After swimming, lying on a comfy sun-lounger under the blue sky with a light breeze blowing over me, I fell into a deep sleep.I found myself in a beautiful garden, next to a babbling pool with hibiscus blossom and oleander waving from the flower beds. Fragrant scents drifted from roses and jasmine flowers.
I was tripping down the elegant steps to join a crowd of admirers who hushed at my approach. As I passed, they clapped and nodded to me and exclaimed “well done”. I glanced at my reflection in the pool and I was so young-looking – not more than 25yrs old and slim and fit and tanned. The reception committee handed me the Nobel-Oscar-Wimbledon -winning statuette and hung medals around my neck.
The sunset was glorious and the sky went dark, then lit up with countless points of bright shining sparks. They called out “encore, encore” so I gave them another perfect rendition of ‘La dona e mobile’ as the younger ladies threw flowers at my feet. Barack stepped out of the crowd and pleaded with me “Now, please will you be my running mate?”. I quickly signed a new treaty giving the Palestinians their own state and the right to return and recognising a legitimate state of Israel within the 1967 borders. The question of Jerusalem took a few more minutes to sort out, and then I rang Bashr Al Assad and set terms for his departure. The condition of women and LGBT people and disabled and other usually excluded groups and the state of the planet were resolved without a fuss. World poverty, hunger, malnutrition, disease, inequality and loneliness are a thing of the past under my latest proclamation. This is a decidedly good place for a snooze.
Al Quseir is a very nice little bay town with a long promenade along the beach and lots of tea/coffee/shisha places to pause and enjoy the view of the sea. The houses stretch all along the coast. We wandered around the souk looking for a wedding gift and, on a bric-a-brac stall, we came upon a little silvered and hammered lamp, with quite a sweet design, which Christiane liked.
It was on the hot air balloon trip that things started to go wrong. They said “don’t leave any valuables in the rooms”, so Chris put all the passports and tickets in her rucksack to be on the safe side. She was leaning over the edge of the basket when all the contents of the small pocket on the back of the rucksack fell out and spiralled down into the desert sands. This was a bit of a worry and once we were back on the ground, we quickly enlisted for the quad biking ride to go hunt for our documents, but to no avail and we returned to the hotel somewhat dejected and anxious.
Meanwhile, Rose has chosen to go on the scuba/snorkelling session and she saw some small pink things on the bottom, which she collected as souvenirs. There were no sharks at all to worry about but 15 varieties of deadly sea snakes, fatal tigerfiand venomous stingrays & stone fish. She said there was a man who was just as much nuisance as any sea creature. I am sure she should not have done it, but she said something unspeakably rude about his manhood and his mother and he accused her of taking coral from a protected area. The police took all the remaining money to release her.
So now we were stranded in the middle of the desert with pirates off shore and without any papers or tickets or money and not even a quad bike to get us to the airport. I blamed Christiane for wasting it all on a silly old lamp. We quarrelled, Chris was crying and wiping her eyes and rubbing the lamp… and guess what?
There suddenly appeared on the scene an Egyptian belly dancer from Croydon, who is a holiday rep in the low season. She admonished us for fighting when we really love each other and she said it was all Rose’s fault anyway. Then she waved her ID card at the checkpoints and whisked us all through to live happily ever after.