such an enigmatic Mona Lisa look! Who knew?

dahoglund profile image

dahoglund 4 years ago from Wisconsin Rapids

Very humorous adventure with the camel ride. I hope Pandora doesn't get another chance since we have enough troubles in the world now.

drbj profile image

drbj 4 years ago from south Florida Author

You can say that again, Don. The troubles that escaped from Pandora's box seem miniscule compared to what is going on in the world today.

Thanks for finding the camel ride adventure humorous.

marcoujor profile image

marcoujor 4 years ago from Jeffersonville PA

et tu, drbj...?!

First Rosemary today with her nightmare humping , oh I mean camel humps, bumps, lumps...and now I find this.

We have surely opened a Pandora's box on this issue...Voted UP & FAB!

Rosemay50 profile image

Rosemay50 4 years ago from Hawkes Bay - NewZealand

Haha haha haha HOW did I miss this one. I was so busy writing my own camel story. Lol, I wish I had seen this first. I am smiling from ear to ear.

Voting up and pushing all the buttons

drbj profile image

drbj 4 years ago from south Florida Author

Actually, Maria, it was Rosemary, two. I published my camel story first. So there. It's funny that we both chose a camel to write about independently. But her camel adventure IS funny.

Thanks for visiting this Pandora's box and for the FAB and the UP vote. You are the best.

drbj profile image

drbj 4 years ago from south Florida Author

What is that saying about 'great minds,' Rosemary? It seems to be happening with us. :) What a devastating camel adventure you had personally. Mine was less harrowing since I was writing about someone else - Pandora, that is.

It gladdens my heart that you are smiling from ear to ear. Please send me a photo, luv. And thanks for the Up and the button-pushing.

precy anza profile image

precy anza 4 years ago from San Diego

It was a fun read with that camel. ^-^' What is that..... a giant sausage for a meal?! I remember the Pandora's box, we had it in a school play in grade school :) Voted up and shared!

drbj profile image

drbj 4 years ago from south Florida Author

I know it looks like a sausage, precy, but that giant monstrosity in the camel's mouth is its tongue - believe it or not.

That school play about Pandora that you had in grade school. Were you in it? Thanks, m'dear, for the visit the Up and the sharing. Much appreciated.

Cogerson profile image

Cogerson 4 years ago from Virginia

Very nicely done.....although I was hoping the person in the poem would roll the dice and open the box.....what's the worst thing that could happen? Voted up and interesting.....job well done.

drbj profile image

drbj 4 years ago from south Florida Author

I dunno, coge, Pandora rolled the dice and look what happened! With all that is going on in the world today, that old myth is much easier to believe. Thank you, oh movie maven, for the visit, the gracious comments and the Up vote.

MartieCoetser profile image

MartieCoetser 4 years ago from South Africa

Thank you, drbj, for reminding me again of Pandora an her box still filled with hope. And of Cairo and the Pyramids of Giza. I've been there myself and was quite disappointed. According to the pictures I've seen those pyramids were covered with golden tiles. And there they were - ordinary blocks of rock - giant steps to the top. Though still amazing ancient architecture.

I did not take a ride on one of those camels, because we've been told that those men in white leave tourists somewhere in the desert, demanding more money to take them back..... Oiyoiyoi! I had a very bad experience when one of those hawkers put a bracelet in the palm of my hand, telling me it is a gift because his son lived in SA. Then, when I walked on to the bus he put up a helluva scene, accusing me of stealing the bracelet. He demanded $10 there and then, screaming like a hungry pig, embarrassing me into another blood group. So I gave the bracelet back to him. Although it was beautiful, I refused to pay him a cent. I am still suffering from shock. Never thought something like that could happen to me.

I bought some perfume in Cairo in one of their factories. I was so surprised to learn about the rose-plantations on the banks of the Nile, and Egypt being one of the biggest exporters of rose and sandle oil. Or something in this line. I have to consult my diary for facts....

Oh, and let's not talk about the traffic. What a confusion! And those toilets at the airport! For me the few hours in Cairo were one of the weirdest experiences I've ever had.

Voted up and, as always, highly entertaining :)

Sowwy, you've refreshed all my memories with this hub of yours :)

drbj profile image

drbj 4 years ago from south Florida Author

Your vision, dear Martie, of the golden tiles on the Pyramids must have been formed by a photo-shopped image. They are a remarkable structure but only blocks of rock. Amazing nevertheless when one visualizes that those gigantic blocks were put in place without modern construction machinery.

My first ride on a camel occurred at Giza but I was accompanied by my husband, Rocky, and another two couples. I remember many vendors there but fortunately escaped the clutches of the dastard who gave you such a hard time. I did learn a wonderful curse there that you can use if you desire. The curse: "May the fleas of a thousand camels infest your armpits." Powerful imagery, no?

I have had the misfortune of being stuck in traffic in many of the world's capitals but traffic in Cairo was the pits. I even used a photo of those unbelievable traffic jams in my 'OMG Funny Photos' hub.

Delighted I refreshed your Egyptian memories and thank you for the lovely comments and the up. Intrigued by the 'Sowwy.' What would the literal translation be?

Sunshine625 profile image

Sunshine625 4 years ago from Orlando, FL

I agree, camels do stink and they aren't very cute either. I was once a passenger on a camel many years ago, never again but I did enjoy my vacation to Jerusalem. I also enjoyed your hub as always! :)

drbj profile image

drbj 4 years ago from south Florida Author

You do know how to turn a phrase, Linda, dear. Yes camels do have an unfortunate aura and are not the most handsome of creatures on this earth. So glad you had the opportunity to ride one even if only once and were able to visit Jerusalem, a remarkably ancient and interesting city.

Thank you for enjoying this hub as I enjoy your visits.

MartieCoetser profile image

MartieCoetser 4 years ago from South Africa

drbj, thank you for your delightful reply. "Sowwy" = Sorry (for leaving you a hub instead of a comment.... But all your fault, because you've published such a lovely poem, refreshing all my memories of Cairo.)

What a curse - all those fleas in the armpits! Suicide will most probably be the only solution. Lol!

drbj profile image

drbj 4 years ago from south Florida Author

Don't ever be 'sowwy' about the length of your delightful comments, m'luv, I look forward to them with heightened anticipation.

And do be careful with that inspired curse, m'dear, I'm told it is highly effective. :)

tlmcgaa70 profile image

tlmcgaa70 4 years ago from south dakota, usa

wow...that must have been quite an adventure. i cant help but feel sorry for the camel though, that head gear looks painful. and is that some kind of tumor growing out of its mouth or something else? great poem, thoroughly enjoyed it. voted up and across.

drbj profile image

drbj 4 years ago from south Florida Author

Hi, Tammy. Yes, it was an adventure for both me and the camel. That 'thing' falling out of the camel's mouth in the photo above is its tongue. Trust me, that's what it is! And you do not want to get too close either because it spits and also has the world's worst breath.

Thanks for enjoying the poem and the up and across. You are the best!

PegCole17 profile image

PegCole17 4 years ago from Dallas, Texas

What a great story Drbj. I love the picture of the camel and your poem was delightful. The background on Pandora was fascinating.

drbj profile image

drbj 4 years ago from south Florida Author

Thanks for stopping by, Peg, delighted you enjoyed Pandora's fascinating story in verse. Oh, yes, the camel says thanks, too.

carolina muscle profile image

carolina muscle 4 years ago from Charlotte, North Carolina

I often think of our advanced technology in terms of Pandora and her box. I enjoyed the way you got me thinking you were going one way and went the other !!!! :)

drbj profile image

drbj 4 years ago from south Florida Author

I guess we could say, Chris, that Pandora led the way ... sort of. Thanks for enjoying the 'mis-direction.'

drbj profile image

drbj 4 years ago from south Florida Author

Or is it Miss direction?

always exploring profile image

always exploring 3 years ago from Southern Illinois

This is just as funny the second time around...Hee

drbj profile image

drbj 3 years ago from south Florida Author

And I am twice as honored that you stopped by again, Ruby. And enjoyed another chuckle. Bless you, m'dear.

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