Thursday, January 10, 2008


This town is slightly more interesting than I thought. The guys at the hotel - which is more of a collection of rooms around a garden than a hotel per se - are all nice enough. I haven't met guys like this yet in Egypt. They're all young, and a lot came out here after hellacious experiences in the Egyptian army. I heard some pretty rough stories about spending two years on the border with Libya with poor food, few blankets, and lots of scorpions for company.

So now they're out here chasing European girls up and down the strip. The guys are handsome, and the girls don't seem to mind. They're hippy boyfriends might mind, but most seem too stoned to care.

I had planned to take off tomorrow into the mountains on camel. It's still cold as hell, so I had doubts about how I'd survive, but I really like camels.

That plan just got changed on me, as I've learned through the grapevine. The new plan: I'm heading on a jeep safari with three girls and a guy from Cairo. One had a guitar, and they stayed up late last night singing along to Alannis Morrisette songs. These aren't your normal Muslim girls. We'll sleep overnight in a Bedouin village, then head to St. Katherine's Monastery and Mount Sinai for a second night.

I'm not sure how I feel about this. I wanted to see the Monastery and Mount Sinai. I had no interest in a jeep safari - that might be more boring than sitting here. I like camels. I asked the guy for camels. But I told the organizer I'd be up for others joining. It would bring down the cost (I thought). I didn't realize that the others could then over ride my original plan with one of their own.

So what? It's already 9:30 pm and we leave at dawn. I can hunt down the original guide and be a bitch about it, though for a plan I was only half-heartedly interested in anyways. Or go with the flow and see where this takes me. And of course I'll go with the flow. Fighting it in this country isn't worth the effort.

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