Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Day 12: Whirling Dervish

After dinner tonight we saw an amazing thing: a whirling dervish:
img_10705 Better Dervish
This is a religious practice of the Sufis, who are sort of Muslim mystics, who use their whirling dance as a sort of prayer, except that I think the guys who do this for the tourists use it as a kind of performance art.

The show you can see at these three links:
Dervish 1
Dervish 2
Dervish 3
is pretty similar to the one we saw. He started out blindfolded, and because the hem of his outer skirt was weighted, it flared out. He took it on and off over his head a couple of times, and did a bunch of other stuff, never stopping the whirling, for about 20 minutes or so. At the end - the most impressive part - he just stopped turning and walked straight out down the aisle without staggering at all. If I'd been twirling for even five minutes, I'd have tried to walk and pitched over into somebody's lap!

The second half of the show was...less dignified. It was a sort of vaudeville routine where two guys dressed up as the front and back halves of a horse and they came around to the women and tried to get them to let the horse nuzzle them, and pawed their hooves violently at the men, and then the horse pretended to die and could only be revived by a smooch from one of the ladies... You get the idea. Dad and I left early.

After the show we went up to the sun deck to see if we could see stars, which we couldn't because of the lights of Luxor, but it was lovely up there anyway. Cool and breezy and clear.

I never want to leave this boat.

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