I left the Army to work for a German gentleman in West Africa who thought it was OK to scream at me whenever he wasn’t happy with something I was involved with as his game fishing and diving resort Manager. You might think me thin skinned but having put up with that behaviour in the Military, I decided now I was a civilian I wasn’t going to tolerate it.
So I was back on the ‘merry go round’ of sending CV’s ( resumes) to a million people who made the mistake of putting their address ‘out there’. I wrote to resorts in diving magazines, I went to travel shows and generally made a nuisance of myself in the hope of gaining a job or at the least an interview.
I secured a grand total of two interviews, ( sigh) one in Hurghada, Egypt and the other in Aquaba, Jordan. Both places said if I travelled to the resort or dive operation I would be interviewed and the rest was up to me. So off I go on a plane to Cairo, visited the Pyramids, bought my sister a beautiful brass coffee pot from the hawkers market there, with a promise from the seller ” on his mothers life” it will not leak ( it did) and generally had a great time for a day in this wonderful land.
The next night I was bundled into the resorts hired Mercedes taxi with boxes and boxes of new dive gear strapped to the roof. I thought it was the Beverley Hillbillies. The trip to Hurghada was 6 hours overnight with one stop to refuel. On arrival at the resort, a couple of hours sleep was snatched before finding out ‘ horror of horrors’ the resort owner had decided to toddle off to London, (where I had just come from ) to a travel show. This was excellent info I would love to have had before travelling to where he used to be.
To say I was annoyed was an understatement but was cheerfully informed that he would return in about 10 days and maybe the interview could be rescheduled for then. Now, one thing that makes me absolutely ‘bonkers’ is being taken advantage of or ‘screwed over’ I think is the American term. So I took advantage of them, I went diving for the day, ( more about that in a minute) then jumped in the taxi that night and returned to Cairo ( more about that too).
Diving in places like Hurghada makes ‘ cattle boat diving’ like being alone on the moon. I jumped into the water from the resorts boat that was anchored alone on the dive site and I thought how nice it was to be the only boat in the area. The dive experience went downhill from this point.
I could hear boat propellers in the distance, they were getting louder and louder. When the dive master eventually arrived back at the anchor line imagine my surprise when I looked up to see 10 boats ( at least) tied to each other like a giant raft. The only way I knew ours was the one in the middle was because every boat had its name written in huge letters across the bottom of it.
This cemented my desire to get away from this sort of diving as soon as possible. So now we are back to the taxi ride that night to Cairo. I cannot say strongly enough how beautiful a car ride it was with no boxes on the roof, the sunroof was open, there were no clouds in the sky and you felt you could actually touch the stars. A memory I will always thank the Egypt trip for.
Now of course the fun starts, I have to get from Cairo to Jordan and then hope the interview for the job is still open. Getting any assistance in that part of the world from official places like airline counters etc is really difficult if not impossible, until you work out that if you hold your passport in the air with US dollars sticking out the top of it. Depending how thick the bunch is depends how quickly you get to the front of the line.
That was my experience in Egypt, a couple of ok dives ( there are never any bad ones) and a monster amount of hassle.