It’s a tough life

Tyger, a desert cat who has adopted me

Today is already my fifth day in the villa.  I am not quite yet fully settled in but am almost there,

On Monday, I bought imported Parmesan as well as Pecorino cheese, a grater, imported Italian tomato sauce, and cooked myself a bowl of meatless spaghetti using Egyptian pasta.  The pasta was dirt cheap, but the other ingredients were not.  It was a rare treat, and I discovered the next day that grated cheese on foul meda’miss (Egyptian fava beans) fried in Egyptian olive is a delicious meal onto itself.

Yesterday was all about getting serious with Orange, the Internet network provider.  After several heated phone calls, I finally sorted everything out.  Now I can use my Chromebook at home. But I also spend much of the day by the pool, doing nothing but looking at the mountains in the distance.

It was really quiet, but not overly so, as I could hear children playing in the distance, and there is some construction work going on behind the multi-unit dwellings on the other side of the lagoon in front of my villa.  But this did not bother me in the least.  I stretched out on a chaise longue, and let the sun heal my arthritic knees.  You can actually feel your body get better under the almost spa like warmth of the desert winter sun.

This villa has 3 stories.  This means stairs.  There are no stairs in my house in Florida, and I was on the ground floor in the Abu Tig marina flat.  This means my legs were weak.  My calf muscles really ached for the first few days, but now that has gone away, and I can actually feel my knees and ankle joints getting stronger from going up and down the stairs.

el gounaIt is really pleasant to sit by the pool, and just tune in to the shifting moods of desert. The first few days, the weather was “massek” — meaning it was still and hot , the word means being held — but now a “tarrawa” or breeze has returned, driving away the flees outside by the pool.  I can spend hours just siting there, watching the various desert birds and morning doves stop by my pool for a sip of water, and sense the wind pick up, then die down again, as the sun traverses a cloudless sky and eventually dips over the mountains in the distance.

There is one peak in particular that interests me, and I may one day rent a quad and go check it out, as it is too far too walk.

Today the plan is to buy a cheap phone (for less than 20 dollars) and insert the SIM card in my S5 into this phone.  This way I shall have reliable phone service when I go to the airport a week from Saturday to meet my wife, who’s arriving from the States.  The S5 is just too unreliable, and now that the laptop connects to the WIFI router at the villa, I do not need the S5 to access my email account,

I also intend, while I am in town, to buy some citronella oil, camphor tablets, lavender oil, camphor oil, if I can find these things.  Last night I slept like a baby in the Mosinet cocoon (see previous post for a pic) and could hear the skeeters angrily buzzing all night at the foiling bed netting.  I enjoyed the luxury of being able to go to bed at 10PM, and waking up at 6AM, with nary a bite on me and no high blood pressure inducing noise from the Abu Tig marina nighclubs, although I did hear some wild dogs bark in the distance at some point during the night.

A few more nights like this, and finally the Abu Tig marina exhaustion bags under my eyes will become a thing of the past, inshallah.  It’s a tough life, this Gouna gig, but I guess someone has to live it.

Why not me?

leaving america


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