Finally, we have a destination after much toing and froing with tantalising whispers of maybe Cyprus, or maybe Egypt, or even better a combination of both floating on the ether. A final destination was eventually agreed after My Love had identified the best place to get the type of stone needed for the project and it was to be Egypt.
It took seconds and my imagination was already floating down the Nile as I had my Cleopatra moment lounging on my boat being fed grapes as I gazed out at the banks lined with palm trees and temples. Or maybe visiting the antiquities that Egypt is synonymous with when reality raised its ugly head.
My Love (ML) was going out there to work and if any of the past places we have lived are anything to go by we will be somewhere isolated and usually a fair distance from a large city.
ML did a couple of preliminary visits looking at various sites and identifying where we would be based. For the first time, we wouldn’t be able to rent a home but would be living in a hotel resort surrounded by nothing much else but fronting the Red Sea. Google Earth gave me an aerial view and therefore I had some idea of the size and how isolated it was.
Now we have lived in a hotel a couple of times for a short period of time while looking for, or waiting for a house to become available. The longest being 5 weeks in Costa Rica (see: Costa Rican Sojourn ). I found myself becoming institutionalised and doing the same things at the same time each day almost like being at boarding school only without the exciting midnight feasts that litter the pages of books like J K Rowling or Enid Blyton.
You just have to learn the patterns of the cleaners, get to know them and arrange for them to come to clean your room early and then you can be undisturbed for the rest of the day because you can guarantee if you lay down for a little snoozette someone will knock on the door.
We have to have a driver so when ML is at work I will be stuck at the resort. I can hear your comments I know how lucky I am but we shall see if long-term living in a hotel begins to pale after a while.
Hopefully I will be able to sort out a way to enjoy my time. My needs are simple, good internet, my laptop and my camera and I can amuse myself. Not sure about other people as mostly they will be Egyptians who are only in the hotel for a short period. I’m sure I will get to know the staff and ML and I will have some opportunity to see some of the country while we are here.
ML left about ten days before me and I set about sorting out the multiple tasks that need to be completed before leaving home for any length of time. With everything completed and goodbye meals and farewells to family and friends made it was time to head to the airport.
My suitcase was over the weight allowance and I wasn’t sure whether the airline would allow it but I really couldn’t take anything else out of it. In addition to clothes and shoes I had my laptop, iPad, phone, external hard drive, camera body and two lenses all essential to my well-being to squeeze into the suitcase and flight bag. The taxi driver winced as he hauled the suitcase into the back of his vehicle and off I set to stay overnight in one of the airport hotels.
Free movies, room service and a huge comfortable towelling dressing gown and I was all set to have a bed picnic. Sleep was illusive and sporadic but no more than I expected and I was awake long before my alarm went off.
Six o’clock in the morning is way too early to be eating and I managed a small bowl of fruit and a couple of bites of a piece of toast. If only my appetite was always that poor maybe I wouldn’t be quite as curvaceous as I am. (A polite way of saying I am rounder than I should be.) Nothing in my life ever goes quite to plan if you have ever followed any of my adventures in Costa Rica (see: Costa Rican Sojourn) and Vietnam (see: View From a Vietnamese Balcony) you will well know how chaotic it can become and today it turned out wasn’t going to be any different.
Technology hates me. You think I jest, although I use it all the time I seem to attract mischievous gremlins who create havoc. Not sure if I have an invisible sign over my head or I give off an aura but gremlins love me. This time they stopped the lock to my room working, not an unusual occurrence so I headed off to reception to have the card reset, but that didn’t work. A hotel employee came up with a universal card and that didn’t work; eventually an engineer had to reset the lock and I was able to rescue my luggage and head to check in.
Check in was interesting, I am questioned as to why I had no visa for Egypt, I explained that I was being met by the company’s Mr Fixit who would sort everything out for me (more of him later). We finally got that sorted and while the person at check-in was typing into the computer her colleague asked me about the dress I was wearing and where I had got it from. By the time I put my very heavy case onto the scales we were all the best of friends and other than putting a heavy label onto my case nothing was said about the weight; after a finally goodbye I was off to face security.
Now I had been sensible and booked FastTrack so bypassed the endless zigzagging snake of people who hadn’t. If you haven’t read my previous blogs you won’t know that a scan – be it a walk through or a full body scan will bleep if I go through it; my hand luggage will want completely emptying out and hand searching or it will be the bag that is checked for explosives or drugs. Now I am white-haired and fast approaching sixty but apparently there is something about me that sets of warning bells.
For once my bag went through without any problems but I was harbouring something the scanner didn’t like, but a quick pat down and I was free to go through. I had booked the lounge and so having passed through duty free avoiding the ladies with their perfume sprays I found an oasis of calm. I settled onto a nice comfy sofa with a glass of apple juice and relaxed.
When I want to be quiet I make sure I don’t make eye contact with people and am usually left alone to my own devices but sometimes I make the mistake of glancing around and end up looking straight into the eyes of the person opposite you and this is seen as an invitation to talk.
It was obvious after a few minutes that she was lovely (as was her shiny new husband) and they were off on their honeymoon. It was a second marriage for both of them. By the time their gate was called I knew about their journey to the airport, losing but eventually finding their hotel, the Prosecco and chocolates left in their room while they were at dinner, her job and their children. I didn’t have to add much to the conversation other than nod in the right places and find out how long the road journey was from the airport to the hotel in Cuba (one hour). It wasn’t until they had gone that I realised her husband hadn’t spoken at all just held her hand.
Not long after they had gone my gate was called and I headed off to Copenhagen.
If you have enjoyed this blog you may want to read the blogs I kept when I lived in Vietnam and Costa Rica.