Monday, February 15, 2010

Enjoying the Sinai Peninsula

By Claire
Things happen that are just inexplicable. We had trouble with the WiFi here at Penguin Village; it kept dropping out, I kept making trips to talk to Ahmed, the computer guy, until I just got sick of it. He was very nice and very knowledgeable but it’s just really frustrating when things don’t work. He even shinnied up a palm tree to restart the modem. Maybe I should be more amazed that we even have the possibility of WiFi.

We need to fax a letter extending our time of storage for Homer back in Istanbul—this is critical. If you could read the contract we signed—it becomes the Government of Turkey’s property after 30 days if we don’t pick it up—you’d be nervous too. We were given lots of assurances and told to just send a fax explaining why we’re storing it longer than 30 days. OK fine. Saturday Ahmed told me to wait until Monday. Monday he tells us to wait until evening because the phone lines don’t work. I guess that explains why everyone has a cell phone.

But, back to the inexplicable. We stopped at one restaurant on Sunday that advertised free Wifi. We thought we could get lunch and then hang out there in a comfortable atmosphere and use the computer. No such luck. Although they did have an electrical connection, they were clueless as to how I could connect to the Internet. They’re very friendly and helpful but I don’t think anyone explains to them how it works. They gave me the password but I got the usual message telling me that the server could not be found. We had a nice lunch and left. Next day, same thing. We went to Funny Mummy where we had enjoyed a wonderful dinner the night before. Again, free Wifi. "No problem, we’ll give you the password." I plugged my computer into a box that was barely hanging onto the palm tree it was attached to; amazingly, I got power. However, again, no internet. I was told I would be given the password and then nothing. We had been given menus, made it clear we wanted lunch, but nothing happened. We were completely ignored. It was getting hot and I was getting annoyed. It’s not like there is a lot of business. One guy was leaning on the counter playing with his cell phone. Chuck got up and asked him about the password and lunch. Apparently the guy was trying to reach someone to find out how the WiFi connection works. We finally got someone to take our order and I asked if the overhead fan could be turned on. "No, it doesn’t work." Sometimes it feels like everything is just a façade. On the positive side, my mango juice arrived with a little foil cover with two straws poking out. The flies are terrible! I’ve learned to use my one napkin to cover most of my food and eat in little openings of the napkin. This morning the power went out just as I was stepping into the shower. So, no water of course. At least it didn’t happen after I had soaped up. Yes I know, it’s a real trial here on the Red Sea in the sunshine.

The next thing that doesn’t make sense is the room cleaning—or should I say, lack of. We were gone for 3 hours having breakfast and lounging with our books in one of the pillow restaurants. They had our key, they knew we were gone. We got back and they were cleaning the room next door. That was 2 hours ago. Did I mention the one large towel and the one floor mat that they claim is a towel?

One thing I found interesting, and maybe I’m just a dummy, but the Muslim women swim fully clothed with their scarf on. I guess there is no other option.

Unfortunately, there are several children wandering around selling things. They are so sweet. We bought some bracelets from one little girl, about 8 years old, and she handed Chuck another one as a gift. This is a school day.

I think it’s time for a nap. Here are some photos around Dahab.

Breakfast--Egypt has the best bananas I've ever had.

Cat resting on my feet.

Cats waiting patiently

Cat not waiting patiently. Doesn't the one on the left look shocked at his friend's boldness?


Mountains in the haze

Life is short, wear tropical shirts. ~ Marc Lampe


Karin said...

t the moment I am feeling so sorry for you! It is like you are in a bad dream! Well, let's hope Jordan is a bit better! Hang in there!

I just can't believe how "backward" they are with WiFi, especially when they advertise that they have it. Imagine electrical boxes hanging from palm trees! An amazing country!

Equally amazing - the women swimming in full garb - even wearing their scarves!

OK, so you know the saying... you can only go down so far, when eventually you have to start coming back up! Let's hope tomorrow is an "upper"! :):)

Enjoy that nap!

Karin from Paros in Prague

Diane said...

Shocked cat . . . priceless. Chill Out Restaurant . . . priceless. But I think that banana looks way too ripe.

Chuck and Claire said...

Yes, the banana looks too ripe but they all look that way and yet they are perfect inside. They are the sweetest I've ever had.