Time for a few updates.
The chicks which My Love (ML) and I are fairly sure now are crows are just as noisy but there are slightly longer gaps between their incessant calls for food. Still no sign of them but having checked on the internet they fledge around about 40 – 45 days after they have hatched so we still have a bit of time yet.
Not sure if it is connected but between 1 and 2 pm every day a crow flies onto the balcony. It has a variety of perches which include the back of the chairs, the top of the balustrade or on the wall that the metal balustrade sits on. He sits there and for all the world it sounds like it is saying ‘No, no, no, no,no’ when it is not cawing, although it sounds like it has a sore throat as it is very croaky caw.
A couple of weeks ago the children in Egypt went back to school, and you may wonder why I mention this. What it means for us permanent residents is that we can now find a table in the dining room, there are not huge queues of people at the buffet, no more elbows or pushing. We have found and this isn’t meant as a generalisation just our observation here that people on holiday in this hotel do not know how to queue or can’t be bothered.
Also, the huge wastage of food has dropped, again I’m not sure if this is an Egyptian thing or just holidaymakers here but rather than filling a plate and sitting down to eat then revisiting the buffet a large number of people cover the surface of their table with plates full of food and then leave over half of it. In a country where there are people in need of food it is unbelievable how much is wasted.
The hotel still gets busy at the weekend as people come down from Cairo for a short break but you can live with that when you know it is only for a couple of days.
Not sure if the lower number of guests have anything to do with it but the chefs have been giving us some wonderful treats. It started last week, normally as you enter the dining room the end of the counter has a selection of different starters in small dishes or displayed on platters. Much to our surprise there was a large display of food and flowers and in the middle, was one of the chef’s in his whites resplendent with his toque towering above the flowers.
On closer inspection we saw the sign that said ‘Caesar Salad Station’ so we had to investigate. The chef took a cocktail glass and constructed a perfect miniature Caesar salad. It was delicious and I can’t wait for it to make a return. Just a little aside – did you know it was invented in Mexico, me neither I always thought it came from America.
A couple of nights later and we were treated to French crepés with a variety of fruit coulis and chocolate sauce. We were then treated to a night of sushi and we could watch the chef preparing it at his work station and finally last night we were treated to choux pastry. You chose the buns you wanted and the chef split them and filled them with cream and you could then add chopped fruit, coulis, chocolate, crystallised ginger and other things I couldn’t identify.
The final mini station that has appeared was a selection of sushi, tiny bites of deliciousness. Some were wrapped in seaweed, others were draped in fish others were wrapped in sticky rice. Little bowls of soya sauce, wasabi and pickled ginger were there to use as condiments.
The white washing has slowly been going through a colour change, it started off after about three weeks of being sent to the laundry with everything white seemed to have a slight bluish hint to it when it came back. Not the blue/white beloved by washing detergent manufacturers more a whoops that’s where the blue sock got to white.
Over the following weeks the white clothes turned more towards grey until this week we are at the stage of being embarrassed by the colour of what should be white underwear. And what is worse my pyjama top which should be lemon coloured is now a dirty looking dull colour.
Thankfully having been here before and as the washing always comes back from the laundry the same day I only wash and wear one pair of pyjamas at a time. When it gets to the point that I can’t bear it any longer I throw them away – I know this is wasteful but they are beyond the resurrective powers of modern detergents and are only fit to be used as rags.
With underwear I have backup sets in my suitcase that stay there until needed.
In Costa Rica and Vietnam our water came from wells and that despite being filtered wasn’t as clean as it could be and there was nothing we could do about it turning things grey although putting outside in the bright sunshine did have a bleaching effect and helped lengthen the process before the clothes were beyond hope.
I was tempted to bring out some clothes whitener that is available in the UK but I didn’t think putting sachets of what I assume is a mixture of chemicals in my suitcase was such a good idea!!
We had a film crew using the hotel as one of the location for a film due for release in January, I merrily took photographs of the filming until I was told in no uncertain terms to stop. Luckily, they didn’t ask me to delete what I had taken but I feel I can’t say anything about it or show you the photographs until it is released as much as I would like to.
If you have enjoyed this blog you may want to read the blogs I kept when I lived in Vietnam and Costa Rica.