A shitty store boasting better prices than Ullared - Gekås. I am speechless.
Wandering outside of the hotel neighborhood you find some small shops and some tourist-stuff but it’s really not that much. As far as I can tell, there is no local center with shopping and dining within a reasonable walking distance. It’s quite sad really. It seems that people here, myself included, live very confined within the hotel boundaries, now and again walking 50-200 meters outside of it to find a different restaurant than the one you ate at yesterday. I now only have two restaurants left. The only reason I ventured outside today was because I wanted to see some new stuff and have some more options for eating. Sadly, I don’t think I will be trying this again.
Abandoned construction; this is Hurghada.
As for the salesmen, i almost got roped in by another one today. I said I was from Sweden and he said “tjena broosscchhaaann” because that’s what he knew how to say in Swedish (means “hello brother” or the equivalent of “yo brooo”). He told me about his shop and I said I had to go and he told me he wanted something written in Swedish and I could help. So, I decided to help him. I knew he didn’t really have anything that he needed
me to write, but I thought I would write something and was interested as to what that would be. Unfortunately, as we came into his shop he didn’t give a hint about writing anything, he was just talking about his fucking perfumes. So I said I didn’t come to here to egypt to buy anything, I came to relax. He asked why I didn’t want to buy anything and I said I didn’t need it. It seems as if he was stumped by this, either because he thought that you couldn’t resist buying things just because you don’t need it, or he has never seen a westerner who thought he didn’t need anything. Anyway, with this argument I was quickly out of the store.
Delapedated housing is a common sight.
As I walked on and passed more salesmen and managed to somehow rustle my way out of talking with them (looking down in the street and not making eye-contact is a good start) I realized that I didn’t need to be Fredrik from Sweden. These salesmen have all adjusted their styles and sales-tactics to Swedish, Norweigan, Finnish and German people. Those are literally the only people who come here. So I thought about who I could be otherwise, being Japanese sure would help. When they stuck out their hand to greet me I could shake it and say “Hajimemashite, watashi wa Fredrik desu.” And as they tried to understand what had just happened and started speaking english with me I could say “eigo ga wakaranai” and then just repeat “wakaranai, gomen nasai, wakaranai” as I slowly walked away. The problem though; I don’t look very Japanese. So it would probably just be very weird and they’d probably try to keep me there or somehow follow me and talk to me because they knew I was outright lying (though I still might try it, could be fun).
A beautiful Mosque close to the hotel.
My second attempt at a different personality was John, from Portland, Oregon, United States of America. I literally came up with the name as he was asking me, I waited like 2 seconds and John was the first name that popped into my mind that was American enough. I have so far tried this personality on three salesmen and it actually works quite well. Being American has several advantages, I don’t care what things cost so when they say “It’s rrreally cheap for you my friend” I can say “I don’t really care about the price, this is just not my style”. Now this one could work for a Swedish person too of course. Being American also gives you an excuse to be rude, to not care about culture and use the excuse that you can’t bring it home because customs wont allow it. They don’t know how American customs work because they don’t get American visitors. They only know that Swedish people can buy spices and crappy perfume, they don’t know if it’s true or not that American people aren’t allowed to bring in spices through customs. To top it off, most Muslims don’t really care for American people.
Being from Portland also gives it a higher probability of being true, Portland has quite a lot of Swedish and Scandinavian inhabitants and when a guy said I looked Swedish I simply said that my grandparents are Swedish. My English is good enough to fool the people here, and if it isn’t – what do I care? If they figure out I’m lying to them, that will only work to my advantage. The lie is believable enough that they can’t call it out without calling me a liar (as opposed to being Japanese); to which I would of course be outraged and walk away. If they figure out I’m a liar and don’t call me out on it, they have two options: get upset or continue as normal. Continuing as normal is the worst case scenario because then I still have to fend them off further, if they get upset they can’t do anything but stop talking to me – which is exactly what I want!
When I walk around here, I can’t help to think that this is the exact opposite of Tokyo. Sure the sun is nice, but that’s it. That’s literally all that is nice here. I’m definitely not complaining, I quite like it, the sun and the beach is all I need to do what I came here to do. But if I was taking a real vacation, this would not be in my top pick. I miss Tokyo.