mardi 22 avril 2008

Israeli days, part three

The bus pulled into Cairo after a long overnight journey from Luxor. It was August and the place was choking with heat, pollution and sweat. The bus had been fairly comfortable, but we’d been split up – the bus too full for us to sit together – and we’d both been hassled by our neighbours during the night. The busdriver had played hindi films at full volume for most of the night too. How we ever slept, I don’t know.

Being back in Cairo was a shock after the slightly more laid back (but still manic) south. We sat down with our bags at a cafe and tried to pull ourselves together over some thick Egyptian coffee.

We’d been travelling in Egypt for a few weeks and had done the traditional sights – the valley of the kings, the felucca trip up the nile, abu simbel, temples, temples and temples. We’d also spent a bit too long in the Bedouin camps of Dahab on the Sinai peninsula – back then there were no luxury five star hotels and dive boats. It was just hippies, Bedouins, and guys like us – lost, looking for something, no idea where to find it.

Our relationship had found a place, and a pace. We'd talked about it at length and knew that this was something good and something rare. Equally, neither of us wanted to get into anything heavy and neither of us wanted to put too much pressure on the other. We were no more than a typical fledgling couple on holiday - enjoying each other's company, learning more about one another and making the most of the sunshine and the exotic surroundings.

In Cairo, we checked into a cheap hotel and went to bed. I slept for what felt like days, but it could only have been a day, couldn’t it? I woke up and the room was dark. I was alone.

My head felt like it was attached to something else – a washing machine, a printing press, a tank of sharks, anything but my body. I could hear him snoring softly, but the oppressiveness of the heat and the stale room stopped me from moving nearer to him. I felt dreadful, the combination of heat, sun, sleepless nights and exotic substances had finally caught up with me. I knew the only way out of this was to go back to sleep.

When I finally woke again it was light outside and the sun was coming through the curtains, burning up every ounce of oxygen out of the room.

Paul was nowhere. Nor were his bags.

There was a note.

He’d gone home.

He loved me, but he wasn’t gay. It was all too much for him. This wasn’t the life he wanted. He didn't want to take this path. He’d had a girlfriend back home for goodness’ sake. How could he ever explain this to the folks in the UK?

He’d taken advantage of my exhausted state and gotten himself on a plane back to London.

I never saw him again.

14 commentaires:

CawfeeGuy a dit…

omg. you started my tuesday with teary eyes...

tornwordo a dit…

This story is unfolding so, uh, unexpectedly. I hope you continue it...(and I'm still waiting for the cavity search, lol)

travelling, but not in love a dit…

As I'm writing this, it seems to be going on and on. Part four will follow. And I'm pretty sure that won't be the end of it....

Tornwordo, this is all your fault you know - I set out to tell the cavity search story for you and look where it's got me!

aims a dit…

Oh Crap! I hate when lovers do a bunk in the middle of the night.

At least you had some happy times together. The question is - have you forever wished it hadn't turned out that way - or did you sniff and move on?

Now that thick Egyptian coffee - I've hear a lot about that from my brother - the coffee connoisseur...

As I said before - he almost died from food poisoning in Egypt. He says he thinks he got some bad dog and the doctor they finally called to his room told him he was just homesick....ahhh Egypt. And haven't I been saying my shrink was from there?? Sigh.

travelling, but not in love a dit…

Lord Aims, bad dog in Egypt - it doesn't sound good...especially when it turns out he was just missing his sis!

Medbh a dit…

I've had lovers do shitty things but leaving me like that wasn't one of them.
Damn, Travelling.
That sucks.

travelling, but not in love a dit…

Well Medbh, it was so long ago that it no longer sucks. But at the time it really did suck the big one. Nasty.

Swearing Mother a dit…

Bloody hell, that's sad. For a hideous minute there I thought you were going to say that he was gone and so were YOUR bags.

Blimey. I was getting ready to go all furious mother and that.

Bet you took a long time to get over that, how awful.

travelling, but not in love a dit…

SM, part four tells you how I got over it. It wasn't pretty, that's all I'm saying....

The Hangar Queen a dit…

Well you had it before but just for the record you have our full attention.

Excellent stuff.

conortje a dit…

Hmmm the horrible internet ate my comment yesterday - anyway basically it just said I can't wait for part 4.

travelling, but not in love a dit…

HQ, trop, trop kind. Merci me dear.

Conortje, how horrible of the internet to do that to you. It must have been a tasty morsel of a comment for it to be eaten in such a greedy way! Part 4 is there now....

Valleys Mam a dit…

I would love to share food and wine and talk with you
Next time your in bedlinog give me a shout
I have a friend who you would get on with so well, he is a great story teller too.

travelling, but not in love a dit…

VM, I tend to do a South Wales visit only at Christmas, but I'll remember to give you a shout when I do...it'd be very funny! A nice pint at the Bedlinog Inn - I can see it now!