My Theory On Blooming

LIFE OF AN AMERICAN EXPAT LIVING ABROAD

We recently went to Egypt for our Christmas vacation…Family time, just the four of us.  It was also a time for us to rejuvenate and ready ourselves for the remaining months of an overcast wet winter.  Maybe a little sun on the face would make bearing those dark dreaded mornings a little easier. 

So, have you ever witnessed bears waking up from hibernation?  Well I think I might have witnessed it first hand during our trip to Sharm El Sheikh.  We stayed at a five star resort (more like a three and half star in my opinion), but what can you do.  My expectations should have been much lower, but I think I was sold this trip with a bit of false promise.  Anyway, back to the bears…

Northern Africa and the Middle East is a hot spot for many tourists.  The resorts are usually all-inclusive, and that means all you can eat and drink.  JACKPOT!!!  During meal time or snack times they would attack the buffet lines like they’ve just been rescued from the Sahara, and haven’t eaten for months.  (Thus, my bear in hibernation comparison.)  I mean these people were piling their plates with croissants and pastries, like a hoarder stuffs pizza boxes into a bathtub.  I was really sad that we decided to visit Nama Bay the night of the Fisherman’s Buffet Dinner…I am sure the fried shrimp were a hot commodity.

My next tourist observation pertains to clothing.  I do not claim to be a fashionista by any means, but I can say that about 90% of the time the outfits I’ve seen would be on the back page of Glamour magazine with “NOT” written over it with a black bar over their eyes.  Between distressed stonewashed ensembles, stripper heels, and whale tales (AKA thongs)…I’ve likely seen the majority of most women’s bodies – the good and the bad.  My favorite outfit included a blinged out crush velvet pink mini, a zebra print halter, and Lady Gaga-esque platform stilettos.  Oh…did I mention this was pool attire?  I was waiting for this broad to bite it on the pool deck which was like walking on a skating rink.

Maybe I’m being too harsh. 

During our stay we had our towels hijacked at the pool one morning.  Since there was only one heated pool at the resort, you had to reserve your chairs early in the morning.  I wouldn’t have cared so much about the towels, except the cost was 25 each if they were lost.  Unfortunately my husband couldn’t remember where exactly he put our things, and I bitched out a father and son duo whom my forgetful husband doesn’t actually think took them.  I was proud of myself for going after them like a bulldog though.  I think my “I bet bullshit translates pretty well” comment was stellar.  Poor Russian men, please accept my apologies…

My husband’s birthday falls on New Year’s Eve.  So, he feels a bit slighted…Birthday/Christmas gifts; the party is never for him, etc.  Well, as he’s gotten older and we’ve produced off-spring, his birthdays have gotten far worse.  I think this year’s lack of festivities takes the cake.  We had dinner with the girls in a big ballroom with a huge spread.  Had it just been the two of us, it would have been great…but since Tweedle-Dee and Tweedle-Dumb were in tow, it consisted of us chasing them around and conning them into eating their meals.  It later ended up with him watching “Modern Family” via iPod and headphones.  No NYE toast, no exciting “non-birthday party”, but me writing and him without a party.  How lame, right?  One day, I’ll make it up to him.  It might take a while for it to happen, but it will…I promise.  On a lighter note, we did go for a NYE sunset camel ride in the desert.

On this trip, I have learned a few things…
  1. My two year old is an Egyptian man magnet.  They LOVE her.  We couldn’t walk down the street without her getting a high five from every wheeler and dealer on the road.
  2. I am never staying in a single hotel room with my children again.  I’d rather have my eyelashes plucked out one by one.  When the travel agent says “family room” – he means a room with enough beds.  I love having to fight the kids to sleep every night, and then sit in the dark.
  3. Camels smell, and so will you and your clothes after you are done riding them.
  4.  PET bottles and old tires grow in the desert.
  5. Carrefour (European grocery store chain) is a life saver.  I never thought I’d be so happy to see one in the middle of the desert.
  6. Pick a hotel with a small store in it.  Stupid me.  Refer to #5.
  7. Don’t ever worry about your self-image in a bathing suit.  You’re wasting your breathe because there are so many others who look far worse than you, and choose to wear small coverage swimsuits.  Eww.

Even though I bitch a lot, taking a much needed getaway is essential.  It recharges you for the winter rain and cold, and gives you time with the ones you love.  Things like watching my kids in the pool with their “bloaties” and seeing how much fun they are having.  Taking them for a camel ride, and seeing how excited (or was it frightened) they were!  I taught my four year old about the hibiscus flower, and her response was “Does it grow biscuits?”  She thought I called it a Hi-Biscuit!  Watching the girls hopped up on Fanta, chasing the birds around the outdoor eating area. Just two little girls without a care in the world…except for who’s going to hold mommy’s hand. 

Eventually these will be the memories of this trip…not bad food, rude people or unmet expectations.  In the years to come the girls will want less and less to do with me, and I’ll miss them.  Although, when I said this to a stranger the other day, my four year old butt in and said “Mommy, I’ll always want to be with you!”  I hope so honey, I hope so.

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