Monday, December 24, 2007

The Night (In Dahab) Before Christmas

T'was the night before Christmas and all through Dahab,
Not a creature was stirring, not even the mouse Peter caught with his bare hands and set free a half kilometer down the beach and who then came back to eat a package of non-hydrogenated choco biscuits.

The galabia were hung in ElAsalah Village with care,
In hopes that Mohammad soon would be there.
The little Bedouin girls who sold bracelets were nestled snug in their beds,
While visions of rich tourists and their money danced in their heads.

And Nora in her sarong and I in my Mizuno,
had just settled down for long winter snuzo.
When out in the beach there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from the mattress on the floor to see what was the matter.

Away from the cabin I flew like a Central Mass Strider,
Tore open the mosquito net and the door besid'er.
The moon on the edge of the Red Sea did behold,
The luster of mid-day to the plastic bottles scattered to and fro.

When what to my wondering eyes should appear,
but a pick-up truck taxi and eight mangy goats, my dear!
With a Bedouin driver, O in his fancy horned "Geep,"
I knew in a moment that this ride wouldn't be cheap.
More rapid than camels his promises came,
"Best Prices, Best Fabric!!"
No, dude, they're all the same!

Now Ahmed, now Sala, Peter and Shahla,
On Brian and Josh, on Jason, on Sam and Carmella.
Salam Alaikum, Salam Alaikum, Salam Alaikum to the rest of the crew at Yalla.

Now Riga, now Hamburg, now Buda and Pest.
On to Krakow, to Oslo, to Chamonix and the rest.
To the top of the Baltics, where the snow did fall,
We've seen it, we've done it, we've loved them all!

As dry leaves in Europe did fall to the ground,
We met with Arnuad and Emile and their advice was so sound!
So, up to the atmosphere our backpacks they flew,
"To Egypt!" we said, "Warmth, and pyramids, too!"

And then in a thud I heard on the plywood roof,
The clumsy clunking of camel toe hooves.
As I drew back my Kalashnikov and turned it around,
I was struck by the vision now staring me down!

He was dressed all in Egyptian cotton, from his sandals to his Arafat,
And there was soot on his lips from where his sheesha pipe had sat.
A bundle of memories he soon flung in my face,
And he appeared like a magician when he made me look back on this sojourn and each place.

My eyes how they twinkled! My memories so Merry!
Our new friends are like roses! The adventures sweet as guava!
More exotic than cherry.
Our trip, little in September, was drawn into more,
And exploring Egypt made it worthwhile, we are sure.
We had no set plans to hold tight while we wander,
But relied on new friends and their information of yonder.

We came to Hurghada, shop owners all yellie.
We found the resort town yucky and smelly.
It was Sinai and Dahab our destination or bust,
The snorkeling, the desert, the mountain all a must.

A glimpse of the beach, our small bungalow,
Gave us a calm from our head to our toe.
We spend many a night among our mates so wise,
Laughing and enjoying the world though their eyes.

And laying to rest with the sea as our song we give
Thanks to the many who have dared to come along.
To everyone everywhere.
At home and far from sight,

Merry Holidays!
Happy Solstice!
And to all a goodnight!

Peter and Nora

Baltic Sea in Latvia

Tallinn, Estonia at night

Boat Ride in Hurghada

Egyptian Red Sea Reefs from the air


Jamie and Adriane said...

Hey Pete!

My sister gave me a link to your blog! Man what an adventure. I am jealous.

Steve and Sally Swenson said...

Hi Peter and Nora,

Thanks for your card. What a fantastic trip! We'd love to have you visit and tell us all about it. Give us a call when you're in VT. We have 30" of snow here and skiing is great.
Take care,

Sally and Steve