Holiday in Hurghada (Egypt)

A while ago I went on this vacation to Hurghada. It was a direct seasonal flight and a cheap one at that from my local airport. I was unemplyed at the time, so I had plenty of time. also my reasoning at the time was that since there had  been a whole bunch of terrorist attacks and a revolution recently, it should be cheap to stay there too, even in a nice resort. After doing a bit of research, it seemed I was spot on. Even the Movenpick resort in a place called El Gouna a little further north up the coast had a promotion going. I hate booking holidays long in advance, so before I knew it, I was off. 

This would be my first ever "just chill" holiday. I'd booked a whole bunch of kite surfing lessons and was staying just over a week at this resort. It started off pretty good actually, not that terrible at all really. Really nice resort, great rooms, hot as hell, sunny since it's basically desert climate. After a few days it got a little grating though. The place was bloody empty. It's his really big resort, which is inside this fortified town called El Gouna. El Gouna has multiple layers of AK toting security and checkpoints to get in, and is filled exclusively with other resorts, which were in turn also empty. There is also a main tourist strip with shops and bars etc. Movenpick I think would have been one of the best resorts there. So anyway, all I'd have to do is eat in the morning, Kiting lessons, and.. that was it. My days consisted of that, followed by a trip to the also empty cocktail bar that was situated in a pool. There were a few people that I managed to converse with, but there were mostly just old Germans. The worst type of German. I met some Russian brain surgeon who was cool, but he was on his last days. I spent my days doing this and just sunbathing.

After a few days of this I started to get bored of course, the good kind of bored, but bored none the less. I went out one night with my kite surfing instructor but that was boring too. We just went to a bar and talked. He told me a story about how some German woman wanted him to give her a baby (the inference was that he was good looking), and that she would pay him to do it. Supposedly he didn't do it if in fact this was a true story. I made friends with some young guy about my age whose job it was to put the tourists on camels then pull them around the resort for a bit. As it was Ramadan the staff were not drinking much if anything nor eating during the day. Which must be tough to do when it's minimum 40 degrees in the day. This camel guy invited me to join him break his fast that evening. So we met in the tourist street part of the tourist town and he drank and ate, as did I. This was your average working class Egyptian guy really. To give you a bit more of a background on him, here's one of the stories he told me when we started to chat about girls; he clearly had even less experience than me. About a month before I came, he met a German girl (or woman I guess) while giving a camel ride. He eventually invited her into town I guess so they went together into the city where I guess the idea was for him to show her around. He proceeded to show off to me about how he had managed to touch her butt a few times. On first glance it sounds like an innocent enough sotry, but when you think about it, here was some chick who just wanted to see the city a bit, and was alone with a strange person in  a strange country and city. What she got for that, was some sexual harrasment Egyptian style. Thinking some more about it, I guess most Egyptian and maybe even Middle Eastern men behave like this, and it makes sense. In that part of the world, the sexes are not really meant to consort with eachother from quite a young age. They women are culturally seen as inferior an many ways which gets ingrained into the mentality of men, so naturally men don't know how to behave around women until they get some arranged marriage or offer a hasty proposal. Anyways, I digress. We eventually got to talking about weed. I'm not a smoker at all really. Maybe once every three months or if someone offers me a smoke, but otherwise not. I guess partly because of my boredom, when he offered to get some, I accepted. through further talking, I agreed to leave the fortified tourist town the next day and go pick some up with him, and smoke together. 

When the evening finally rolled around, we met again in the town centre and boarded a shitty bus together. It was full of other Egyptian tourists and one lost looking Danish couple. The woman was pretty hot. Anyways, they got off the bus before it left the town, which left me as the only rich white looking guy in the bus. It soon filled to over capacity after it left the tourist town. The bus was headed south towards Hurghada which is the big city of the area. would have been about 45k between the resort and Hurgada I guess. My new friend and I alighted the bus about halfway I think, as we were making a stop at his apartment first. By this time it's almost dark, and as we got off this busy dual carriageway which connects all the main areas along the coast, I see looming out of the darkness a whole bunch of seemingly unfinished tower blocks. Turned out people live in those things. We get into the apartment, and there's no running water, the furniture is literally junk, and as I said, everything looks unfinished. like the stage after all the concrete moulding work has been done, and then literally eveything else has to be done. We watched TV for a bit, he called his weed contact who he said wouldn't be able to get us anything in the end, then we went to get some Shisha at a cafe nearby. The subject of homosexuality came up somehow; I think I mentioned someone gay or something but I can't remember why. Suddenly he says "I hate gay people". I asked why and he basically repeated it more descriptively somehow, but with no semblance of a logical reason. To be honest I half expected he was gay or had gay friends as some of his Facebook photos seemed to be super gay. Kind of brought me to the reality of visiting a muslim country. After bringing the conversation to less inflammatory subjects, he gets some intel on weed being available to pick up in town (Hurghada). So we hop on a taxi and head over.

By the time we arrive it's like 2300. At this stage I'm kind of tired and a little lightheaded from shisha, We've been running around all night after this mystical weed that never materialises. So I'm just resigned to following him at this point. We get off the taxi and this city hits me hard. It's a massive hive of activity and a human buzz that you really feel. You can barely cross the roads without being killed. We cross a road go down an alleyway and suddenly there's this buzzing market heaving with a human tangle that takes about ten minutes just to beeline through. I have literally no idea where I am. It was a scene out of some wierd planet on Star Wars. finally we reach a dimly lit persian style bar where we're supposed to wait for a contact of my new friend's. I get a double gin and tonic while I wait for the guy to arrive at which point my friend goes off to talk to him. few minutes later FINALLY my guy comes back with the stuff, so I down my drink and we head out. Apparently my friend has a friend nearby so we meet up and head to his apartment. Down some more dark alleyways we go amidst the throng of this city, finally we get to his apartment. The apartment is literally a room with two beds. We chatted about bullshit for a bit and then started to smoke up. It was also the first time I saw Hash. It was shaped like those strips of chewing gum you can get. I didnt know what to do with it. basically we ended up putting bits in a glass while burning it, puting a card on top then sucking in through a small gap you make with the card. Man, I was fucked up pretty quick. I felt numb and sick. couldn't do anything pretty soon but lie down while the guys talk for a bit. We ended up taking a taxi back pretty soon together, I dropped my friend off and headed back to the resort. The walk back through the city was one of the most trippy of my life though.

Since that time I've looked back on that though, and realised probably it wasn't my smartest moment. I could have been kidnapped or robbed were it not for my badass and intimidating disposition (sarcasm). I guess I do know how to handle myself in general but still it wasn't up there with the best ideas. Still, I was so bored doing nothing back at the resort. Also, I found out that Egyptian police to not take kindly at all to drugs, and are unlikely to just confiscate the drugs even as a tourist. By the end of the trip though I earned a kite surfing licence, and had smoked my first hash. I've also never smoked hash since then.