Getting to Know You

“Getting to know you, getting to know all about you.
Getting to like you, getting to hope you like me.”

Oscar Hammerstein II & Richard Rodgers

Well a week in and I have been a busy person, after looking at different rooms we have decided to stay put. The reasoning behind this is we are on the top floor and in a small off shoot near the front of the hotel that only contains 10 rooms. They don’t seem to put people all the way up here unless they are very busy as I think most people like to overlook the swimming pool or the beach.

From our balcony, we can see lawn and palm trees and the first of the huge private villas that sit next to the hotel. It is very quiet most of the time and the noise from the singers who perform in the bar is fairly muffled by the time it reaches up here. We hear the music from the outside restaurants but nowhere near as loudly as if we were overlooking the pool and the noise of the air conditioning covers it even more.

One of the singers on our first night here did an amazing job of massacring Frank Sinatra songs and his rendition of ‘My Way’ will live forever in my memory for the bravery of his interpretation of the tune.

Now I can’t talk when it comes to holding a tune I was born tone-deaf and only sing in my car when I’m on my own so as not to inflict pain on others, but even I’ve never hit quite that many wrong notes – maybe he was having an off day.

Having decided to stay put the unpacking is still on hold due to the paucity of hangers. Hopefully this will soon be rectified as ML has to go up to Cairo for meetings so we are going to try to track some of them down.

We have tried moving some of the furniture around as we are trying to fit either a small sofa or at least one comfy chair into the room. The chairs at the small marble table have wooden arms and padded seats but are no good for curling up in with a good book. We have been scouting out a couple of areas where furniture seems to be stored and once we have a tape measure (another thing to buy in Cairo) we will be able to work out the best place to put it without the room becoming claustrophobic.

Luckily one wall is all glass patio doors out onto the balcony and if we pull back the various layers of curtains the room feels very light and airy. I’m slowly finding homes for our belongings and ML will get used to putting stuff away rather than populating all the surfaces with his belongings. When your living in such a small space being, tidy helps.

The towel animal that one of the cleaners made for ML before I arrived has finally disappeared thank goodness, it had been sitting on my case looking at me for days but when I came back up today it was gone. I can’t say I am sorry as unlike many people I find them slightly creepy and on a par with the dolls that look like real babies. Goosebumps down my spine as I type this, they really do creep me out. Am alone in this I ask myself?

I’ve broken myself of the habit of sticking my toothbrush under the tap and ML found a small supermarket so we were able to buy shampoo, conditioner, soap etc so we don’t have to use the hotels little bottles. I still haven’t managed to find a new hairbrush but found a tiny one at the bottom of my flight bag. The poor comb is still in my wash bag but will never recover from its war wounds.

I am on nodding terms with a number of the cleaners and if I am in the room when they come to clean I just move out onto the balcony it is much easier for them as I usually have wires stretched across the room as I work on the laptop. We will try to get a couple more extension leads when in Cairo as well.

In the restaurant, I now get ushered to a seat by the window and they now know that I like my coffee with cold milk, never warm. At the moment, the hotel is only packed over Thursday, Friday and Saturday but I am sure this will change as the warmer weather kicks in. Unless you go early or late it is difficult to find a seat on these days and the queues along the buffet lines can be slow.

This hotel’s toaster needs the bread to go through two but more often three times before it is suitably crispy regardless of the setting. The bread that is supposed to be used is a white thick square bread but I’ve found that they put out beautiful fresh-baked loaves that are scattered with a variety of seeds. Health and Safety hasn’t gone made here and the guests are trusted to wield a bread knife without cutting their or anybody else’s digits off.

Now this bread put through the toaster comes out with a hard-toasted crust and a rich browned surface. Suitable for piling scrambled egg onto, or any other foodstuff you care to fancy. The combinations are endless and delicious.

Although I nod to the lifeguards and gardeners I can’t say I have got to know them as well yet but I’m sure with time will come familiarity. The gardens are pristine and the ride on lawn mower is in use every day. They are constantly racking and pruning and over the last couple of days replanting some of the flower beds. I have taken some photographs of the various flowers and some of them I recognise but others I will need to investigate and give them their own separate blog.

There is a small group of people who run the games, yoga and other activities, they walk around with brightly coloured t-shirts that say ‘Follow Me’. At other times, I see them dressed in costume to advertise the shows and discos they run for the children in the evening.

There is a vehicle that is disguised as a steam train and it pulls two carriages, it travels between the three different hotels that are part of this complex. As it comes to a corner the driver rings its brass bell to warn people on foot it is coming. Disappointingly both ML and I want it to also make the ‘poop poop’ sound of a steam train whistle but you can’t have everything I suppose. Obviously homesick for either the sound of a real train whistle or Thomas the Tank Engine.

There are many more people to get to know but all that comes with time and I have to concentrate on getting on the right side of the people in the laundry – they hold the fate of my knickers in their hands.

But more of that next time.


If you have enjoyed this blog you may want to read the blogs I kept when I lived in Vietnam and Costa Rica.

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