I have been reading a Lonely Planet book. I am daydreaming about taking a trip to Egypt sometime next fall (you know, when it's not hot enough to cook your food on the sidewalk).
I've been struck, as I read about the different streets in Cairo, that I do not know very much at all about Islam. And it reminds me of how little I once knew about Judaism and, even, paganism. Perhaps it's just not Islam, but Egypt.
You see, there are streets that have been given names of dates...for instance, we might name a street "4th of July Way." I do not know what all the dates of the streets signify, and it makes me think of the way in which a phrase or a date can be an allegory for something larger.
I remember watching Star Trek: The Next Generation...the episode in which Cpt. Picard had to figure out what the allegories of an individual from another species meant. It was a fascinating episode, but I couldn't really relate it too well to my life. Somehow I didn't think that I use allegories, much.
This, of course, is untrue. Allegories are often so ingrained that we do not think twice about them, perhaps, until they are mentioned in the presence of someone who doesn't know or understand our culture or language.
If I go to Egypt, I'm going to have to find out what some of those dates mean.