Kasia had just gone back to Europe for a month and although my manager, Mo, was super friendly, he was also super busy, you know, running a hotel. So I did what any self-respecting millennial would and looked to the internet to solve my problems for me.
It took one google search and I found her. Kirsteen Mahmoud, a blogger and British lady turned local Dahab resident, who fell in love on holiday and stuck it out long distance, before finally getting married and making Dahab home. Oh, and she had twitter.
After seven different drafts of an initial message, I DM’d her. Within the hour she’d messaged me back, welcomed me to Dahab and invited me out for dinner the next again day. As it turned out, meeting her would be the first step in truly settling in, making that little seaside town in Egypt feel less intimidating, less lonely and a lot more like home.
Through Kirsteen, I met many more kind and hilarious people, the first of whom was an Australian woman on holiday with her Egyptian boyfriend. He lived in Alexandria, she lived thousands of miles away on the other side of the world and they went long distance for months at a time, broken up by holidays on the Red Sea Coast.
I went out with them to one of Dahab’s three clubs where we drank crappy (but cheap) booze and made pals with strangers, dancing and laughing until the silly hours when we all stumbled home, but only after going for chips (which I subsequently spewed right back up again in an alleyway). I’m not saying I’m proud of it, but I am saying it was like I’d never left Scotland which is exactly what I needed at that exact point in time.
Oh, and just so you know, that story has a happy ending too. He moved to Australia earlier this year, after months and months of exhausting visa applications, which meant they could finally be together for longer than three weeks at a time. They’ve been married three months, I saw the pictures, it could melt even the most hardened cynics heart.
To Be Continued...