Dancing on the Beach
Last night I was invited to the Divers Beach Party at the Club House by the lovely Georgina, the golden goddess from Guildford. Every week their dive group, the Tropical Gangsters, meet there, but that night it was their first anniversary. And then I heard that 30 people from Dive Northampton (an appropriate name for my old home town) were there – they have been coming to El Gouna for 6 years. This was their last night and should have been in party mood, but the winds all week had sapped their energy. After I got a Sakara from the bar, Georgina introduced me to one of their group leaders, Steve, who was friendly – but it turns out he wasn’t originally from Northampton. The true Northamptonians were typically sullen and suspicious when I approached. The coincidence of being from the same place, while on another continent, didn’t seem to impress them (but nothing impresses Northamptonians much. They have made an art form of cynicism). Still, it was a lovely atmosphere and nothing could dampen my good spirits – despite being still a bit spaced out from earlier and my lack of sustenance I was pleased to be out of my room. It’s been intense lately – I probably have some kind of luxury resort psychosis … admittedly, as psychoses go, it’s not a bad one. But as Jack Nicholson types over and over again in The Shining (while staying at an enormous hotel…): all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy. I thought I’d better go for a night off with a different crowd before I started chanting ‘red rum’ and chasing people around with an axe ;0)
Although the wind was too lively to light a fire, it was still a beautiful evening, with the half-moon shining down upon the soft sands, the lagoon lapping on the shore. A DJ spun some predictable but fun tunes and folk started dancing. I kicked off my desert boots and cut some … sand. I was introduced to a fellow writer, a resident from Oz called Diana. She was a fellow Leo, but we hit it off straight away. Sue and Dave were there from the other night – they greeted me warmly. It was nice to be made to feel welcome. Pierre, the Egyptian-Armenian, was also there – a silent sentinel on the edge of the circle. It was nice that even ‘outsiders’ were accepted. You didn’t have to join in, but could if you wanted to. An Egyptian guy called Hussain showed off his moves – he was quite a dancer, the John Travolta of El Gouna. He took turns dirty dancing with the ladies, but it was all ‘good clean fun’. The owners were there – a Dutch diving couple. Cytze, the husband, was a jolly host. At one point he whipped off his t-shirt and did a back flip into the pool. Then Sue and Dave went in. It looked a bit too fresh – the constant wind had cooled the water considerably. The dancing continued in fits and starts. Three versions of My Way were played, and other choice selections from the disco smorgasbord, but they also played some Stones and some great Arabic music, which gave all of us a chance to shake bums and shimmy boobs.
It was a fun party – the Club House is definitely the place to be on a Thursday night. I felt like I’d had a taste of El Gouna’s magic: friendly locals and strangers, Gounies and blow-ins, hanging out, enjoying the blessings of the night.