Camel 7 of 17

Unlike the former 1910 picture, the expression on the face of everyone on the Model T, except my grandfather’s, was tense. Andreas and his partner look as if they might have done this routine before, but his partner in the front passenger seat looks a bit irritated or cautious. The two passengers in the back do not seem pleasantly entertained, and seem to have an air of annoyance. Unlike the others, Andreas, appears to be concentrating on the road ahead, only aware of the camera as expressed by his proud pose, consciously looking ahead, back erect, taking on the role of Thomas Cook on the earlier picture, but not looking directly at the camera. Perhaps passengers in back were as annoyed as I was when and Egyptian, seeking a tip, would customariliy take your camera to make a souvenir photograph of you in front of the pyramids. This happened to me much later in January 1969, when an Egyptian in his white gallabiyeh pushed me onto a camel, which tried to snap at me as it rose up with me on it, while the stranger holding my precious Yashica camera, snapped a number of pictures, using up my also precious film. It was not like the time during WWII, when my father, stationed in Cairo as a military policeman, had the opportunity as a tourist and perhaps as another westerner, to climb the pyramids. In that case, US Army friends photographed him all smiles (All these personal associations that I had with the pyramids!).

In any case, in the context of knowing the the British had new-found power in Egyupt about that time, it is easy to imagine possible reasons for their possible facial and bodily expressions of supeeriority. The times were tense in Egypt. Regardless of the reasons for each person’s countenance, the contrast between the photograph of 1910 with the 1914 one is striking, possibly reflecting those times.

(NEXT: The Back of the Camel Cigarette Pack…)


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