The first thing I saw when we arrived in Sharm el Sheik (Red Sea, Egypt) was a Father Christmas on a Camel ! I have to admit, that even I have never seen that. Usually he is coming on a donkey, but on a Camel ?? I thought already about all the water buckets I would have to put in front of our chimney !
I have seen australian Christmas cards with him and kangaroo but never on a camel.
Beneath were a lot of gift boxes which were empty (of course) much to the disappointment of the few children who were in the hotel ! There even were a Nativity scene and a ginger bread house (romantically in plastic of course) It was so big, that even an adult could stand up easily in there.
I appreciated very much these decorations because I thought they really did a big effort. You don't have to forget that we were in a muslim country where are only very few Christians.
To prepare everything as true and cosy as possible for the guests who mostly came here because they didn't want to celebrate Christmas alone, was really very nice. I imagined what I would do if I had to prepare an important muslim feast ? I have no idea.
The Egyptians are very friendly and funny people with a lot of humor and although they all speak arabic which is the official language they don't like to be considered as arabs. But as it is everywhere there are not only good christians and only bad arabs. Most of them hate terrorists too and extremists you find in every country.
Christmas eve we spent together with Gala and her daughter. They lived in Moskow and we had met them at the beach. We had a very nice and funny evening and I learned a lot about the ex Soviet Union and all these new countries.
Gala originally came from Kazakhstan which is a very, very cold country, in winter they have sometimes - 70°C , I tried to convert that into F but my converter refuses. It's part of central Eurasia and belonged to the Mongol Empire. Now I understood why they all had this asiatic look. Gala had married a Russian and moved to Moscow.Of course Mr. Gattina had to belly danse and I was afraid of the next morning because I thought I had to pull and push him out of the bed and he would be crooked the whole day, but nothing happened and he was fresh like a rose.
Here we are with our favourite waiter who lipread all our wishes. He was a very nice guy, married to a german girl and he worked like crazy to pay his studies at University.
All waiters had to work 12 h a day non stop for one months and then they could take off one week to go home. Most of them came from Cairo because there are more than 20 million people living there and of course there is not enough work for all of them. The average salary was 350 € / month (a little more in $) and they all were very happy to have such a good income. Some of them nourished their whole family with that.
(More about our holidays next)