Tacky Tourist: Tube-top Travesty


Our ongoing series of tourists doing or wearing, shall we say…interesting things.  Some will make you shake your head at their apparent lack of thought, some will bring an involuntary guffaw to your lips, and some will give rise to fantasies about required testing before passports are granted: Q1–You are going touring at an ancient site.  Do you wear a) a bikini and flip-flops; b) a tube top with strappy, heeled sandals; c) a wetsuit and flippers; or d) intelligent clothing and shoes made for walking?  I’ve personally had such fantasies since a trip to Italy years ago where I saw the stupidest collection of footwear stumbling around the streets of Pompeii and then had the unfortunate experience of buying postcards IN the Pantheon when an American woman shoved past me, pointed at a hideous sand-cast, pastel colored magnet OF the Parthenon and asked the proprietor what monument it was and where she could find it.  The look on his face was priceless.

This week’s photo was taken at Medinet Habu while I was working there.  A wonderful man named Salah was my SCA inspector, and these two girls, for obvious reasons, caught his eye and their outfit visibly knocked him man-silly.  Salah is an incredibly kind and intelligent man–in addition to being an amazing asset to my expedition, he treated me like his sister the entire 3 months we worked together (a rare and wonderful thing that can make all the difference–not all inspectors are so ‘female-friendly’).  He is also unmarried, so these girls running around in skin-tight, thin, white tube tops kind of sent him over the top.  The bloody things were almost sheer!  Poor man was pacing in circles in the second courtyard of the temple mumbling about being able to “see color”.   EVERYTHING was clearly discernible…I’ll leave it to your imagination, but no one that saw them had to.  Absolutely stunning.  I actually saw these two girls a few days later at Karnak.  They were, again, wearing matching tube tops, but at least they were orange that day.

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The Art of Counting is dedicated to the memory of Margery Meilleur, who first taught me to view history through the eyes of the images we create.