Exactly how many hours passed between leaving Japan and settling into this bed? Narita to Amsterdam was 12 hours, then a plane change to Cairo was nine hours, and from there a taxi to the hotel… As I lazily tallied the hours, the alarm clock went off.
A mere hour after lying down, I was getting up again. I didn’t really “sleep”—it was more like a nap. But I shook off my grogginess as I got dressed. After all, today I’m going to see the pyramids that I’ve dreamed of!!
My new single “Triangler” is on sale with great reviews, so in a stretch (Wait. A “PR move”?) to seek out even more triangular collaborations, I’ve come all the way to Egypt. Please keep in mind that I’m not listening to any objections such as, “Maaya, you know a square pyramid isn’t the same as a triangle, right?”
I’ve seen the pyramids many times on TV and in textbooks. But to think that one day I’d be able to see them with my own eyes! In the brief span of my life I’ve been constantly chasing a dream to encounter as many things as possible: the world’s relics, mysteries, aromas and sounds, scenery, foods, and people. Even as far back as my childhood I aspired to be one of the mystery hunters on the quiz show “World Mystery Discovery”. Having a job of exploring the world was just too awesome! (But I gave up on that idea when I saw one of the reporters eating bugs in some country, which is probably impossible for me. ) So I accepted this mission to do a collaboration with the pyramids with extreme pleasure.
I step outside the hotel and into a swarm of people and vehicles. Car horns blare non-stop from every direction. Cars fill the road, their drivers edging into whatever space they can take without regard for lanes. One car has several people scrunched together inside, and even more clinging to the outside. I can also see cart-pulling camels lined up alongside vehicles. In the middle of this rush hour are pedestrians dashing across the road with impeccable timing. The dry wind carries the scent of sand and spice. Everything I see from the taxi window is something I’ve never before experienced.
Though we were driving through the center of a modern area with buildings on every side, looking up I see beyond them giant triangular silhouettes. Wait, are those…?
Yes. In the middle of this city, the pyramids suddenly appear. I had heard the rumors, and they’re certainly a strange sight. Perhaps because of windblown sand, or the smog, a haze clouds the air and even though we are supposedly getting closer, I can still see only the silhouettes. I can’t judge the distance to them, and like a mirage, they have an eerieness that makes me wonder if they really exist.
But when we reached the base of those triangles, their overwhelming existence so eclipsed my imagination that I couldn’t speak. Just the first level of stones piled up like a stairway reaches to my height, and the peak seems to touch the heavens. I’m surprised to find the stones are smooth and slick to the touch. Thousands of years ago there were people who built these huge monuments, and today they’re still towering here magnificently, still hiding many mysteries, surrounded by the bustle of the city, teeming with tourists from morning on, and yet they’re someone’s grave. Faced with this gargantuan size and extensive history, I’m not sure exactly what to think.
Ahh, this is it! This feeling of everything coming together in a look, a touch.
The plane of knowlege I had combines with the mountains of reality and rises before my eyes. This is why I love to travel. Why I love this world. I can’t get enough of encountering the unknown. The sensation of having concepts I thought I knew smashed to pieces is thrilling.
An ancient king, aspiring to eternal life, built these huge tombs. In preparation for the day he would rise from the dead, he had himself mummified. Though his body never came back to life, in the end his name and the pyramids’ existence became known the world over, so in a sense his wish was perhaps granted. Unfortunately in return his grave draws the feet and commotion of so many tourists.
It’s said that to the people of ancient Egypt, the triangle was a special shape that symbolized eternal life. I hope that “Triangler” is a song that stays in people’s ears and hearts for all time!
To be continued.