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One Blue, two rule, three who?
From the Dahab Chronicles collection.
I see blue lagoons, I see one, two, three pools. We are in a turquoise oasis, surrounded by dirt khaki clay mountains, this is the Sinai. The water seems crisp light blue, if only you could drink it as a refreshing bevy. Just like a beach camels sipping on salty sea water under the daggering eastern sun. We lay under our ornamented Arabian hut, colourful geometrical shapes give an identity to each of these tents on the border of the beach. In all this mayehem of local littoral tourists families, in this multitude of bare feet, paws and even-toes, a haze of dirt builds up to follow us everywhere like a shadow. It is hot, and our scents have already merged with all the others around, sublimed by the odours of grilled street food and all type of tropical fruit juices. I was sipping on a lukewarm banana milkshake that really tasted like banana and milk, when did we start lying to ourselves about real food I wonder. In all that mayehem we are laying on the floor rugs like Asians cows, calm and meditative, on the middle of this sensual tornado, in a way its so serene here life steers itself, like a cast away sea ship. Not even the street brawls or the omnipresent honking could shake us out this dreamlike state. A couple of friends sit on the floor with us, with them sit a heritage of royal arabesque manners, a nonchalance in life that only royalty has, in contrats to their talk and humour that is plebeian like ours, we just keep on smiling and laughing and sipping on our now warm but still refreshing fruit shakes. We speak about news in new Cairo and the north Sahel as if we were locals, from there is born the idea of visiting a nearby paradisiac area near the north , our next step for the day I suppose. Here the days don’t really have a beginning or a predefined course, but somehow always lead us to a new place that feels just like home, giving them a sweet and salty taste like green mangos and salt.
Little dirt pebbles give a soft massage to my feet between my worn-out plastic sandals, I can feel the terrain straight under my sole, it is accidented sometimes sharp and sometimes more rounded, this feeling of connection just feels so evident, the ground or even the planet itself is communicating trough curves and textures, and I just follow it.
On the broken highway, we jump and make as many signs we can to stop a cab, so hilarious how one simple action can be interpreted in so many ways, whistling, hand standing or showing their naked butt. The pickup cab driver stops, and we all hop on without hesitating, luck on us, apparently he was also our so-called travel guide for the day, we had no idea Adam had already fixed a rendez vous, weird but ok. This man will be in charge of smuggling all 6 of us into the private divers’ beaches of Dahab, controlled by multiple police and military checkpoints. Was it really, only non-licenced fishermen they were looking for? I don’t know. Despite the so convincing plan of Mohamed the driver, I don’t know his name, but here in the middle east everyone is fine with being called Mohamed. Loyal to the good old middle eastern way, we didn’t even make it passed the first checkpoint. So now loud Arabic arguing starts filling up the atmosphere, but things seem cool, until the shouting stops abruptly, and we can see the face of our driver, he seems vexed in a way that hurt his trust, a way only a treason could cut. He had been scammed by his insider police accomplices, and now his profit for the plan was plummeting, fast, wild improvisation had to be made, desperation was creeping on his hairy shoulder, as the old pickuptruck clock kept on ticking. A unprepared unverified plan surges to his mind, and in his tunnel vision it seems like the only way to get to the light. His hands grip tighter on the steering wheel, his conversation feels sharper, and his right foot is already exhausted from holding his foot from sending the gas pedal all the way. The road is so extreme it feels like a dirt bike trail, and on a falling apart pickup truck, this is more like riding up a tsunami in a holed fisherman raft!
We ram through the barrier of the second checkpoint, behind us two officers storm out the office chasing and cursing our whole family lineage. We are now going at the maximum speed the old car can do, like the tornado of the Tasmanian devil we arrive invisible, to the little port without attracting anyone’s attention, while Mohamed rushes us to his friends restaurant hut in front of this magnificent blue ocean unlike us, flat and still .We all laugh and joke about how Mohamed had been so crazy, but all of this was for us, just a gag and in no time this story was left behind in our mind, we were already buying colourful bracelets for all of our friends and diving into the turquoise water.
Mohamed ran across the street now heavily sweating, the whole back of his ragged beige shirt was damp, he turned the car on and started driving , ruminating why he had acted so proudly, why he gave in , he should of backed off and taken the loss, it wasn’t much , he can make 10 times that money in a day, but now he was deep in unknow loss, and every second that passed dug him deeper. It was maybe this intoxicating energy of those young men, us the gawri foreigners, we spoke and sweat risk, as if it was the only choice we could make. You see, rules never applied to us, maybe because we had always been above the law or in a safe heaven since we were born.
Mohamed, on the other hand had never been permitted to feel that way. When a young child, his parents humble Muslim family from the Sinai mountains region believed in hard work and respect, they made him understand since he was born that they were not special and would never be, life for him and his sisters would be surviving and gathering one more grain of salt for the family, self-satisfaction was not a colour in their life pallet, he understood it the day he first started school.
He was the youngest of 3, only sisters older than him. So alast his time arrived, to join everyone at school. He was so excited that day, his mother had prepared a whole platter of Tameya and scrambled eggs with sausage. He ate it all and felt today was the day he would take over, the day something special was going to happen, he walked to school with his sister on the path that he used to wave them goodbye every morning for the past five years. Getting closer and feeling more voices in the air, his gut could sense chaos approaching, an uncontrollable enormous creature was near, and he had to face it.
Mohamed parks recklessly, and gets down the driver seat, he turns around to finally look into the eyes of a terrified 9-year-old boy, who just answers:
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