Today is Sham El Nessim, a celebration of the arrival of Spring in Egypt.
In El Gouna, the wind is blowing in hard, and much water is being expended keeping vegetation alive where it ain’t supposed to be.
This is, after all, the desert.
All the Richie Rich mamelukes are cruising about in their fancy foreign cars and custom tricked out tuc-tucs, some with their families in tow, many with no seat belts as the kid hangs out the back without a door or any sort of protective backstop.
And in the parking lot, women in fancy getup are embracing zingy gigolos, while the clock keeps ticking on.
Only 5 days left for me in El Gouna.
Then I return to the US, where everyone seems to be at each other’s throats.
What a nasty scene awaits me.
The suffocating presence of a fake president in a fake democracy who likes to rail against fake news to the delight of fake Americans. Too bad Sham wasn’t just a horse.
I would much rather walk in peace in “my” rented villa garden (see pic above), or swim in the lagoon, or read a good novel.
Five days in this Red Sea bubble, and then the expat journey ends — for now.
Yesterday, I watched the Real Madrid vs Athletico match at Rush in Abu Tig.
An Egyptian couple from Heliopolis (aka Masr el Gadida) came in and sat next to me. We talked about a few things, including Florida (which I am returning to in a week: jeez, only a week, oh boy), as they have a place there too.
The guy was as fat as I used to be when I first arrived in El Gouna, in fact maybe even porkier than I was, and he eventually mentioned a few things about his work in the field of IT.
I probed a bit (this after all was my profession) and then it came out that he seems to be more of a turn around specialist for computer companies in Egypt and the US, not someone who actually knows anything about computer programming.
He said he went to “Zamalek School” when he was young, which I had never heard of, and quite honestly don’t think actually exists.
They mentioned the Gezira Sporting Club, and I said I went there probably for the last time in the Fall.
Then they mentioned their boat, and I kidded them a bit, asking okay which one of you is the captain?
The guy replied oh no, neither of us. We like to relax when going to Tawila island, without having to worry about handling the boat.
That summed up Gouna for me pretty much in terms of a certain class of people who come here.
Let someone else do the heavy lifting.
We’ll just sit back, relax, and take in the view.
The game ended in a tie, and I left, curtly (because in the end the guy’s fatuous phone chatter during the match bugged the shit out of me, or maybe it was the lack of AC, a common situation in most joints here, despite the assomant heat) saying “pleasure” to the couple, knowing I will never return here ever again in my life. This place, by the way, is owned by Moods. Maybe Ahmed (the late son’s owner) should determine if they are running a dance floor establishment or a sports bar, as I could barely hear the commentating over the blaring crap music that was played throughout the match.
I walked down the marina, past yet another stage being set up in Basin 1 for some more noise (aka loud music, the national obsession of Egypt) and searchlight extravaganza. Not being in the least interested in that sort of touristy nonsense, I went home and went to bed early.
The good news is that the Juventis match is on Wednesday.
I shall watch it at San Siro, downtown in the less effete part of El Gouna, depending on where you hang.
I know the waiters there, and I also know it’s unlikely that the audience watching the game with me on the jumbo screen there will have condos in Florida and boats in the marina and will simply be like me just plain football fans there to watch the game sans façon. I just hope the unpleasant-sounding yet popular Tunisian, Essam Al Shawaly, is not announcing it again. Give me English speaking commentators (except for the insufferable Gordie Ray Hudson), or give me death.
I’ve just about had it with this privileged lifestyle shit.
Maybe I should just ignore it, go to town to the fakahani, buy an orange, and make an oil lantern with it to celebrate the arrival of Spring.
It is, after all, an ancient Egyptian tradition.
The real Egypt, that is.
And maybe that way I’ll deconstruct my misanthropic Fashel Man envy of the ones with the mega buckeroonies in this place.
But I will say this.
If I had the money to have a markib here, I would study seamanship and captain the damn thing myself.
But where is it, exactly, that I might sail to?
The fabled coast of successful coexistence, no doubt.