My Day

My Day

I wake up every day as the light of the sun diffuses my room (I sleep with the curtains drawn back). I am in a clean, neat, tastefully-decorated room. I make myself a cup of tea and step out onto the balcony to greet the day – looking out over a perfectly manicured desert landscape. It is always sunny. The phone rings, it’s my morning call (I always awake before it, in the same way I wake up before the alarm clock rings back home). I maybe flick on the news (CNN seems the only one available in English), or read some. Most days I go for a dip in the lagoon, but today I’m feeling a bit weak after being unable to hold anything down for 24 hours. I shower and venture to the restaurant, hoping I can manage something. I bump into the guy who cleans the room and he greets me in a friendly fashion. I try to tell him my room needs cleaning while I’m out, but he always wants to come around when I’m in (the first time, when he arrived I was in the middle of writing. I opened the door and the wind-tunnel effect whipped away papers from my desk. He clattered about in the bathroom and his mobile phone went off twice with a trendy ring tone – leading to long conversations in lively Arabic, echoing into my room from the corridor. I took to hanging the Do Not Disturb sign on my door – but he would ring up, asking if I want my room cleaned). I walk along the well-designed colonnades to the main restaurant. As I pass through the security dolmen I greet the guards with ‘Sabah el Kheir’. I cause a bleep. At Fairways I find a discreet table for two then go to help myself to the buffet – which offers me several kinds of bread, jam, pastries, salad, fruit, eggs, cheese, cold meats, waffles, pancakes, and smoothies. A nice man brings me over a whole silver cafetiere of coffee, which I never finish. The hotel newsletter wishes me a nice day again and reports that the weather remains sunny. It’s ‘editorial’ is an article on Egypt being divided into Red Lands and Black Lands – the latter being the fertile areas bordering the Nile, made black with silt. This is repeated from a fortnight ago. I read something edifying over breakfast – limbering up my brain for the day. I say hello to my fellow writers, but don’t sit with them, since I’m struggling to hold down my breakfast and find eating, let alone conversation, difficult. One notices my green man t-shirt – ‘well, I’m green around the gills’, I joke. I return to my room and begin work. A chapter a day. Occasionally I step out onto the balcony to clear my head and feel a bit of sunlight and wind on my skin. It overlooks the pool, where lean tanned bodies sun themselves. Some of the women are topless – despite the polite notices – and I feel a little uncomfortable, as all I want to do is catch the light, but where do I look? (it’s all a matter of context – I’m no prude and like burlesque but when you’re just trying to catch some photons…). I don’t want them to think I’m a voyeur, so I go back into the shady coolness of my room. The air conditioner is on its lowest setting – sixteen degrees – but still it’s stuffy. At lunch I take a walk to the water and eat a handful of pretzels and an apple. The old security guy waves and comes over to shake my hand. He talks in an animated fashion in his own tongue. I smile and nod but can’t understand him. I apologise – but he probably doesn’t understand me. I return to my room and carry on my work. I have been marking OU papers in the afternoon – preserving the mornings for my own writing. I write my blog. Around five I like to go for an hour’s swimming and sunbathing by on the lagoon beach, then catch the ferry boat across to the Wellness and Health Club (I’m still not sure about the difference) to do a gym circuit if I’m feeling fat, or to soak in the sauna and steam rooms if feeling languid.  I lose  In the evening I usually go for a meal in the restaurant, or sometimes use the Dine Around scheme. Today I look longingly at the 5 Star buffet and hope I can imbibe some essential vitamins and minerals through just browsing, because nothing would stay in my stomach. Cuts down on the calories. I ask for a beer and get the same brand every time – Luxor. The other night I shared a meal with an attractive German lady – refreshingly brunette in a resort of blondes – just arrived from Munich. She is spending the week diving. She’s in Human Resources for a trucking company. I didn’t catch her name. I never see her again and wonder if she was a hallucination. The German guests here seem pleasant, decent folk, and I wish I could speak their language more. I like their directness, diet, orderliness and green sensibilities. I walk back to my room, enjoying the pleasant temperature and light breeze. I switch on the TV, fail to find anything worth watching, squish mosquitoes, read a bit, and fall asleep.

I wake up every day as the light of the sun diffuses my room (I sleep with the curtains drawn back). I am in a clean, neat, tastefully-decorated room…


2 thoughts on “My Day

  1. Georgina

    I do enjoy reading your Blog about El Gouna!

    Baksheesh might work with the cleaner (LE2-3). Say “Nadarf dilwati, shukran” (clean now) as you go to breakfast. “Mish dilwati” is not now.

    Sorry you haven’t been feeling well. The Egyptian medicine at the pharmacy is best for stomach upsets. Drink loads of water as dehydration and air conditioning can make you sick too.

    Join us for drinks at the Club House in Downtown tonight for our divers party if you feel up to it. Details on Facebook. Bill, Sue and Pierre will be there.


    1. Bard on a Bike


      thank you
      – good advice about cleaner. Gave him 10 LE so hopefully that’ll keep him happy for a while.

      Will pop down to Divers Party. It’ll be nice to talk normally again! ;0)

      best wishes,



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