Dahab, a low-key beach town on the Red Sea, was to be our decompression from the Egypt we had expected. After ten days of abuse for the sake of world-class ruins, we would laze on the beach to collect our sanity and faith in the human race.
We’ve scarcely uttered the words for fear of a colossal jinx, but now that we’re leaving today we can say it aloud: Egypt wasn’t the nightmare we’d dreaded. Touts backed down easily. Scams were few and far between. As Radek summed it up, he’s only had to get up in someone’s face about once a day. That’s a better average than at home!
So we don’t know what went right. Maybe it was the fact that we were on a loose tour. We had to run the gauntlet of shop keepers, but didn’t have to arrange our own transportation. Maybe we just brought our „don’t mess with us” faces. But most likely it was our girl/guy ratio. Just as the tout/shopkeeper/felucca captain was about to concoct some little harassment he was dazzled by Radek’s superior masculinity and would exclaim „Two wives! Lucky man!” Before the awe faded, we had walked on, unharassed.
So Dahab was meant to be the antidote to Egypt. It turned out to be the antidote to everything. We could easily lose weeks here, forgetting how to take our meals at tables and chairs (in Dahab you lounge on pillows on the floor) and forgetting how to break the budget (we can live on about $25 a day quite nicely). Our major activity so far, aside from snorkeling the Blue Hole, has been making friends with stray kittens while gazing across the Red Sea at Saudi Arabia.
Today we leave for Jordan, where we will resume our routine of breaking the budget seeing world-class sights. Which is great, of course. But after a week, we’ll be looking for another decompressing Dahab. Unfortunately, there many be only one.