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No journey can be quite soothing as a voyage on the Nile from Cairo to Philae. D...


Question

No journey can be quite soothing as a voyage on the Nile from Cairo to Philae. Day after day as you sails upstream nothing in the general pattern changes. Tonight’s incredibly bright stars are the same as last night’s and tomorrow’s. Each new bend in the river discloses the same buffalo circling his waterwheel, the same pigeon-lofts on the houses, the same dark Egyptian faces swathed in white.

The banks are surprisingly green, a patchwork of rice fields and sugarcane, of palms and eucalyptus, and then beyond them, like a frame set around a picture; one sees the desert and the hills. There is always s a movement somewhere, but it is of a gentle, ambulatory, kind and one feels oneself going along in a rhythm with the processions of camels and donkeys on the bank, and the feluccas gliding by, and the buffalo, released at last from his wheel, sliding to the blessed coolness of the water in the evening. Occasionally a whiff of humanity comes out from the mud-hut villages on the shore, and it contains traces of the smoke of cooking forest, of dried cow-dung and of Turkish coffee, of some sweet and heavy scent, jasmine perhaps, and of water sprinkled on the dust. It is not unpleasant.

Lying on deck, one idly observes the flight of birds, one dream one lets the hours go by, and nothing can be more satisfying than the sight of the brown pillars of a ruined temple that has been standing alone on the edge of the desert for the last two thousand years. This is the past joining the present in a comfortably deceptive glow, and the traveller, like a spectator in a theater, remains detached from the both, he would not for the world live in the dust and squalor of these villages he finds so picturesque, and the ancient ruins he has come to see do not really evoke the early civilization of the Egyptians.

The journey up the Nile is very soothing because

Options

A) it is very slow

B) the scenery doesn't change much

C) the general pattern changes from day to day

D) there is not much activity on the banks

E) there are few people to be seen

The correct answer is B.


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