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Y.J. Zhu

Up a Lazy River

The Nile reveals glimpses of ancient and modern Egypt

Larry Habegger


About Townsend 11


Townsend 11: Writers Telling Stories of Life, Love, Travel

Larry Habegger

One truth about people is we all love stories. Hearing about the experiences of others, whether from their travels or daily lives or reflections on their past, can enlighten and delight us. We seek these interactions every day in our encounters with friends, the mail carrier, the people we see as we make our usual rounds.

Stories can be the simplest things. For instance, in August 2004 I was heading into the Book Passage Travel Writers and Photographers Conference a little frazzled because I was late. Halfway across the parking lot, I had the thought that I’d forgotten to turn off my headlights after driving through the morning fog. I retreated far enough to see that my taillights appeared to be off, then turned to head into the bookstore when a wave caught my eye. A woman making her way through the lot approached and said, “Do you know your lights are on?”

I thanked her, hurried back to my car, shut off the lights, and knew I’d been saved from an enormous hassle at the end of the long day. The woman had disappeared, but I soon saw her again in my morning session on writing the personal essay. And, of course, that wasn’t the end of the story.

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