How to travel like a Bedouin?

The Bedouin are quite simply the best people in the desert. They are the most at home there and they respect it more than other groups, for example oases dwellers, who may make a living out of the desert
but do not appreciate it in the same way.The Bedouin attitude to the desert is not sentimental. It is more like that of a coastal dwelling sailor or fisherman to the sea. He may even profess ‘to hate the desert’ but this is just talk. The desert is in their bones and they are brought up to enjoy its bounty, its freedom and to respect
greatly its dangers. 

Bedouin do not take unnecessary risks. On any journey more than a walk from the highway they will take two vehicles- pick-ups usually. You sometimes get people smugglers using a single vehicle as they cross from Sudan. These are not Bedouin, who would never take such a risk.In camp they are intriguing to watch.

They all work in a kind of coordinated system yet without anyone giving orders. Even the head guide will do food preparation and setting up  the camp.

There is never any sense of the big leader reclining while the minions do the hard work. This sense of innate democracy extends even to traveling. Bedouin can dig their heels in and be reluctant to go somewhere. It may be because they are worried about their camels, or it could simply be that they are getting hungry themselves. But the interesting thing is they are always open to a reasoned debate. If you are set on something and can calmly but persuasively put your point acrossthey will change their minds. Anger and ordering eventually backfire- the best method is to sit down and expecta good long session of talking.

Bedouin are naturally well mannered. They keep clean and they neither crack jokes about lavatory habits nor expect you to crack jokes about theirs. They do not make a big deal about toilet arrangements but, they never leave anything in a place you are likely to stumble upon.

Though the left hand is traditionally the one used to wipe the backside you will see they eat with both hands, though favoring the right. There is no need to be paranoid about touching someone or something with your left hand. They are far more sensitive to you putting your feet near their faces or food.


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