I was sitting in a cafe in Cairo the other day contemplating the quality of this trip. One obvious benefit is that I get to start sentences with statements like the above, and that carries some weight.

I had come to a crux: after a few days in Egypt the time had come to continue moving. I was tired of the noise, the heat, the tourists, the hassles, the dirt, the smog, the aloneness. I was tired not only of Egypt but of the trip itself, tired of who I was daily-becoming as the trip continued: an increasingly smug, alienated, short-tempered traveler who had to hard-sell himself to get out of bed each morning.

Sitting in that cafe I reviewed my options: I could either buy a ticket and progress onwards to Ethiopia as planned, or reconsider the very value of the voyage so far. After some thought—I promise it was, as most of my thoughts are, little and weakly-conceived—I concluded that I wasn’t enjoying myself; that this trip was not going at all like I’d hoped it would (nor how I’d hoped it might go when it didn’t go according to how I’d hoped); that while I could continue onwards perhaps all I’d be demonstrating was my stiff upper-lip (and the bankroll to keep it firm). I decided that my future lay not in Africa, at least not at this point. And while I generally agree with the Moslems surrounding me in that cafe that pigs are a disgusting creature to be avoided at all costs, I realized it was time to at least allow one to have his words. I’d quote them here but I imagine you’re already familiar with Porky’s ubiquitous refrain.

In theory I’ll write up some sterling and snappy thoughts on my time in Egypt, as well as some other titillating tales that occurred to me while elsewhere on this trip, so feel free to check back for the occasional update. In the meantime I’ll be getting-on with life Stateside: finding a job and apartment and a good beer to drink. I may even call some of you to join me for the latter, though please take no offense if that has yet to occur. In sum: if you see a guy wandering the streets of Seattle who looks oddly like me, please do feel free to say Hello.