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Site Visits Across the Red Sea

December 19, 2009

 

Well I was in Cairo for all of about one day when I found out that we were going to the Red Sea for two days on site visits.  While I was still extremely tired, I have to admit I was excited considering the only site visits I’ve been on where with Brian Husting to the glamorous San Manuel Casino. 

One thing that’s great about Egypt is the airports.  Actually I’m betting it’s like this in all Middle Eastern countries, but Israel.  There is little to no security.  I walk through with my belt and shoes on.  The metal detector beeps for everyone but it doesn’t matter.  I guess it helps that they’re not quite as scared as Americans about terrorism. 

We landed in Hurghada and it was such a tourist trap that for a moment I felt like I was transported to Cancun.  To compound the matter, the hotel we were staying at had zero Egyptians and a surplus of Russian Euro-Trash.  Men wore mullets and women strode around wearing barely-there tops incrusted with jewelry.  It was almost comical to the point where it turned around and I could see hipsters dressing like this ironically. 

View from my room of the Hotel and Red Sea

There is definitely an underlying class system in Egypt and a huge divide between the rich and the poor.  When we left the hotel, obnoxiously, the company paid for one driver for each of us.  It was an unnecessary gesture which further distinguishes those with money from those without.  In this country having a car is considered a huge blessing.  To assign two SUVs for two people seems borderline obscene. 

At Marsa Alam, we got to tour the hotel currently under construction.  Again we were lavished with drinks and service and I always felt a little uncomfortable.  The food was great and we got down to some pretty intense meetings about deadlines and contracts.  Thankfully, they spoke English during the meetings and I got a sense of how business as a developer felt like.  After a long day of driving and meetings we got to go home to Cairo in style: private jet!  While it was a bit small, the seats were comfortable and we got home way faster than normal.  Plus, you can smoke to your heart’s content which was awesome for everyone but me.  But I’m getting used to that now. 

Hotel at Marsa Alam

Hopefully I’ll be able to settle in now and become adjusted here in Cairo. 

I acted like I always travel on private jet, so the picture was blurry. Had to play it cool!!!

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