Sunday, February 7, 2010

Big day yesterday, but the show must go on

Our day consisted almost entirely of the rigors of transport. To stay the course and not deviate into mundane travesties of elaboration,  I will lay out our day with numbered precision.

1.  Taxi from Hotel to Santa Maria Novella Stazione

2.  Train ride from Florence to Rome

3.  Train ride from Rome Termini to Rome Fiumicino Airport

4.  Plane Ride from Rome to Cairo, in which we were told that our flight from Cairo to Sharm el Shiekh (our final destination) was nonexistent.  We struggle to find an internet connection to prove the accuracy of our claim, and we are completely shut out.  I cant even get vodofone IT on my phone to use data roaming.  As a result, our bags are only checked through to Cairo, which means we have to go through passport control, grab bags in Cairo, leave the airport, check back in, and go through security.  Oh, and all this in about a window of an hour or we miss our flight to Sharm el Shiekh.

5.  We land in Cairo, tired as elephants about to reach the Okavango, and have to run through to passport control.  All of the lines are extremely long, so we pick the shortest one.  Guess what happens?  After about 20 minutes we look around and all the other lines have dissipated to nothing.  And yet we are queued behind an idiot parade.  We finally reach the counter, only to realize we have no visa...so we have to go to a bank to buy one.  On our way to the bank we notice the gigantic sign that we completely and recklessly sprinted by earlier that states BUY VISA BEFORE CONTINUING TO PASSPORT CONTROL.  We finally get back to passports and all of the checkers have left except one, and she is bust apprehending the guy that sat in front of me on my flight.  okay...

6.  We grab our bags, walk outside, take the escalators to the entry hall, spring to the check in counter, act like american assholes with places to be, make haste through security, and then we really start moving.  We sprinted down the corridors of Cairo airport, oblivious to the actual time mind you, passing people on escalators, bumping into strangers with our bags, generally making a mess, but we finally reach the gate.  We are about 30 minutes early.  We stand there, gasping for breath, hands on our knees, and watch all of the people whom we pushed out of the way or ran by like maniacs saunter up slowly to the gates.  We looked like total noobs. 

7.  "You no like fast much"  Hazim mused as he smirked at us through his rearview, puckering our rears in the backseat.  He licked his lips and lazily refocused his eyes on the barren stretch of desert road ahead, "scaredycats..."

Meet Hazim, the private driver that we hired to transport us for the hour long commute along Sinai coast along the Red Sea to Dahab from Sharm airport.  He looked professional enough standing there holding a Mr. Delaney sign, but behind the wheel, he transformed into Mr. Hyde.  Aiming his car straight into the darkness ahead, we zoomed up the coastline, uninterrupted by anything for 10's of miles, but watched over by the millions of stars slightly illuminating rocky crags on both sides of the road, just enough to mystify us by their presence, yet not enough to fully make out.  Egyptian dance hall blazed through his radio, and he told us this was the old road to Israel.

We talked about a number of topics, and he taught us some vocabulary.  We always try to leran the big 8 everywhere we go.  Hello, goodbye, yes, no, thank you, how are you, good, and how much.  It is really all you need to know.  It gets you very far and you have no business trying to say anything beyond these words anyways. 

Hazim was exactly Kristin's age, they seriously shared a birthdate.  Too bad this was uncovered after Kristin guessed his age to be 28, overshooting considerably.  We took a brief stop at a Bedouin camp/market right before reaching Dahab.  I stopped to photograph some wild goats, and one of them got really pissed and started backing up slowly.  Before I knew it, it was headbutting my right thigh, hard.  I had some pretty awful experiences with goats and especially geese growing up, so I froze in fear.  Kristin dove into the car.  Hazim came to our rescue.
       


 

Our hotel in Dahab is pretty amazing, here our some pictures, no super bowl for us apparently, not on tv here.  Nice to get out of the cold though, talk to you tomorrow...

 Lobby

 Entrance

 Our little place, they upgraded me to a deluxe,  ewwwwwoooo 

 bedroom

Outdoor shower, never tire of these

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