Saturday, July 28, 2007

People stood in line to see the boy king

It was December 1978 I traveled to the MET that day riding in the last seat of our Station Wagon. I had no idea at the time what a monumental exhibit I was headed to. Our family waded through the masses of people and I truly felt like Carter in the cramped hot spaces. When we finally emerged I got a T-shirt from the gift shop it was yellow, with the classic 1970s sparkle iron-on of Tut's mask, but most importantly it was most likely 100% polyester. As soon as I got back to the car the new shirt went on. About 7pm that evening I removed my shirt due to horrible itching only to find I had broken out in hives. Convinced that I was suffering from "The Curse of King Tut" my mother took me to the doctor (I was lucky it was one of the days they had night hours.) Fears of the curse quickly faded as I was told that I had a reaction to the unwashed fibers in the shirt.

November 2000 a month after the explosion on the USS Cole and the beginning of the Second Intifada my wife and I found ourselves traveling to Cairo and Giza on a tour bus with Mirand, our guide, and armed Egyptian Security Forces (protecting the tourists). We got to the Egyptian Museum in Cairo and I had the pleasure of seeing an old friend from my youth on his home territory. We had 2 hours to see all the treasures of Egypt, but like everyone else headed for Tut. Once again cramped and hot. It would have been nice to spend the time studying, but if not being short on time was enough- the crowds had a way of moving you through, at one point I was physically pushed out of the way when I took too long admiring a piece. Quickly back to the gift shop (no t-shirt this time) and off to Giza.

So here it is July of 2007 Tut is once again on my continent, and as a special surprise to my wife we went to go see our old friend. This time however we had VIP tickets, (nothing's too good for my baby) so we got to jump to the front of the line and we had all the time we wanted since our tickets weren't timed. It was a nice exhibit, although I feel they could have had a few more "show pieces" from the collection. I had looked for a t-shirt, but couldn't find one I was happy with. Since it will probably be another 30 years before he comes back, we will just have to make a point to get back to Egypt to see Tut again.

1 comment:

granny c said...

Enjoyed reading your memories of the 1st TUT visit. I think the yellow t-shirt is still in NJ. Time for a search and find trip to your own "museum" room.....lots of treasures to find.