Thursday, 3 December 2009

The Honeymoon from hell...well almost

Our wedding day was wonderful, truly great, quite honestly the best day of my life. I’d hardly had any time to think about it as I’d been revising for my OU Psychology degree exams which took place three days before and we were moving house within the village a few weeks later. With the festive season looming two weeks after that, my nerves were shredded, shot to hell really. But come the day, I was relaxed and happy and looking forward to becoming Mr MOB’s Mrs MOB, if you know what I mean. There simply wasn’t space or time to arrange a honeymoon but we didn’t mind because it didn’t matter where we were or who we were with because we had each other – altogether now.....Awwwww!

By the time we hit January at full pelt with short days, long nights, temperatures below zero and freezing rain, we knew the time had come to head off in search of a more temperate climate. “Egypt”, we trilled together as we came across a reasonably priced package deal promising soft white sands, blue skies, spectacular coral reefs and an all inclusive nosh setup.

“I can’t wait to see the Pyramids”, I cried with excitement, as Himself tapped away, booking our holiday online. My childhood had been a daydream of discovering exotic lands as I pored over my mother’s National Geographic magazines and now I was finally going to see the real thing; the stuff of dreams.

Now I don’t know about you but there is something disconcerting about taking a coach ride from the airport to the hotel with a battalion of armed guards to smooth your way.

“I don’t remember signing up as an extra in a Hollywood movie”, himself said, as he eyed up the trained killers decked out in desert coloured combat gear, designed to make them blend in with their surroundings. “Shame about the contrasting gun metal coloured Kalashnikovs slung over their shoulders - bit of a giveaway that”, he added, as he searched under his chair for a flak jacket.

“Yeah, that and the multicoloured headgear seem to be this seasons must-have if you want to merge with the natives”, I said, rifling through my bag for a t-towel and a pea-shooter, preparing for the worst should our attackers decide to take a few Western looking hostages.

Bailing out at the hotel some one hour later, I almost kissed the ground in thanks to the Lord above for a safe but life affirming journey. There’s nothing like contemplating an all out gun battle and seeing your life flash before you to get the holiday off to a great start. I mean, who wouldn’t want to risk their life trying to hang onto a suitcase full of T.K.Max holiday gear in assorted gregarious colours. After all, you’d have nowt to wear if the bandits toe’d it off with your XXL threads and call me a liar but that would surely spoil the rest of your relaxing break, wouldn’t it?

Lounging by the Olympic sized pool catching a few rays is fine for most people but if you’re a dark haired fair skinned Celt like me, all that gets you is sunstroke, sunburn, blisters that pop, skin peeling in great chunks that make your fellow tourists heave in horror before you eventually go white again. It’s really not a good look or worth the hassle and besides, what’s the point of sitting under an umbrella avoiding the sun? I can do that here, it costs nothing, and there’s not a weapon in sight. Johnny Holiday rep rubbed his hands in anticipation as we weaved our way towards him, part dazed by the sun and heat, part pissed from the cheap cocktails we had slung down our necks to calm ourselves after our journey. We opted for a trip to Cairo to see the much anticipated city, bazaars and Pyramids.

“Well then, that’s sorted, you leave Wednesday, return Friday. Now, as you have a day or two to spare, perhaps you’d like to consider a day experiencing traditional Bedouin village life”, he asked as he passed us the details. “Sure”, we said, “that sounds great”, as we handed over a wad of cash, cementing the deal for the next day.

Well let me tell you, riding on a Camel is no ordinary experience. There’s nothing better than sitting on a cantankerous old fart of an animal, about a hundred feet high and as wide as a razor blade. The sheer joy of having nothing to cling to other than a sweaty hump as it swings about 20 degrees left then right whilst bobbing forward at the same time caused me no end of terror. But that doesn’t equal the absolute delight I experienced as it decided, without warning mind you, to have a wee rest when it wanted to. Who can blame it, carrying a screaming lardy butt in blazing sun filled skies for its trouble? But just when I thought things couldn’t get any worse, down went the left leg sharply followed by the right whilst its arse was still 90 feet in the air and before I had a clue as to what the hell happened, I was soaring through the ether, face first towards terra firma and getting myself a wee head injury for my troubles. Oh yes, lying spread-eagled, face down on the burning sand in front of 50 or so still mounted riders just made my day. I had a face the colour of a well slapped arse.

Still, there’s always an upside if you look for it, the souvenirs from that trip were incomparable to any tat I have bought before; besides the multiple trauma flashbacks, we got to take home a few thousand Camel fleas. As we ate dinner in the archetypal Lawrence of Arabia type Bedouin tents, we looked like we were moving even when we sat deathly still. Growing almost fond of them by the end of the meal, we took them for a walk up a nearby hill to watch a magnificent sunset that was both spectacular and romantic. As day gave way to dusk, we walked to a hallowed area of the village that was snugly nestled by mountains, joined hands as a group and experienced a Bedouin blessing which was both peaceful and uplifting. Traditional music was played for us around open camp fires before we returned to our hotel for a nightcap. As we left, I felt sadness that such a proud people had been reduced to becoming a tourist attraction, but if not that, how would they survive in an ever increasingly commercial world? But they did it with pride and dignity and at least tomorrow they can feed their children.

We never made it to Cairo. 90% of the hotel guests, including us, caught a dose of the Nefertiti trots. We couldn’t stray more than ten feet from a toilet and if you weren’t quick off the mark to perform the old Pharoe quick step, you were done for. In a lesser hotel, some enterprising young Egyptian could have made his fortune selling toilet rolls for the price of a gold bar for he would have had a captive audience only too willing to swap their first born baby for a roll of Andrex. Thankfully, our hotel was a sumptuous cool sanctuary of air conditioned marble, soft seats and a bar that served until the last agony riddled tourists could feel no more pain and lurched off back to their room to sleep in peace until the alcohol wore off.

I must have missed that part in those National Geographic magazines.

37 comments:

Mopsa said...

Yes,oh yes, those Nefertiti trots...
I remember in the Sinai clutching my bog roll in one of the toilet cubicles that ran in long lines, none of which had doors or even curtains, shitting for England next to dozens of other men and women, all beyond caring, hoping our guts would stay inside and not out. Thank goodness we were travelling with the son of a doctor who dosed us up and saved me and several others from trailing intestines. I know, TMI.

Lori E said...

You and Mopsa could start your own travel magazine rating places by their toilet facilities.
You could rate them by Nefertiti Trots. 3 out 5 trots. 4 out of 5 trots. Or zero out of 5 trots when you shart in your pants because you can't get into a toilet stall.

ethelmaepotter! said...

At least you got a hilarious tale out of it!
Your imagery is delightful in the camel tale; I could picture the entire scene and feel your humiliation.
Ever think about a return trip...a second honeymoon?

Maggie May said...

That was a wonderful read. You have a very descriptive way of writing and the humour is great too.
I remember my Dad's National Geographic Mags very well. They were the source of my interest in far off places though I never got to Egypt and from what I read in your post ...... I consider myself lucky!
Camels are strange creatures!

Nuts in May

auntiegwen said...

Crap honeymoon great marriage, not too shabby is it? xx

Martin H. said...

In retrospect, which was most exhausting, the trials of an exotic holiday or the OU? I have only experienced the OU....all six years of it!

My brother holds the record in this family, for dropping his trousers in the streets of Calcutta after succumbing to a dose of the 'squirts'.

PurestGreen said...

"screaming lardy butt" - oh, that sounds like me. At one time I would have been curious to ride a camel but I think you have cured me of that. Great read - absolutely hilarious. Thank you for letting us laugh at your pain.

DJan said...

Ohmy. I have nothing to equal this, MOB, except perhaps a visit to Montezuma's Revenge in Mexico. I can only compete in the clutch of the desperation to find a place to excavate one's innards. Great story, but as others have said, the actual outcome of the honeymoon seems to be rather worth it...

Kathy's Klothesline said...

You have squelched my desire to travel abroad! A camel ride, huh?

I laughed until I cried and trying to tell love of my life why was even funnier....now exhausted, I am going to bed.

GooseBreeder said...

At least you remembered your passports or I assume you did?

Teresa Ashby said...

You have made me laugh on this dark and gloomy morning - you have such a way with words MOB.
I would pay to read pieces like this - wonderful stuff.

Valleys Mam said...

LOL We have three weeks in Egypt a couple of years ago
We saw it all- pyramids,Valley of the Kings ,The temples the museums
Did the Nile cruise - no trots,my fella had them for a couple of days ,so why not me I am the one with the reactive guts.
It was amazing , yes the soldiers were around but after a while you dont see them do you
What got me was the heat - just too bloody hot
Done that ,now I am going to stick to cooler Europe cos I am an auburn haired pale skined celt
Just love you style

menopausaloldbag (MOB) said...

Mopsa – for the love of God, crapping with men and women and no doors! Bugger me, how did you remain conscious? Oh the shame of it all. I am still cracking up with laughter at your imagery – i.e. the intestines being dragged around the floor! Fantastic comment.

Lori E – shart in your pants! Bloody brilliant! Yes, we didn’t dare fart for a whole two weeks lest we aced our pants and had sewage dripping down our legs, bloody marvellous. I like the idea of a Nefertiti rating – it could become an internationally recognised scale of measurement!

Ethalmaepotter – we want to take a trip down the Valley of the Kings someday but not on a camel and with a food taster on hand to eat everything first! I will have my own personal doctor to hand to! We’d love to go back and will one day but be very very careful what we eat!

Maggie – it is an amazing place and well worth a visit. Camels are fantastic creatures, huge eyes with lovely long lashes but the buggers like to flob globules of spit at you. I just won’t ride one ever again in my life. Never.

Auntiegwen – oh yes, now that I have come through the horrible menopause that blighted my last five years, it is an amazing marriage. Himself is a truly wonderful bloke and I was lucky to find him, keep him through the bad times and look forward to more good times, fingers crossed.

Martin H – oh definitely the OU exams, they are hard work. The holiday was great fun until we pooped our sphincters out! Well done on staying the course. But your poor brother – what an intensely hideous thing to have to do! I’m still laughing as I picture hoards of people legging it away in horror!

Purestgreen – oh don’t let my experience put you off riding a Camel – I am the Queen of fear when it comes to heights and I also have a balance problem so it doesn’t make for a great ride for me. Glad you had a laugh, I did once I was off the blasted creature.

Djan – Mexico is a place I would love to visit but I’ll be sure to take plenty of medication with me after your tale! God, it is just too awful pooping yourself silly when all you want is your bed at home.

Kathy – glad you had a laugh, given your recent circumstances. Oh you must go abroad – it is the most wonderful adventure, but then, the USA is so huge, you have plenty to see there first.

Goosebreeder – yup, had the passports. Particularly useful if your captors want to know which government to negotiate your release with.

Teresa – oh to have that comment from you is humbling as you get paid to write all your stories. I have some interest at the moment but not saying anything until it goes either way. I don’t want to jinx it. Thanks so much for making my day a wee bit!

Flowerpot said...

That was some honeymoon! Touch wood - she says quickly - I don't think I've ever had the trots on holiday.... famous last words...

aims said...

My brother almost died in Egypt from eating bad dog. He had food poisoning so badly and the doctor diagnosed him as being 'homesick'. And here's me - a million miles away and unable to help. Ripped my heart out. I love my brother.

However - he did mention that the trip to the pyramids was one filled with little children incessantly trying to sell him something. He said it was nothing short of horrid.

I've no plans to visit in the future.

Wildernesschic said...

Great post ! I have never been to Egypt would rather study it on the Discovery Chanel.
I lived in Spain for five years and now hardly ever sunbathe,, being also of celtic colouring with a family of toning shades none of us are great in the sun .. so we dont go .. people think we are sad but we hate hot holidays.. I think we are planning NYC this time next year. Where we live we need a city break xxx

Robynn's Ravings said...

Oh, dear LORD, you should write for travel magazines! I can hardly wait to NEVER go to Egypt!!! I'm rolling in hysterics over your camel description - well, I was until I read that you took a face plant which then became positively horrifying. And fleas? And then explosive evacuations that have nothing to do with the military? PASS.

Much rather find my way to bonnie old Scotland and visit a dear friend amidst the green and the clouds and the rain. You LIVE in the exotic location our family would like to visit - the U.K.! We will bring our bright whiteness and fair hair (Bo and I), or ruddy complections and slightly ginger hair (Jamie & The Wild Man), and fit right in. As long as we don't speak they might take us for locals. If we open our mouths, they might take us to the sanitarium instead.

LOVED THIS!!!!!! Oh, and just read Mopsa and Lori E and am rolling on the floor once again. You hang out with the funniest people. Now I have to visit THEM!

LittleBrownDog said...

Oh, Mob, that camel ride does not sound like a recipe for romance, and I don't like the sound of that atmospheric khaki scenery, either. Never been to Egypt myself, although my other half keeps trying to tempt me - you're not really selling it to me though. Think I'll stick to Skegness. Great read, though.

Carol said...

LOL MOB!! Brilliant post!!

I am completely with you on the whole Camel thing!! They are nasty, uncomfortable, smelly, bitey things....yes, I speak from experience!! (Not in Egypt, never been, but in Africa)

C x

Tattie Weasle said...

Noooo not the trots as well! Still it was a memorable honeymoon - why is it the things we hope will be perfect never quite come out that way?

menopausaloldbag (MOB) said...

Flowerpot – there is nothing worse than being so ill when you don’t have your own bed to crawl off to!

Aims – what a horrid tale about your brother. It is always sad to see children having to work when they should be at school. I have no doubt that I would be upset to see that too, but then tourism is sometimes the only living a country can make.

Wildernesschick – NYC is brilliant and even better since they reduced crime with their zero tolerance policy. I totally agree with taking breaks in cities – so much more to do and see.

Robyn – California is a place we plan to visit one day too. Maybe the grass is always greener! Scotland is amazing but then so is so much of the British Isles. Americans are particularly popular in Scotland so you’d be welcomed with open arms and have a great time. Hope you popped off to see Mopsa and Lori-E – they do good blogs, I cracked up when reading their comments – brilliant.

LBD – oh you must go to Egypt – it is really well worth the visit! At least you get clear blue skies and sunshine unlike our weather-beaten little island!

Carol – bless the poor souls having to carry people around for a living. They are all that you say but they do have great faces – such huge eyes and long lashes!

Tattie – and the impromptu events turn out to be so good! I guess we just set our expectations so high that sometimes we get disappointed. But, we never experienced such agony or multiple squitting session like that before. Absolute murder.

Trish @ Mum's Gone to... said...

Just discovered your blog and this is my kind of post! Love it! Long time since I've heard the phrase "a well-slapped arse". More please: will follow you so I can get a top-up!

Lane said...

Oh my. You won't forget that honeymoon will you.

Could it be time for a second honeymoon very soon? Somewhere where you could be hot to trot(s) in a good way?:-)

Mo said...

So you'll be planning a second Honeymoon sometime soon. With so much excitment on the first.

Not Waving but Drowning said...

I must have been there too. I too have suffered in Egypt, GG

Cheryl said...

It is a good thing that you have such a wonderful and strong marriage because I think I would have divorced my husband, right after I pushed him off the camel.
Seriously, I'm sorry, it was not the honeymoon of your dreams, but it does make for a great story. I seriously think you should write it up and submit it to a travel magazine. You had me laughing my ass off (a good thing).

I think a second Honeymoon is in order, soon.

Take care of yourself.
XOXOXOXOX

Bella said...

thanks for the laughs! even the comment section was a hoot! just the thoughts of Neferiti trots, LOL, keeps me firmly planted in the US, and I am not too enthusiastic about riding anything with four legs!

Lisa said...

I felt the need to share with you the story of Jason Bromby, a 28-year-old British diplomat who has gone missing in China. This is very scary. Read more about it:

www.maolovesyou.com

Spread the word, something needs to be done.

Dulwichmum said...

I never heard that expression before - Nefertiti Trots? Ha!

Have a wonderful Christmas and new year.

Bea x

Lena said...

MOB - my highest regards for the camel ride! Mounting and dismounting looks mental!

I've always been fascinated by Egyptian history and all the theories and enigma of Cleopatra.

Again another smile has spread on my face via your blog - just in time for Xmas, too! Happy tomorrow!
xx

Brighton Mum-Teenage Angst said...

Very late of me to comment, I know, and I'm sorry, but this had me laughing so hard, and as usual, beautifully written. Hope you had a wonderful christmas and wishing you the best for the new year xx

Olive Tree Guitar Ensemble said...

Hi, it's a very great blog.
I could tell how much efforts you've taken on it.
Keep doing!

i beati said...

trots hahahah

Tattie Weasle said...

Hi Mob!
Just checking...are you there moriarty???

Lena said...

Just a quick hello, hen!

Carol said...

There is an award over at mine for you :-)

C x

Lena said...

An another one!