The Red Sea (but where are all the Reds?)

AL GHARDAKA (Hurghada)--I think it's Sunday. You lose track of these things when you're away from your home long enough, away from daily news, away from your first language or even text you can (easily) read. The Red Sea coastal town of Al Ghardaka is far more developed than it was when I was here in 1993--kind of like South Edmonton Commons on meets the Aquarius Complex from Frank Miller's Ronin, if you can dig it. Still, when you wander in front of the sea itself, you find your breath taken away.

My wife and I arrived last night from Al Uqsor (Luxor, or to use its proper ancient name, Waset). The bus ride was unpleasant, though not anyway near the unpleasantness of Kenyan buses. The wind makes up for the high temperature here--windy like Lethbridge. Cools you down a good 15 degrees, easily. We've been met by the good fortune of a host named Hussein and his Finnish wife Warda who took us to their hotel and have been treating us with tremendous hospitality. They've been showing us around, feeding us and generally treating us like family.

I'm driving my wife crazy--and please don't tell the stereotype police--but I've been buying watermelon on a daily basis (but I've only eaten fried chicken once and have neither shot hoops nor buckdanced a single time). In this heat, what's a M-F (Minister Faust) supposed to do? Watermelon is a major release, and it's cheap, say, 7-10 Egyptian pounds (about $2 Canadian).

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