Woke to a gloriously sunny day, which I spent at the beach with a copy of the Daily Mirror – the first English newspaper I’d read for a year. The front page was all about how England lost the right to host the World Cup in 2018 – Russia won it. I lay on the sunlounger reading the headline: ‘Russia – a mafia state dogged by corruption.’ I was on a beach full of Russians, so quickly turned over the page. It was fun to read The Mirror – I enjoyed the very English sarcasm and wit by the columnists. I slept, woke up, strolled up and down the beach, listened to music. I needed a day like this.
I met no-one. Talked to no-one. In the evening, I went to a bar, smoked tobacco as, much to the joy of the waiter, who said I was the first foreigner ever to order that – they usually order apple – and he gave me a ‘you’re clued-in’ sign, and he was under the impression I lived in Cairo….big compliments indeed. Disillusioned with Sharm, I left to go back to the hotel. I’d already made up my mind to leave this illusion of Egypt behind and return to the real place.