Bob Marley seems to be an uninvited guest on our travels. I’m not sure I understand the local fascination with him, but so far I’ve seen several Bob Marley flags, CDs, and a boat named the Bob Marley. We took a felucca ride on the Nile yesterday and whose face was painted on the hull? You guessed it. But here’s the clincher: I actually rode Bob Marley.
In the flesh, Bob Marley has lovely long, black eyelashes. Sadly, he was in a poor temper because when we first met, his head was thrown back, huge yellow teeth bared, lips curled, and he was loudly expressing his discontent. Every time he did this, I would catch a waft of his extremely foul-smelling breath, which perhaps was related to his equally foul mood.
Riding a camel (especially a stinky one named Bob Marley) is an interesting experience. To prevent yourself from toppling head over hind-end every time the camel rises or kneels, you have to lean waaay back. Of course, doing so means you are in danger of sliding crotch-first into the wooden post that protrudes from the saddle (and which you must grasp while riding). When the camel is merely taking a leisurely stroll, you feel as though your entire body is undulating in a slow wave. When he’s galloping, however, your whole body jiggles and juggles as the bony part of your bum slams against the saddle, which is deceptively hard, even with all of those blankets.
After my camel-riding experience, I have a few tips that I would like to share just in case any of you have the good fortune to ride one of these beautiful (but smelly) animals:
1. Women: wear your most supportive bra.
2. Men (and this isn’t a bad idea for women, either): wear protective gear. You know what I mean.
3. Expect to smell. And I’m not just talking about the smells coming from the camel. Remember, once you’re done, you don’t smell so hot, either.
4. Did I mention the part about wearing a supportive bra? It bears a second mention.
There. I’ve done my due diligence. Thank you Bob Marley.