Thursday, July 26, 2018

Our Boring Life, House and Pet Sitting In Egypt.......

Ready for Our Morning Walk

For the past few months Clyde and I are being boring, settled into a house sit in Egypt. Although the house is spacious, modern and lovely with a gorgeous water view, we have not done much to blog about lately. Our days begin soon after sunrise, as we crawl out of bed around 5:30 AM, in order to walk the two dogs, Will and Tee Tee before the heat of the day sets in. Since Tee Tee sleeps on the floor of our bedroom, today I woke up being poked by a snout, telling us it was time to get out of bed. Will prefers sleeping downstairs or in the upstairs hallway, and keeping the two apart seems to alleviate any barking during the night.

Tee Tee Giving Hints That It's Time For The Evening Walk

And Sometimes Mouse The Cat, Who Thinks She's A Dog Comes Along

While we typically never repeat a house sit since there are so many other places to see, this one is a repeat. If you recall, as Americans we can only stay in the Schengen countries in Europe for 90 days and then need to leave for 90 days before reentering. So before leaving this house sit last year I indicated to the homeowners that we certainly would not mind coming back. By coming to Egypt again it filled that gap, giving us plenty of time out of Europe Besides that, the the house is lovely with a gorgeous pool outside, the dogs and cat are easy to handle, and we have made friends with some of the British people and Europeans that live here.

Back Of The House With Pool

But this is El Gouna, a resort city for the rich and famous. Those that live here are rich Egyptians who either retired here or use their villa here as their weekend getaway. The Brits and Europeans bought into the development ten or more years ago when property was selling at good prices, compared to those back in their countries. Nowadays, homes here are selling for a million euros and up.

Lagoons Surround Most Villas Here
El Gouna Means, "Lagoon."

Watching The Sunset From The Pool

Our View From The Dining and Living Room
This Place Really Is Lovely!

During the daytime temperatures rise to 100F/40C with scorching sunshine and dry, dusty air. The streets are like that of a ghost town since people stay inside, only venturing out in the early mornings or at night. The only people outside are the workers who meticulously keep El Gouna clean. They include gardeners, pool boys, garbage men, security guards, military soldiers standing guard, fumigators, drivers of taxi's, tuk-tuk's, and buses just to name a few.

We have been going out to dinner on a regular basis since eating out is cheap here. We can literally get  a meal out for as little as $2 each, or splurge on an array of other restaurants. Typically we spend around $15 for two meals and drinks and have enjoyed Italian, Egyptian, Greek, seafood, grilled meats and so much more.

Thanks to the Brits that live here a local restaurant has become the place for Friday night karaoke. We have enjoyed a night out, with a few drinks to party with Europeans and Egyptians alike. Most Egyptians are Muslim and despite what you may think about Muslims, they do get out to party like the rest of us. Hearing karaoke sang in Arabic was a rather different experience, although we were not able to sing along.

  Karaoke With New Friends

Yes These Are Conservative Egyptians, 
Even The Girl In The Tiny Shorts sang
"My Way," by Paul Anka. Way Before Her Time!

Partying With and Like Egyptians

Also we have enjoyed several days out on the Red Sea that included snorkeling, lunch, some time on a beach and socializing with our new friends that live here.

Out On The Red Sea

In our travels we need to take time out once in a while to do routine things like having our teeth cleaned. Since we were overdue we decided to visit a dental clinic here.....yes in Egypt! At the advice of our British friends, we made appointments with a local dental clinic that they use. First we hired a taxi to get us into the nearby city of Hurghada to find the clinic.

                                                 Dental Clinic In Hurghada, Egypt

Outside the building was old and rundown and featured a restaurant on the ground level with the clinic up above. Not sure where to go we first walked into the restaurant to see if there was access to go upstairs. As I looked around the modern cafe I realized that there was not another woman in there. Men sat at tables wearing long robes, some white, gray or black while others were dressed in normal clothing. Many were smoking "sheesha" pipes, that were attached to elaborate, silver bottles through long tubing. While we have no idea what the attraction to sheesha is, we see men and women at just about every restaurant here smoking it.

A Sheesha Pipe

We left the restaurant and walked outside and around the side of the building where we found an elevator up to the second floor. Once inside, the dental clinic was bright, clean and modern with the latest equipment and English speaking staff. We paid about $38 each for thorough cleanings and were quite impressed with the service. And our appointments were on a Sunday afternoon which we thought was strange.

Because we have nothing but time at this house sit, we have decided to spend it wisely doing something useful. We are learning European Portuguese for the next chapter of our lives that includes setting up a home base, apartment in Portugal and pursuing residency there. Although learning a new language is never easy, we are SO thankful that we have learned Spanish since many of the words in Portuguese are similar. But while the written language looks similar, the spoken words are totally different! We found some self-learning programs to do at the house and have just signed on for private lessons via Skype with a teacher in Portugal. Hopefully, with our knowledge of Spanish that gives us a head start, we will go further with our knowledge of Portuguese than we ever did with Spanish. Time will tell and we will let you know after we land in Portugal next month and see how it all plays out.

A bit strange to think that we are Americans who first leaned Spanish and British English, and now are learning Portuguese while living in Egypt. Amazing where our lives have taken us! Stay tuned as the next chapter of our lives unfolds in a few more weeks as we begin our lives in Portugal......along the gringo trail.

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