About a week after my arrival, I found myself settled into my new evening routine, propped up on the floor in a mountain of cushions reading, while simultaneously waiting the two hours for a movie to download from iTunes, when Kasia knocked on my door and popped her head in.
She invited me to come smoke shisha with her down on the promenade and because I was still desperate to have something to write home about I agreed, ignoring the fact that I don’t smoke, have a chronic lung disease (all the asthmatics in the house raise your hands yo) and wasn’t quite sure exactly what shisha actually was.
As you probably already know, and I was about to find out, shisha is delicious flavoured air that also destroys your insides. It does come in cherry flavour though and who can resist poison when it tastes so Goddamn sweet?
After this first supervised trip, I decided to brave it and take a walk, alone, back to the promenade the next again night, trying to ignore the myriad of fears running through my head. What if I see people? Should I ignore them or say hello or just do that weird eye contact, smile, look away thing? Oh dear God what if someone talks to me? And what if someone murders me? What if I stumble across a murder in progress? What then?
I have to point out that I didn’t have these anxieties because I was in Egypt. No, no, I have just as much social awkwardness and fear of murder in Scotland as I have abroad. So to minimise these fears which are amplified when I’m alone and trying to take lame touristy pictures of things, I like to pull an all-nighter and go for walks at 5am. Which is exactly what I did.
On the night before my next day off I loaded up my system with copious amounts of caffeine and sat in the one corner of the courtyard that got almost decent wifi signal and binged on all my favourite travel blogs until the sun came up. The first call to prayer of the day had just rung through the air, the sky was a pastel pink mixed with baby blue and I was ready to set off on my first adventure.
To Be Continued...