July 6, 2006|Posted in: Uncategorized
More from Miss Mia-Manga 🙂
soooo, here we are in Hurghada.
It looks like “Little Egypt casino and resort” here, like it should be plopped down in the middle of Vegas. no thank you.
We are pretty bummed right now because we got here yesterday and quickly discovered two things: #1, there is absolutely no culture to be found (the excitement of seeing the Red Sea, which is gorgeous, btw, wore off already) and #2, if we thought the rest of Egypt was bad for women…woohoo! this tops it! (I probably shouldn’t tell you any of this because then you will just worry, but know that we are taking all the precautions and being very, very safe.)
We arrived at what was supposed to be this 5-star deluxe hotel yesterday morning and while the lobby was impressive, that was about it. No one has rooms next to each other and we are all spread out (one girl is in the 700’s building and we are in the 2300’s, to give you an idea) and it’s hard to meet up. They have tennis and Internet and pools, etc, but the best thing pretty much is there is a private beach to the sea. The rooms are either old and falling apart or new and finished in such a hurry that they aren’t finished. (Our room is 1/2 painted, shower moulding is falling down and it’s all dusty.)
By far, though, the worst part is that the girls can’t go off on their own. In all the other cities, it’s been like “if you go out, just cover up and be careful. ignore them.” well, here it’s like not even an option. Apparently if girls walk down the street here alone (or with other girls), they are harrassed constantly and if you try to go into the shops, they close the door and try to do… whatever they want? Annoyingly, Hamada is really dismissive about this and it’s really not fun because we are basically stranded at the hotel. Yesterday we sat around watching movies all day and today we’re going to camp out on the beach for as long as we can. I know this all sounds great, like what are we complaining about? but when we were on the Felucca, it was all relaxation and now it’s like… our last four days in Egypt are going to be spent doing what? sunning? watching tv? i can do that anywhere!
So it’s a bit frustrating. Not to mention, my stomach is still doing awful things so i’m trying to handle that. The housekeeping (or someone) left our balcony door open a bit and closed the curtains so we couldn’t tell and so we fell asleep last night and woke up with massive bug bites ALL OVER (like the huge welty ones. not fun).
Last night, we were able to track down the guys (who, while have been great about putting their arms around our shoulders or telling guys to leave us alone, are here for a party and can go out whenever they want; it’s a bit tricky unless we set a plan). But we made a plan last night and they all took us out to a bar (each of us had a boy in charge of us. We have to joke about it because it sucks so much). But it ended up being a pretty nice atmosphere. There was salsa music and my “date” for the night, Ben (nice, polite Asian-Aussie guy, policeman, girlfriend at home, etc.) bought me drinks and danced with me. Some guy was trying to offer me his “services” (Apparently the male gigolo industry is huge here and many, many European women come to this city on holiday for that very reason, which is part of the problem. The men here think they can have any woman.). But Ben did the heroic thing and gave him menacing looks, pulled me away, etc. so that was good. It felt safe and we had a good time. Later they decided to go on to another club but the girls were done, so one of the guys walked us all back. We got comments like “Oh, 3 girls for 1 guy” and just other ridiculous things.
To say the least, this place is not what I had hoped. We are here today and tomorrow and then leave tomorrow evening around 2 a.m. to head back to Cairo. we are there for just 1 day, 1 night and we have decided to go see some more pyramids (they have over 100 here! the Giza ones are just the most famous) and maybe a mosque. Try to squeeze some last bits of culture in there if possible.
Sorry this e-mail is a bit of a rant and not as exciting, but it just seems like this trip has already climaxed and now it’s just fizzing out or something. Not too exciting. Oh well. We decided that since this is such a vacation spot that we are going to make the most of it and pretend all we wanted was to sunbathe. We also are using a full day tomorrow to go to the Turkish baths! (expensive, but what else are we going to do here?!) So we’re gonna go pamper ourselves. Hopefully that will put us in higher spirits. And if not, AYA HAGA! (arabic for whatever!)
All right, Mommy, habipti! (my love)… i love you! i’m glad to hear everything at home is going well and i can’t wait to come home and see everyone.
take care. kisses.
Julia Park Tracey is an award-winning journalist, author, and blogger. She is the author of six books: three novels, one poetry collection, and two women's history. She was the Poet Laureate of Alameda, California, in 2014-17. She's also the conservatrix of The Doris Diaries, the diaries of her great-aunt Doris Bailey Murphy. She has a BA in journalism from San Francisco State University, and MA in Early 20th C. British Literature from Cal State Hayward. Julia's articles have appeared on Salon, Thrillist, Paste, Scary Mommy, Narratively, Yahoo News, Your Tango, and Sweatpants & Coffee. Her articles have also run in Redbook, Woman's Day, Country Living, House Beautiful, Town & Country, the San Francisco Chronicle, Oakland Magazine, Quill, and MadeLocal. She was the founding editor of weekly Alameda Sun and literary zine Red Hills Review. Her poetry has been in The East Bay Literary review, Postcard Poems, Americus Review, Cicada, Tiferet Review, and many others. Julia has been recognized several times by the San Francisco, East Bay and Peninsula Press Clubs as well as the California Newspaper Association for her blogging since 2003.