Apologies for being quiet for almost a month! Life has been busy, to say the least. Busy in good ways and busy in bad.
But, I have now been in Cairo for 6 months! Half a year spent in this fascinating, frustrating place.
A few weekends ago I went Ain Sokhna (which means ‘Hot Eye’ in Arabic and refers to the hot springs in the mountains nearby) on the Red Sea with my friends Kate and Christine. As per usual with them, it was an experience.
We took the public bus to there. We assumed it would stop in the town of Ain Sokhna, we’d get off, get a cab and head to our hotel (the Romance, oooooh). Wrong on two counts: there is no ‘town’ of Ain Sokhna, just miles of resorts and you get off when you see your hotel pass. Which is why when we saw our hotel pass and realized we would need to get off, we told the bus driver. As he continues to drive and argue with us about how it is further up the road and we tell him no and he says yes, but he finally stops. About 2km after we’ve passed our hotel. At 10:30 at night. On a deserted desert road. With very few lights.
We trek to our hotel and appear out of the desert like sandy brujas. The security guards were probably a bit freaked out. But we get checked in, and waiting for us in our room are some cold plates for dinner.
The next day, we head out to the beach. And because it is the off season, there are very few people at the resort (mostly pudding people). So we practically have the beach to ourselves. It was lovely, if a bit chilly. The water was nice, once you got used to it, and you could see sea urchins and fish in the water (Red Sea is a big diving area). We just relaxed, took naps, read, listened to music, and talked. On the beach. A good weekend.
Getting back to Cairo? Well, we realized taking the bus was out (how the hell would we catch it). So we asked the concierge to get us a private car back to Cairo. This amounted to him calling one of his buddies, saying, “Hey want to make a quick 500LE?” And then his buddy coming to pick us up. The look on his face when he saw he was driving 3 American girls back to Cairo…well. We all piled into the back of the car very quickly. I got bitch seat, unfortunately, but that meant the entire time I was awake and going, “THIS IS THE WAY HOME YES IT IS AH.”
So the getting there and getting back was a bit stressful, but the being there? Very nice indeed.
The weekend after Kate, Christine and I threw an AMURRIKAH themed party at my flat. …Let’s just say it got weird. Fun, but weird.
Tomorrow’s post: My trip to Mt. Sinai and why my students are still awful.
Thursday’s post: My trip to the Black and White Deserts!