Lynette, Steve, and I were tooling with our guide, Ash, around Luxor, Egypt when we suddenly saw a group of colorful hot air balloons rising off the ground just a few miles away.
Steve: “Hey Ash, can we do that?”
Ash: “Of course. You can do sunrise balloon ride over Luxor tomorrow if you like.”
We got ridiculously excited at the prospect of taking a hot air balloon ride over the Nile and the temples of Karnak, Luxor, and Queen Hashepsut. We booked it, forgetting that sunrise comes disgustingly early in the morning.
The alarm went off at 4:20AM. Why did we decide to do this?
Ash came to meet us at 4:45AM and led us to a boat that would take us to the other side of the Nile. The boat operator made all of us put on life vests for the 90-second ride across the river. Given the fact that we were in a country where people drive without their headlights on at night to “save energy” and operate junk like this,
it still wasn’t yet 5AM, and I hadn’t even had a whiff of coffee, I felt rather mocked by this exercise.
We arrived at the balloon field to find half-full balloons in various rainbow colors lit up in the darkness by the gas fires beneath them. We climbed into the basket of our assigned balloon and moments later, we were lifted into the pre-dawn haze over Luxor.
As we rose up to 5,000 feet and raced the sun into the sky, we marveled at the birds-eye view of all the amazing sights we’d seen on the ground the day before, the grandeur of the Nile, and the contrast between the green irrigated fields and the brownish red desert beyond them.
And then, Steve took his phone out of his pocket.
“Oh, hey Seth. Yeah... So, I just pocket-dialed you from a hot air balloon. Sorry, man. So how are you and Meg this morning?”
Yep. Steve butt-dialed our friends in Cairo from a hot air balloon. At least the sun was above the horizon at that point.
I would end this by saying friends don’t let friends butt-dial from 5,000 feet at sunrise, but this was one of the funniest moments of the trip. So by all means, encourage your friends to butt-dial someone from a hot air balloon. No one will regret it - except perhaps the person on the other end of the line.