A Tourist in Sharm El Sheik

They say one of the problems of travel is you don’t fit in when you come back home, but you also never really fit in where you have decided to make your knew home. I live in the desert, I speak Arabic enough for any one to see I am not fresh off the plane and I work in the tourist business. In Sharm, it’s well, most people who work in the tourist business here are pretty, whats the polite word for below average intelligence? “First time Sharm El Sheik” they say like I am a walking hundred dollar bill. “Ana ash hena” ( I live here in Arabic) I reply “ah very good… first time Shamel El Sheik?” their false smile not changing through the whole conversation. I try to ignore the fact that he just ignored what I said to him and carry on looking at the swimming trucks for Angus who left his in Romania. The last time I was here I paid 50le for mine. Angus wanted a similar pair, but about half the material. “For you my friend….” he looks me up and down judging what I will pay “100, very special price for you Sir” I speak in English “Maybe you don’t understand Arabic, I told you I live here, I know the price of these is 50le.” “No sir” his muscles on his face keeping his teeth showing at all times. “ This price you speak for low quality” I say no thanks in Arabic and leave the shop. I go through this about 5 times. No one gives a monkeys that...

A tourist in London

I’m sitting in a coffee shop in Charlotte st. It’s 8.12am. It’s weird, I’ve been a tourist, a person completely disconnected with a city’s ways, many times. This time it’s different, I still feel disconnected; but I’m in London. I arrived yesterday morning. I flew in from 36 degrees in Bucharest and went straight to the cash point, my card didn’t work. I changed some RON to pounds at a crazy rip off rate. I headed to the car hire office miles from Luton Airport. The first two companies had no cars. Avis had a hair dryer for £97. “But I’m only here for the 36 hours” I said. She gave me the ‘So why you talking to Avis then’ look. The last car hire place had an young Indian guy booking in the guy in front. “Sir, just because it’s you, I would like to give you a special upgrade opportunity for you today… only £10a day.” The bearded 50+ techy type was having none of it. “Sir, as I want your regular business, I can give you the upgrade for £2?” I thought this only happened in the mad places I live, the guy is treating him like an idiot. The day so far is not going well. After several shakes of the head the aging techy finally got it across he just wanted the cheapest car he could get. “Sir, as it’s you I will give you the upgrade anyway for free” An English guy appeared in the both and serve me. “What would you like?” he said calmly. I smiled ” the cheapest for 36...

Weekend walk in Hungary

I traveled 16 hours home from Bucharest to Maramures on the train and the next day we headed to Hungary for a weekend with Suzy and her family. We drove for 4 hours to the Hungry border and only then… did Penny remember she had left Angus’s passport at home. Romanians can go to London without out a passport, but a kid from London is not allowed to leave Romania, without a passport. 8 hours of driving later we arrived as Suzy’s. The cows shown in the pictures set above looked like they should have been from Lapland. We we’re introduced to some amazing Hungarian cooking, Hungarian goulash, in Hungary tastes just that little bit better. Suzy showed us around the distillery where she works and gave us lots of ideas for making out own alcohol for our guests in Breb and showed us how to make jam from plums without out using any sugar. The drive home was a bit quicker and a little less...