After hearing many many horror stories about how Egyptians con you out of your money and lock you in shops to make you buy something I of course turned up to Egypt a rather nervous traveller. Of course there are some street sellers who do this no question about it and we did come across many during one of our excursions to the Giza Pyramids. The hotel resort has many many shops in the same resort and because of the stories I had heard I had already developed a huge fear and mistrust of any Egyptions who might approach me.
However my first experience of the shops was in the bazaars accessed by the front of reception. I decided to buy a couple of scarves from one of the end bazaar shops and after talking and joking about how Egyptians barter and haggle with Ahmed, (who was working that day), I advised him I had no money on me but would come back later to purchase and collect the scarves I'd chosen. He then without hesitation folded up the scarves carefully, bagged them and advised me to come back later in the day (or even tomorrow) with the money. I left the shop in shock that this man had no idea of my name or room number and had not taken anything to hold as deposit and yet had allowed me to walk out without paying for these goods. I'd heard many stories of how Egyptians con you and are only interested in how much money they can take from you and yet this man was taking a gamble that I would indeed return with the monies owed to him.
Based on this encounter I became more confident in entering other establishments and shops striking up conversations and learning much about their culture and way of life. I became quite friendly with some of the bazaar shop workers and became almost like a part of the furniture (I think) I would meet with them to share food and drink and funny anecdotes and not one of them encouraged me to buy anything, they were just enjoying chatting and the company, they totally had time for me even just as a social visit. I met some very friendly reception staff (especially Mohammed (Elsafty-sorry I don't know how to spell it) and Peter) who both had such lovely warm smiles whenever I saw them working on the desks. The concierge were also really helpful when it came to arranging Tuf-Tufs for collecting our luggage after checking out of our rooms.
The restaurant was always very clean and tidy and certain staff members were very hands on when it came to assisting with the retrieval of food and drinks for certain tourists with mobility problems. They were all very friendly and made such an effort to communicate with me even using Egyptian sign language (which was somtimes confusing) Their sign for "work" is similar to British sign language sign for "church" and their sign for "name" looks like BSL sign for "Chocolate" so most the time I asked them to speak so I could read their lips but I was very touched by the fact they didn't ignore me and made an active attempt to communicate with me. The only down side I would venture about the restaurant would be the lack of variety with the main foods. Every day there would be a couple of changes made to certain dishes but the basics were the same. Also in the evening there would be quite loud music coming from the main square bar, it didn't bother me of course but other family members found it hard to sleep if they had an early excusion they had to be awake for..... my advice is to take some ear plugs with you, just in case.
There was 2 aqua aerobics classes a day in the main pool and the beach which was adjoined to the resort was so so beautiful. There was plenty of the all inclusive bars to be able to enjoy drinks and ice cream by the pool. It seems quite unfair that their winter is hotter than our summer whilst we endure freezing snow and ice...... I was sunburnt...... yet they wear jumpers!!!
Would I go back? Most definitely!!!
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