Secret Vacations

I recently scanned a half dozen photos or so that had long since disappeared from my hard drive and existed only on A4 prints, safely tucked away in a photo folder. Itself safely tucked away in the bottom of a never opened draw. Some photos are best left tucked away. These two, more than most. They’ve already got me in trouble once. But it’s a shame to hide fond memories away completely. So I’ll let them see the light on day in this discreet corner of my virtual world. This corner, you see, is not looked at by those who I might get in trouble with. I think. I hope!

There’s a few stories behind these photos. They were taken almost ten years ago. On my now ancient, and long since sold on, Coolpix 880. Ten years ago in November, to be precise. I had a friend who lived in Sharm el Sheikh in Egypt. I had been before with a friend, and in November 2003 I went to say hello again. I went by myself this time. I did meet my friend. For about half an hour, on the final evening on my stay. You see, I got rather distracted….

The first morning in Sharm, I hit the beach. I selected a nice little space and lay down. Three Russian girls stopped by shortly after, and plumped for the bit of space next to me. Two of them spoke fluent English. The third, not a word. My Russian? I’ve always thought Slavic languages were a bit like listening to a record being played in reverse. I understand not a word of it.

And yet. Of the three. I hit it off with the blonde lass who spake no English. Make of that what you will. If you guessed that I probably do better when girls don’t know what I’m saying, you are probably on the right track. Still, the other two did a little translating here and there. And there are various international language understood by everyone.

All three of them appreciated my company. For my charm? My sophistication? My wit? Sadly, no. Unaccompanied girls in Egypt, and elsewhere in the Middle East get persistently harrassed and touched up. My sheer presence was off putting enough to randy Egyptians. And for that, they were grateful. Fantastic. I didn’t actually have to do a single thing…

It was a fabulous holiday. I once had loads of photos. I don’t know where they all are now. Long lost, bar these two. But these are the best two. I printed one out, put it in a frame and placed it on a bookcase. It sat there for more than a year. One day I came home from work, and it was face down. A certain Mexican senorita was staying at the time. It’s not her favourite photo. It ended up in a drawer somewhere. I’ve never seen it since. I expect it was hunted down and killed.

Everyone has to have a dirty little secret to be exposed now and then…


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