They started coming again last night.
Even though all the big Egyptian holidays are over, they still come on weekends, which here start a day early.
By tonight, Gouna will be full of them.
They drive down from Cairo, or take the GO buses, or other, more luxurious transportation.
Through the dusk and smog and checkpoints, they arrive in droves.
Now they can at last shed the shackles of Cairo and become party animals — or haiwanat el zeita, in common Arabic.
There was a a buzz late in the evening yesterday in Abu Tig, which has been sleepy all week; for there’s money to be made now.
Not so much from the Cairenes, for their tips are usually crap.
The real money is to be made from the aganib, the foreigners, who have also been arriving.
The drunken boat captains punching out their first mates along the dock.
The Inglizi couples with baladi North Country accents and heavy perfume to cover their Manchester pong, all here on a marvelous package deal and taking it all in.
The serious young Germans looking for a decent place to smoke hookahs and meet some local talent.
Even the viperous ones who linger, yet have little but contempt, underneath it all.
The haiwanat walk around the marina in clusters, eyes flashing, looking for action.
Let’s go to Aulola! — a pseudo Westernized Egyptian woman says in a fleshy accent.
She is with three men.
None of them care if anyone who lives here might be disturbed by loud talking in the street in the middle of the night.
Abu Tig to them is party town.
Where they can groove to mad beats, as if they were not in Egypt.
But they are here, in Masr; even here.
This derivative DJ shit is not their music.
That is not their culture.
Theirs has become a gypsum culture, a layer of inauthentic plaster slapped over their uncertainties and pretensions.
Just think how megatron this sort of thing gets in places like Abu Dhabi.
Maybe mongrel dreams are the new global way of life, as the wind from the desert blows the sand dunes in ever closer.
But has it not always been so?
What is authentic Egyptian culture?
The Book of the Dead?
The crumbling minarets?
The vanished movies stars that are always on TV?
Egypt’s New Rich?
The language of the young fleeing the desperate villages along the Nile?
Culture, in a land where there is no more room for cultivation.
And now at Aulola, the fleshy bodies move and ready themselves
Like the good haiwanat that they are
Today is Thursday.
I will spend the day by the water, reading my book.
My right knee aches a bit, perhaps from climbing the tower yesterday.
Today I will read my book, and do nothing else.
I don’t have to accomplish anything, or do anything, although I feel that getting the 6 month visa this week was a minor triumph.
Last night when Aulola started up with the groove beats, I walked to the place I am going to be renting next month.
As I had hoped, the fact that it’s nestled in a back alley protects it from the sound of the haiwanat vampires — the ones who do not seem to need sleep or at least the need to keep regular hours.
I don’t care. Tonight will be bad, for already Club Doodoo, across the street from my current flat, is ramping up for a Thursday night of hell.
But I will manage; I am getting used to it.
Soon the nights will be too cold — already you can seem the haiwanat draping light sweaters over their shoulders when they do the Abu Tig crawl — and the much of the outside dawsha, or noise, will abate. Perhaps someday they will realize that the moon risen over an inky sea is all one needs for a night of wonder.
But today, at this particular moment in my life, all I have to do is finish doing the weekly laundry — it is important to keep a routine, and not let things get untidy in the desert — then go read a novel on a beach and swim in the Red Sea when I get too hot.
Not such a bad life.
Exactly what I had envisioned when I decided to leave America and its moronic orange emperor behind.
UPDATE: I didn’t end up going to the beach. Tarek and Mourad, two old friends showed up at my flat, and we all ended up going to Tarek’s house in Abydos for the day.