With our return from our ‘holiday’ (read exhausting !) in NZ life has returned to what for us, is normal.
Jaime and I are back in our little routine, our regular exercise at the gym at the local resort 3 times a week.It was lovely to be greeted so enthusiastically on our return, the staff must have missed us! mind you, I don’t think they have much clientele, the machines don’t seem to be used much! I also think we represent a bit of an oddity here in Marsa Alam as women out and about and actually exercising. It doesn’t appear to be a priority here.
We have a standing order with the local taxis, courtesy of the wonderful Ayman, who sends a car to take us to the resort. The 5 minute trip in the taxi to the resort always makes me laugh as we speed along the road toward the resort, past the ramshackle houses, the various herds of goats wandering around free range, and random men clad in galabeas wandering along the road. At strategic times the car moves toward a particular side of the road, slows right down, for the speed humps which are inherent on all the roads around the town. You just need to know where they are, because if by chance you forget, you can say goodbye to the under side of the car!
In the early days I used to have heart failure because there would be a vehicle coming toward us on our side of the road at speed! however there always seems to be some secret signal between drivers, that means they know what side of the road to veer toward. There doesn’t seem to be any overall rule that I have figured out yet!
The trip usually takes no more than 5 minutes, but always is very interesting, depending on what is happening that particular day.
Diesel is in very short supply here in Egypt. Mains power is not available in most of the areas of the town, and because power is supplied from generators, there is an ongoing need for diesel. There is a system where trucks, buses, and other diesel users, have to line up at the petrol station to get their allocation of fuel. The lines are always miles long, and the wait is for hours. Tempers appear to run pretty high at times, as we witnessed the other day when we saw a physical punch-up as we drove past.
The landscape around the town is very barren looking, with huge piles of rock and dirt, left over from the unfinished building sites. It appears that projects get started, and continue for a while, then are left unfinished, presumably while the owners work elsewhere to raise more money to continue. Some of the building shells have been abandoned, unfinished. Seems such a shame, when there was such promise for the region, which hasn’t been realised.
I have been very lucky to have acquired some soil and planter pots from my very generous neighbour and so have planted various seeds,including herbs, and veges, with the hope that they defy the odds of being in my usually rather ‘un green fingered’ care, and grow! will keep you posted on that one! I am applying my seriously limited knowledge of horticulture to this project, so hope to reap the rewards in a few months.
Good nutritious soil is a commodity in also very short supply in Marsa Alam, and so I thought of various options to rectify this, including making compost from scraps and becoming friends with the donkey man around the corner, to get access to some donkey poo! However thanks to Ian and his generosity I have put that to the side for a while. Makes me sigh thinking of the beautiful Hawkes bay soil, that would grow anything with out too much effort!