My past week has been spent in Sharm el Sheikh, Egypt. Prior to departure my mother assured me that if I left the hotel at any point the likelihood of me being struck by a bomb would increase dramatically. Nevertheless I appear to have arrived home in one piece.
I went on a package holiday which was cheap and thus cannot complain about the fact that my legs are yet to recover from the crushing syndrome endured during the flight home in cattle class, but still will.
Sharm el Sheikh is a collection of hotels on a road in the desert, thus there is no cultural outings to be had which is smashing because we all know these are the worst part of any holiday but endure them nonetheless for reasons I am yet to muster.
My primary concern upon visiting this desertland was the overwhelming desire to see a camel. When I did encounter this gangly, malodorous creature I was not disappointed, for the camel had pompoms on its head and on its butt was a rug with the words ‘friendly English’ written on it. Presumably its bottom-blanket was designed to convince a hesitant tourist that the camel was in fact friendly and English and thus would be good for riding. I suspect the camel was not English, although it did look grumpy so perhaps I am wrong.
Egyptian weather is ridiculous, so hot in fact that I can confidently describe it as obscene. By the time I had left the room and walked through the oven to the swimming pool my skin had begun to boil and blister. This may be a slight exaggeration, but it was 42 degrees. That’s hot. (Quote Paris Hilton). Although one did enjoy the fact that the sun was always shining I did feel pleased upon arriving home when I was able to wander around shops without leaving a river of sweat in my wake. ‘Tisn’t ladylike to do that.
Egyptian folk can sense a tourist from miles away. Eau de tourist is a scent of money and naivety. When they get a whiff they will jump from their seat and come running towards you in order to attempt to persuade you to purchase a souvenir, which will certainly be made in China and break shortly afterwards. Their favourite sales technique appeared to be following the unsuspecting tourist down the road announcing their love for England and all things English, before asking you if you wanted to buy a carpet. I felt they needed to work on this.
I spent most of the week gripped by fear due to the numerous warnings I had had that Egyptian water is terribly poisonous to a delicate European stomach such as mine. I was informed that one could become horribly ill from items such as ice cubes and salad in these parts, ultimately leaving you unable to get off of the toilet for two or three days. I had seen what can happen if one accidentally swallows holiday water from the Sex and the City movie, which claims it can be quite dangerous and cause you to have a little accident in front of your three closest friends. Sex and the City wouldn’t lie to me. This is not something I was willing to participate in and therefore I looked at most foodstuffs suspiciously throughout the holiday. I also kept my mouth firmly shut whilst showering. Thankfully my screening method worked, but judging from the state of the toilets at the airport I can only assume I was the sole tourist who escaped the Pharoah’s revenge.
My primary complaint about Egypt, however, would have to be the wine. Egyptian people do not drink wine, and I can see why. I believe this wine can only have been made out of tears shed by the grapes of hell as cried out in agony and despair. Yes, that is how bad it was. In order to get the full effect of this deathly taste sensation the yellowish nectar was always served warm, allowing one to fully appreciate the burning sensation it left in the back of the throat. But I drank it anyway, of course.
Only ten months or so to wait until my next sighting of sunshine..