I was just thinking: I’m half English, but don’t even know where Hatfield is.
I did become an American, though. It didn’t work out, So now I’ve left and am living in Gouna.
Yes, I’m Gounaman.
Ali G., as it were.
I started reading Leo Tregenza’s The Red Sea Mountains of Egypt on my balcony yesterday, which provides a good vantage point for seeing what’s going on in the north end of Gouna.
The sky here is a cloudless crystal blue, and the air is almost deliciously clean — although in the distance I can see haze coming from the direction of Cairo.
The sea is limpid. The desert mountains are set back at some distance.
I breathe, in, out; the passive smoking cough from Nice has almost gone away.
I was worried that I’d left Leo’s book behind on the bedroom table at 61 rue Rossini.
The mention of our AirBnB rental in NIce flashes my mind with thoughts of my wife, Erin. She has arrived safely in Florida. She has already emailed me, and said she woke up during the flight on the way back to America and was talking to me. She wrote that I was with her; as she is, too, here, with me, always.
So,,, now I am on my balcony and focusing on Leo.
He could walk from the Nile across the desert to the Red Sea. That is what I am interested in, and as I start reading, Leo does not disappoint.
The balcony faces north; it is on the south end of Abou Tig marina. A constant breeze cools the hot day, as a French MTV channel plays a song about imagining dragons.
I look at the marina, and the Red Sea in the distance. My uncle sent me an email. He said a relative of mine happens to be in Gouna this week. He also said he found me a beat up old army jeep. That might work out, to dash off to Hurghada or Berenice or even further south —
I’m tempted to write purple prose in my red dairy, when I look at this sea, rubbish such as this is my sea.
I went by the new marina where they are building a new movie theater for the upcoming Gouna Film Festival. I have already been to the local supermarket and bought Turkish coffee and a stainless steel kanuka to brew it in. I’ve introduced myself to various people who work here. It is a pleasure to pronounce my name correctly, and hear them welcome me using stock Egyptian phrases: you have honored the balad, you have illuminated it.
The honeymoon couple I met last night from Hatfield, they’re long gone. Too bad the hotel they were at only had a room with two single beds,
That would never happen to a native son.