Middle East | Egypt – Update
Dahab’s magnetic lethargy still has me firmly in its grasp. Life is drifting along merrily and the more time I spend here the more nice people I meet and the more at home I feel. A few days ago a bunch of us went over to the house of one of the Bedouin drivers, Jumma, and had dinner there. Very enjoyable as it was, I can’t really claim to have had a genuine, authentic Bedouin experience, on the grounds that I don’t really think you can categorise playing Gran Turismo on the playstation as a ‘traditional Bedouin pastime’.
Aside from socialising, I’ve been really quite active of late. As we speak I’m about halfway to completing my Divemaster, which will allow me to earn money from diving. It’s been fairly straightforward so far, a few exams, a couple of swim tests, skills practice, and most importantly lots of time spent under the water. The sensation and the experience never fail to amaze me. It’s incredible to find yourself 30 metres under the surface of the sea, drifting past a myriad of beautiful fish and coral,and to be breathing. It’s the fact that I feel so privilaged to be seeing this entirely new world that comparatively few people ever see. I can’t help but come out with a huge grin on my face.
Nevertheless, despite all my enthusiasm I’m having the day off today. Yesterday five people completed their instructor exams at the dive centre and thus celebrations kicked off in a big way – at about half past two in the afternoon. It wasn’t long before people were pouring beer all over each other, and then before you could shout ‘Take your wallet out of your pocket!’ everyone was getting dumped into the rinse tank in undignified fashion. Things degenerated to appallingly unwise drinking games, and it all continued late into the night. Hence my fragile state and abject unwillingness to do anything energetic today.
It’s a bloody beautiful day though. Fairly sweltering, although nowhere near the standard it’ll reach in summer (I’m promised an average of 45 degrees). I can’t wait.