Busted in Gouna

UPDATE: I don’t know why I didn’t think of this before, but I called the Gouna hospital pharmacy at 7:30PM, and they have real cough syrup and aspirin. Not only that, but they deliver!  At this hour! Wow! Within 30 minutes, a tuc tuc guy delivered a bottle of Ultrasolv and two strips of aspirin. Assal!

Busted moment #1

My wife has been coughing since arriving in Egypt, thanks to being exposed to someone sitting behind her on Egyptair who coughed incessantly from JFK to CAIR.

Yesterday, I went to the pharmacy in downtown Gouna, and asked for aspirin to relieve my wife’s aches and pains from the flu. All they had was acetaminophen, but no aspirin or ibuprofen. Memo to El Gouna pharmacy, if you want to call yourself a pharmacy, carry aspirin and ibuprofen. Please! That’s pretty basic stuff.

I then asked for cough syrup, and was given something called Bronchicum Elixir S.  It turns out this “cough syrup” contains Thyme fluid extract and Primula root fluid extract, whatever that is. and was labeled a “dietary supplement”

OTC Cough syrup typically contain





Memo to the downtown apothecary in downtown Gouna.  Either go back to pharmacy school, or change your name to Snake Oil Dispensary.

Busted moment #2

We went to have chicken and lentil soup at Kan Zaman for lunch, with sha’riya rice.


Then we felt like having a healthy fresh juice drink, but went to Tamr Henna instead of Jobo’s, because Tamr has a wide open terrace that gets plenty of sunshine — critical this time of year, if you are going to sit outdoors.

So we ordered Florida cocktails, and waited for our order to arrive.

The place was empty, but then some hijabi behemoth wearing sunglasses appeared out of nowhere and sat right next to us, despite the availability of many empty tables.

hijabi new friend
She’s way in the back, by the white umbrella. Notice all the empty chairs. This piece of work chose to sit right net to us, and proceeded to order a sisha pipe. Only in Egypt!

So we moved, and good thing we did too, as this headscarfed heifer ended up ordering shisha.  I thought only Madams in Cairo whorehouses smoke shishas, but I guess  that’s only in the movies.

When the drinks arrived, I noticed these were not Florida cocktails, but a cheaper drink.  When I calmly — for after all, I too am a stable genius — pointed this out to our waiter, he argued that indeed this was a Florida cocktail, which does not contain strawberry, but which these fresh juice drinks clearly did.

So I whipped out the smartphone, and showed him a pic of the menu I had presciently taken that listed the ingredients of the drink we ordered, and pointed out the 12 LE difference in price per drink.

tamr menu
Notice that in Gouna they tack on an avaricious 26% to your bill (12% service charge + 14% “additional national taxes”). So don’t feel compelled to leave even a millime for  a tip, folks, c’est compris!


The moral of the story is this: when it comes to Tanr Henna, always take pictures of the dish or drink you want as listed on the menu before you order.  This will help you avoid any misunderstanding after your beverage or meal arrives. And always have your fresh fruit cocktails at Jobo’s; they’re less watery, are not full of ice cubes, and, moreover, taste better.

leaving america