Villa kitty

Egyptian cat

 

Here’s my news…from El Gouna, Egypt .

 

Saturday was supposed to be the big day when the real estate was to come over at 10am  to where I have rented since mid Sept, inspect the premises, and fork over my apt rental deposit.

It didn’t quite turn out that way.

But all matters regarding this rental would be settled by Monday morning.

 

I took one last look at the place I have lived in for the last 3 months.

To think that I have slept on a cold stone floor in front of this TV for 3 months.

 

Then I took one last walk in Abu Tig marina, and saw a Christmas tree; alas, they are not celebrating Xmas in Nazareth this year, due to the Jerusalem thingie.

 

I arrived in my new villa via tuc tuc, and had some initial problems with recalcitrant doors, but sorted that out after calling the villa real estate agent, who came by promptly and solved the problem by kicking the door in.  

 

My bad lieutenant S5 went on the blink, so I could not call or receive mobile calls for a day and half, till I fixed that particular issue on Sunday, but this was only a temporary respite, so I am buying a new (cheap) cell phone only on Tuesday for 18 dollars.

 

The worst part was — as expected — no Internet connection.  I went both on Saturday morning and Sunday to the Orange shop… I will spare you the gory details.  I ended up having Internet service sporadically, until the S5 died, so this is still a to-do issue. For some reason my Chromebook Plus does not like the WIFI router in this villa.

On Saturday afternoon, I finally kicked back and sat by the pool.  I soaked up the sun, far away from it all, at last.

The winter desert sun warmed my arthritic knees, hobbled by months of sleeping that stone cold floor in hateful Abu Tig marina, I realized, suddenly, how content I felt.  I was actually happy, especially when I noticed various wild birds dip their beaks into the pool and look at me with mild curiosity.

 

In the evening, a few friends came over, and admired the magnificence of my new digs.

We watched Real Madrid win the FIFA World Cup, and during the match, one of my friends arranged from my wife to be greeted at Cairo International by a service called Ahlan (which means hello).  The Ahlan VIP service includes having a trustworthy professional waiting inside by the international arrivals gate with a sign that has her name on it, escort her through passport control, and make sure she gets to the domestic departure gate without a hitch — where I will be waiting — and we will board the  plane that will take us to Hurghada.

 

Last night, I was visited by two very beautiful cats in the latter part of the evening, whom I am sure my cat-loving wife will end up adopting, especially the shy young female who was being pursued by some ardent bewhiskered tom cat.

 

Then I went to sleep but was awoken by the sound of skeeters buzzing, and sure enough, I’d been bit quite a bit.

So I tried to put together the skeeter net gizmo I bought via the miracle of the Internet from a UK camping outfitter.  It’s actually a Pyramid Mosinet pop up bed net.

This did the job, even though my way of putting it together in the dark was a total hack, and in the morning, I set up the ingenious contraption up in the big double bed on the top floor, so now it looks like the dead wife Scottish shroud in Braveheart. Never was 70 quid or so better spent.

 

On Monday morning, the little female kitty came back in the morning and I gave her water but had no food for her.  I bought her some on Monday, as my wife loves cats, and i think she will like this one in particular.

 

Stay tuned!

 

leaving america

 

 

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V-Day

the view from my new terrace

It’s V-day, or villa day; at 7am on a Saturday, I have a three-hour wait ahead of me, before the real estate agent for the rental apartment arrives.  I expect here to hand me my deposit in dollars, and that I will have to the final utilities bill in Egyptian LE.

Then, I shall grab my Che Guevara army knapsack, a plastic bag filled with some dirty laundry, and take a tuc-tuc to my new home, a villa in a quiet part of the Red Sea upscale resort town of El Gouna in Egypt.

I may not have an internet  connection for a day or two — even though I have gone by the telecom office in Abu Tig marina several times this week to remind them to switch my contract to the new place.  This being Egypt, I expect this will become a big hassle, unless I go by again today on my way to the villa to remind them for a third time.  Earlier this week, they cut off my internet connection, even though I’m already paid for 3 months in advance.

So  to my friends and family… if you don’t hear from me via email for a few days, no worries, I will get things sorted out in no time.

The obscenity that is the hate-mongering Trump presidency is starting to recede into deep personal irrelevance, despite the enormous damage it is doing to everything that matters.

I do not think there is much of a chance of the Ds obtaining a majority in Congress in 2018, and thus I expect more of the same for the foreseeable future. Until the millenials wake up and wrest control once and for all from the cynical plutocratic geezers who currently the country, there is not much hope.

If the villa works out, I plan to return in October with my tennis ninja wife, and stay for another 6 months, inshalla.

Meanwhile, there is a new touristy travel puff piece that appeared in the NY Times yesterday,  If you want to get a sense of the real Cairo, you may wish to read this. And pay attention to this story, if your travel plans include going to Hurghada,

Last night was very bad, again, in terms of the noise from the Aurora night club.  I am completely knackered, and shall probably doze off this afternoon by the pool (see the pic above) as I recover from a 3 month ordeal (basically I have not slept normally since arriving in Egypt in mid September).

I look forward to having the bags under my eyes gradually dissipate, as I fall into a more normal sleep pattern (I like to go to bed around 11pm and wake up at dawn).

I do expect noise at the villa between Xmas and New Year’s, as villa owner rent out their places for holiday revelers, but after that, for the next few months, I expect utter calm, as winter sets in, and the tourists stay away till Spring.

A hermit’s idea of heaven, that.

leaving america

This must be the place

This is where I shall soon be transformed into Dr. Relaxo

Finally, the day to move my suitcases to the new villa arrived.

At noon, the real estate agent showed up promptly, as previously agreed.  The zatouna (meaning small olive, Egyptian slang for something small and ridiculous) apartment where I have lived during the last 3 months was particularly cold and damp last night, and I had woken up with a slight sore throat.

But I had already packed, and spent a lot of time doing laundry (sheets and towels) and cleaning up, during the nightly noise hour, so that when the apartment real estate agent (as opposed to the villa one) shows up tomorrow at 10am, everything will be spick and span and ready to go — meaning I get my nice hefty dollar deposit back, no problemo.

This is where my wife will probably sit and stitch for hours

So I hauled my valises into the car, and we drove to the other end of El Gouna.

What a difference!

No noise, no cars, no vans, no buses, no tourists walking around talking loudly, no workmen banging away doing demo work in nearby flats, no nothing.

Just blue sky, blue water (the villa is on the water), and birds.

the little building on the left is used for storage — the white villa next door is empty

I checked that everything inside the villa was in order, including the TV.  It was, and this time tomorrow, well more around 7pm, I shall be kicking back watching Real Madrid beat Gremio in the world cup final.

Heaven.

I also double checked the bus situation.

It’s a cinch. The bus stop is a five-minute walk away, but no buses go by the house. The first bus leaves Downtown Gouna at 9am and arrives where the villa is at 9:15. There is a siesta hour between 3 and 5 PM. Then service resumes till midnight.  Cost of a monthly ticket is 145 LE, or around 6 dollars.

6 dollars.

To get to the tennis club, all my wife would have to do is transfer to the Marina line at the Downtown bus station , and that bus will drop her off right in front of the tennis club.  Easy peasy, no problemo, and no need for bicycles or cars or tuc tucs.  However. the villa real estate agent gave me the private number of a tuc tuc driver whom my wife and  I can call whenever I need immediate transportation.

Gated entrance to our beautiful new villa

I can’t wait to move in tomorrow.  Because it faces South, the nice warm sun bathes the terrace and the house itself with a warmth that makes my creaky old knees want to cry after spending so many nights sleeping on a stone floor in a damp cold flat in Abu Tig.

I look forward to basking in the sun with my beloved wife and just enjoying life…. as it should be.

Unfortunately, I have to wait till Saturday Dec 29 before she arrives, but the days will go by fast, now that I am about to leave Abu Tig mania, and decompress to the max in what I have been looking for all my life, a nice villa by the sea in a quiet, out-of-the-way place.

 

leaving america