Abyad means white in Arabic, and is a localized Egyptian slang term (used by waiters, etc) for describing how empty Gouna is on any particular night during the long, winter tumbleweed and crickets off-season.

You use the term like this (usually when speaking Arabic):

— did you go to Mood’s?

— Yes, but I didn’t stay long. It was totally abyad.

Nothing could be further from the quotidian zahma (ie, crowded) situation at my villa.

I’m really starting to get sick of these workers who come by here almost every fucking day of the week.

These swarthy characters who show up like clockwork at 8am every morning to water the plants and clean the pool — I can’t take it any more!

It could be worse.

The other day, the gardener and his sidekick showed up at 1PM and proceeded to slowly go about do useless things (like raking sand), all while conversing loudly.

I told them in harsh Arabic to get out and not show up here anymore after 10AM. I really shouldn’t be playing the role of the arrogant effendi with such gusto, but sometimes my poor Google ranking (try typing “Gouna” in the Google search box: you won’t see Leaving Amerika appear for many many pages — I stopped looking after the first four) will put me in a bad mood, and I will invariably instruct — in a pronounced Ugly American tone — any Gouna bus driver not to smoke while driving, which has almost lead to unpleasant confrontations, which is another story for another day, except that my advice to you if you do not care to get cancer from second hand smoke is to avoid any bar or restaurant that offers shishas and tell off the Gouna bus drivers, who smoke while driving, not to, but in English, which they will defer to by tugging on their scraggly beards, as opposed to in Egyptian slang Arabic, which can lead to fisticuffs.

Taking out my Google result ranking frustrations on bus drivers is not the only way I make friends in Gouna; why just yesterday, I had to call Gouna security and have them put the kibash on some arrogant mamelukes staying in one of the apartments across the water and blaring Arabico music at 7am. Even after living here for 5 months, I still am not used to the Egyptian fondness for loud noise, which I suspect may be a cover up for subsumed national grief at How Things Really Are.

When you consider that daylight here is very limited — it starts getting dark around 5PM, when suddenly the temperature seems to drop 20 degrees (I am dreading the coming electricity bill for my heater which I have to have on 12 hours a day), and does not get light again till past 6am, then you are talking about living in darkness for 13 hours a day.

Then you have these clowns show up at 8am, in shifts, and hang around for hours doing bullshit makework in the yard.

Now in the scheme of things, such as the sight of the orange pig — the global emblem of paste Capitalism — parachuting in at Davos to continue to make America first among most loathed nations, this is small enough beer, but I am a small potatoes guy, and I fester till I’m abyad in the face at not really having the place to myself till after 10am, which is how long it takes for the weak winter sun to warm up the ice cold Gouna mornings.

In other words, I don’t really don’t get to enjoy the house in private by the pool during the day — which of course I cannot swim in, unless I choose to risk frostbite (it’s not heated, which would probably cost a fortune) — until around 11evenish, or only about 6 hours a day (the wind picks up at 4PM, and it starts getting dark very quickly by 5PM).

Frankly, I could be walking the beach by my house in Florida at 8 in the AM every morning, where the warm sun rises around 7am, without having a bunch of Nubian-looking guys giving me the hairy eyeball every time I step out.

These worker guys are really getting on my nerves.

Why are they so obsessed with this house?  Don’t they have other things to do than bother me with their unwelcome presence and hanging around the street outside watching my every move?

For chrisssakes, where does one have to go in this world to be left completely alone and find peace and quiet?

leaving america