I’m writing this on a beautiful Sunday morning, while listening to Gouna radio. This is a really chill station, with eclectic, pleasantly relaxing music that suits the ambiance of El Gouna to a tee. You can turn it on low, and just groove to it in the background as you go about your business, which of course is living life as it should be lived.
Okay, so the main point of today’s post is to show my finicky wife more pics of the new villa I am renting. To cut to the chase, I would sum up by saying this villa is quite airy inside, with significantly better views from the bedrooms and the ample living room and MUCH larger dining room windows than the previous one. There is a sense of space here, and the smell of the plants that waft in from the impressive garden are marvelous.
But first, some preliminaries for those of you who may be new to this blog.
I am an American expat who has spent the last six and a half months in Egypt (after a few days in Nice, France). I have been in El Gouna since the middle of September, so I’ve been here 6 months, give or take. I plan to remain in Egypt another 30 days, and will return to NYC — insha’Allah! – on April 17th, which is when my visa expires.
I left the United States in 2017 because, as an Arab-American, I could not tolerate living under the thumb of the grotesquely obscene Trump presidency. Nothing since then has changed my mind.
With each passing day, the level of corruption and venality and sordidness of the retrograde regime currently in the White House (and the submissives in Congress who have bent over and parted their lily-white cheeks for The Donald) further reveals itself.
You know what, at age 66, I don’t need this crap.
Alas, I return in about 4 weeks to America.
But where the heart matters, I shall spend time in Westchester with my mother, who will be recovering from surgery.
Perhaps during that time, I may be able to catch The Band’s Visit, which I loved as a movie, and yearn to see on Broadway. Most importantly, I hope that Mum recovers smartly from her ordeal, and that all will be fine again.
Following that, I shall return to the tedium that is Florida and be with my wife — who is the only other reason of the heart why I can tolerate it there — for the summer.
She has decisions to make, if we’re to discontinue this ersatz bi-country phase of our long marriage.
Does she want to keep her store going? Could she live in Gouna for 9 months, starting in October, in this new villa I have rented, without getting really bored?
Is this the right place for us? Does it have the correct mix of quiet, yet proximity to things (I just discovered the Sea Cineman is a five minute walk away!), provide an agreeable living space, and, most importantly to me, an affordable, direct view of the sea, something I have longed for since 2001?
So far, almost everything about this new place has turned out as hoped.
The north winds keep the bugs away, and the type of people who live on this cove are far more upscale than the loud weekenders who often ruined my three-month stay in the area known as West Golf. It is quite private here.
There is no constant sound of rumbling buses, due to a magnificent front garden that reminds me of Tozeur, in Tunisia, and the smell of the sea air is exhilarating. The gardeners have been told not to come on the grounds after 10am, and that is being respected. There’s no pool, so no pool man to worry about constantly showing up unexpectedly; and swimming in the lagoon is quite grand.
I have slept like a baby since coming here (once I got rid of two or three skeeters: I have become a rather expert mosquito hunter in Gouna), with a fresh pleasant breeze coming in through the screened bedroom windows at night.
So here, finally, is the newest gallery of pics to show my wife what this place is like. Ordinarily I would not post this many — it’s a time-consuming pain in the butt to resize and compress 35 photographs!
(If we do return to Gouna in October, I am most definitely getting a better camera that will allow me to take hi-def snaps of the wildlife and the moon hovering over the lagoon, and all the other points of interest that I have yet to photograph: I want to upload the sort of extraordinary pics one can take here, as well as the more unspoiled of vistas further South.)
But we have to decide within 10 days or so, in other to ensure the place will be available commencing October, so this rather extensive tour of the place should give Zouz (my wife) a good idea as to what to expect. By the way, there is a barky dog nearby, so I don’t think Sandy would have grooved here; she is fine where she is, with plenty of food and water. in her rightful placey.
Okay, so without further ado…
Nice, huh? Who knows, maybe some of my old band mates who live part-time in Gouna will drop by before I leave. Then again, I’m not holding my breath.
Most people don’t know this, but there is a parrot in El Gouna, Egypt. He hangs out in the dining room of the villa I’m renting for the next 4 weeks.
Now before I continue, to my wife in America, whose store mascot is in fact a Florida parrot, and who not doubt’ll be reading this post: your regular email account is full!
And now back to expat stories of the Red Sea.
So yesterday they displayed on a makeshift stage in Basin 1 of Abu Tig marina the FIFA World Cup trophy. There was a lot of traffic in the area, and a big line for people wanting to get a chance to view it.
I went down there to get some supplies from Bestway, but stayed in the Basin 2 marina at 7th Star to have a Spaghetti Bolognese. It was not as tasty as I remembered it from months past.
Sitting three tables away by the entrance was a large Egyptian family.
The men of course were on their smartphones the whole time, while the women — some of whom where in hijab attire — talked and ignored their children running around. Now this was an Egyptian family, and their kids were all speaking to one another in accented English. I mean it sounded like they didn’t even know Arabic. Then a group of young Egyptian girls and their beaux came in and sat down; same deal.
As I left 7th Star, a bunch of older Egyptian bodocious tatas decked out sleek black sleet gowns slinked by, no doubt on their way to some function at one of the dance clubs around here.
I walked back home with a few cans of foul medames, and went to sleep concerned about the search lights up in the sky: that was always a sign of impending trouble when I lived in Abu Tig marina itself.
But nothing happened. There was a fireworks display around 11pm but that piffled out in short order.
I went to sleep with the windows open, giving me a view of the cove in front of the villa that leads to the Red Sea itself.
The night was calm, and a light breeze made the wind chimes on the verandah tinkle as I drifted off to sleep. It’s odd how the sea air in Gouna does not smell of salt.
Soon, I found myself in a dream with the parrot from the living room downstairs.
He told me about this house, and who did the carpentry work, and all about it’s management layer, and those who worked for it who were fired, and much other largely sordid supposedly inside info about what goes on in general with the rental of Gouna homes that only parrots know.
Good thing all is well with America, where it’s normal for the President of the United States to hire Hulk Hogan’s lawyer to represent him in court against a porn star
I woke up around 6am, made Turkish coffee, and gazed out at the pink sunrise over the Red Sea. No mosquitoes last night, and absolute quiet all night.
I decide to heat up some foul, and turned on Gouna Radio for some eclectic chill music.
This was going to be a good day.