Sharm El Sheikh is pretty much numerous hotel compounds that trace the coast, confined and secure cut-off from the reality of Egyptian life. Playgrounds for the rich to drink, fuck and laze in the sun while every need is catered to. One day I got in trouble for taking a little stroll out of the confines of the hotel and leaping a wall into the boundaries of another. After a heated exchange I was kicked out of the neighbouring hotel complex and told never to come back.
Moses was out guide. Yeah, his name was Moses. He walked up in flip flops and chain smoked the whole way up and down. His English was slightly better than my Arabic and we had a very surreal discussion about creatures of the Antarctic on the way down the mountain in the blazing heat. From what i could gather he wanted to know the English word for Penguin. After half hour of making gestures to describe, rivers, ice, water, ocean, wings etc. I was prepared to move onto another topic but Moses insisted he get his point across and stopped our trek to draw a penguin in the sand. After twenty fours without sleep I began to think I was on a trip of a different kind. Then I remembered a guide book that had an illustration of a native bird that looks just like a Penguin.
Moses was expecting twins, so he got a serious tip from us. We soon realized that lots of guides, taxi drivers etc. in Egypt are currently expecting twins, must be something in the water.
Lots of Russian Orthodox Christians made the trek up Mt Sinai. I was quite impressed by how some of them were able to get up there in high heels and platform shoes. Most of them took camels down which looked twice as dangerous. While I was interested in the site from a historical and cultural perspective, I am not religious in anyway. If I'm going to worship anything it would probably be the following scenes:
By 9am we were back down again. We had breakfast in the monastery and I was pleasantly surprised to find an Egyptian version of Stella in the fridge. It was one of the most refreshing beers I've ever had. Nothing quite like an ice cold beer for breakfast in a monastery.