After 3 weeks at Dahabitat we stayed in Dahab but we just moved up the road to Assalah. Assalah has a compeletely different feel to Mashraba. This part of town is where the Bedouins live. There are less tourists and shops (which is very good) here which are replaced by goats and dogs.
Our house was about 400 meters away from the beach. It was a white house with 2 bedrooms a big kitchen,beautiful sitting area and a hot and powerful shower which was all on the ground floor. When you walk through the main gate you arrive in the garden which has a sheltered sitting area and a few plants then you have to open another door into the house.
Upstairs there’s a terrace with a couple of sun beds and a few chairs. The best thing about upstairs is that there is a door leading into another bedroom with a dome in the ceiling,2 single beds which were together and an en suite bathroom and good storage space. This was the best because I got this room to myself for 1 week. I made the most of it since I probably won’t get a room to myself for the rest of the holiday. There was a view of the sea straight ahead and a view of the mountains towards the left. Once I stepped out of my room each morning I was blinded by the sun (I never got used to that) unless I woke up at 6:30am (which I did a couple of times) I didn’t squint when I walked out (the bright side is that it woke me up properly).
Most of the time we went to this great cafe on the beach and spent all day there and went snorkelling in the sea. This part of the sea was the Eel Garden and was great for snorkelling. Or we went shopping for fruit and vegetables at a stall which was down this small alley way in the Assalah square (highly recommended). Or walking into Mashraba or just bobbing about the house.
We spent our first weekend here in the desert (which is for the next blog post). On Monday it was my bros’ 2nd birthday. HAPPY BIRTHDAY JEDIDIAH ! I bought him a touch junior tablet in England so I had my present sorted but mum and TUT didn’t so on Sunday we found this cheap weird little shop on the backstreet which sold cheap plastic toys so we got him a few of them (we knew they were going to break straight away but he’ll never know). Yes as we thought as soon as he opened them some part of it fell off (there’s no difference to him anyway). He enjoyed each and every toy anyway. Since I told him he was going to get loads of balloons for his birthday that was the only thing he bothered about.
He calls balloons “big-boo” so I was brain-washed by that all day and we got him a peacock toy and yes he learnt that word too so he was saying that to brain-wash me some more. We spent the day at the beach(Jed had a delicious pancake)
and picked up his cake on the way home (we ordered it from the German bakery the day before) so that kept him quiet for a few days. It was huge.
The first day after we had arrived we went to visit the Joon school (a nursery which was set-up by John the owner of this house) and ended up sitting in this small concrete room with a black board and the alphabet,the colours and numbers around it. It had a few benches at the other end for the children to sit on. There were 2 young girls and several small boys. We sat with them and watched them learn (So did Jed with great interest). They sang songs in English and Arabic, it was cute and they were very clever.
A couple of days before Christmas eve we were stopped by this women on our way home asking us (felt like telling us) to come for some tea and mum said after but in the end we didn’t go because we didn’t feel like it. But (I saw it from the balcony) the women sat outside the house with her baby for quarter of an hour until she realized we weren’t coming. On Christmas Eve one of her daughters came to ask us to come to have some tea with her mum. We went and had some tea and Bedouin bread. We were invited for some lunch tomorrow (christmas day) so we accepted.
A couple of days before I (and my family) decided to make a small Christmas tree. So me and Jed filled a water container with gravel and water and cut a branch of a plant outside and decorated it with tinsel (which we bought from that weird shop) and made some decorations. It turned out well for a tropical Christmas tree.
I came down at 7am but no one was awake so I just read outside until they opened the door. We had breakfast (pitta bread with hummus) and then it was time to open the presents. Jed opened the first present. He got a sandcastle kit and a few more plastic toys, paper aeroplanes and some playing cards. TUT got mum 3 artistic pictures (from Dahab). But he had to ask her what she wanted and then went to buy them (with help from me since he is terrible at bartering). TUT got a Heisenburg T-shirt from both of us, and a torch from mum with engravings(he loves torches).
I got UNO cards from Jed and a lovely bracelet with the names of countries I’ve been to from mum. A book, small bowling game with flakes and figs (I’m glad they were edibles then I don’t have to carry them) from my grandad (thank-you grandad!). I also got an MP3 player. I got a Nexus 7 from The Ultimate Traveller. It already had loads of apps on and a camera and lots more. I spent lots of time rearranging it and so on.
Thank-you everyone for those brilliant presents and to the people who gave me my presents early on.
We went to the Bedouins house like we promised for lunch. There was salad and a very large dish of cabbage rolled with rice inside to share (when I mean large I mean it).
It was good but different. TUT had chicken. It was very kind of them to go to all the trouble and a few of their friends came too.
After a couple of hours we walked home. One of the girls pushed the pram home with her younger sister and a friend. Once we reached the house and opened the door they just walked in. After that I had to stay downstairs to watch and entertain them. Watch them pick things up in the house and saying that it was nice and sometimes telling me to give it to them. Once it got towards the end of their departing I had had enough (I’m not being horrible but it was annoying after an hour). After that we got ready to go out.
We walked to the promenade and chose a restaurant. Once we sat down I announced that this was their Christmas present from me to both of them. The meal. It was a buffet so we could help ourselves to as much as we wanted. They had a lot of choice such as great tomato soup, dips, rice, lots and lots of other dishes. We got apple pie for desert. We picked this restaurant because it had Christmas decorations, it had a buffet and looked welcoming. Jed was entertained by a couple of boys his age. Well that was our 2014 Christmas.
After that day the girl that pushed Jed kept coming back to our house and knocking on the door. In the end we just ignored her. She was knocking every 15 minutes! And she would not give up. On our last day we let her in and gave a couple of bags full of stuff for her and her family. She didn’t say thanks but her mum did.
Hope you read my next blog post of our 2 day desert trip!