For your entertainment and at least partly for my nostalgia, I kept a list traveling from Cape Town to Cairo of various interesting statistics. It makes for a colourful two minute retelling of the course of events.
Cockroaches seen in hotel rooms:
On at least four different occasions. Once occasion provided at least three individuals.
Mice seen in hotel rooms:
One. Who even posed briefly for a photograph.
Number of places which called themselves hotels (but really weren’t):
Almost every one I stayed at. Except possibly in Khartoum.
Trains taken: Four
Trucks sat on top of: One
Trucks sat inside of: One
Buses taken: Fourteen
Horse carts ridden in: One
Feluccas lain in: One
Times I was asked for “One Birr Please”: (infinity symbol)
Number of times the local price of a sandwich that I paid in Aswan: Ten
Photos taken: 4,524
Photos which involve mice: Three
Journals brought along: Five
Journals filled with stories: 4
Journals given away to people who needed: One
Words written in the four filled journals: Somewhere around 60,000
Times I read Siddhartha by Herman Hesse: Two and a half
Times I read Development as Freedom by Amartya Sen: One
Museums visited: Nine
Pharmacies visited: Three
Number of occasions that there were school groups in visited museums: Seven
Number of times that there were school groups in visited pharmacies: None
Most days in a hotel with no water: Three
Number of stuffed toys taken with: One
Number of knives returned with: Three
Most consecutive days without a shower: Three
Number of times a country matched my expectations: None
Time taken: Fifty nine days
Time it felt like: An entire life.