When I landed in Sharm El Sheikh, my course director (the person who taught my IDC) picked me up from the airport since, as luck would have it, she lived in Sharm El Sheikh. Not having to haggle for a taxi, she delivered me to the hotel where I would be staying for the first week. After the first week I would move to an appartment found by a new friend. This friend was a friend of her husband, and I ended up living in the same building. It was a dirty shack, not too nice, but I could clean it up, turn it into something nice, and it was quite nice hanging out with my new friend. I didn’t stay there a lot, as I was out most of the time anyway.
Why do I mention all this? To soften whoever’s reading this up for the blow: the room was FULL of cockroaches. It was beneath street level next to a sewer with a partly broken lid. I spend the first few days thoroughly cleaning my room and washroom and killing/removing all the cockroaches I could find. My friend does the same thing. When he first moved in there he had a LOT of them, you even have it in fancier buildings. But in his case, he plugged the most notorious points from where they enter the house, and on those spots, and just out of precaution, he sprayed a certain mix that he got by mixing insect repellant with house detergent in key locations and it kept the roaches out. In my case it didn’t work so well yet, so for the first week I learned to sleep with cockroaches around me… I learned that they don’t really bother people. After all, you could easily kill them, so they don’t exactly seek you out. Nonetheless, it was not very pleasant, so I ended up using a similar mix and catching/killing/removing all the roaches every two days. The last 2 weeks I moved in with another friend I made there who lived in a much nicer place and wanted some company and the rent would be the same for me as it had been before.
Enough about roaches. What is the life like in Sharm? Well… Upclass touristy. I lived in Hadaba, which is more local, and I didn’t really have a job. Every 2, 3 days I did the “walk of shame” in Sharm, going past the diveschools, letting them know I am still here, looking for work in case they need someone. That is how you get work, and that is how I got some. Even in Hadaba there are quite a bunch of small dive shops. But none of them really had work, unless you spoke Russian or Polish. There are a lot of people from Russia and Poland in Sharm. Turned out there was a LOT of tension with new elections happening soon, and the situation (to call it “politely” not fun what was happening there) made it so people where afraid to come to Egypt. Another scapegoat was the economic crisis. Whatever it was, there was hardly any work.
That didn’t mean I didn’t get to dive. As an instructor I got to dive with a few schools for a number of times to get familiar with the procedures and the dive sites. Now 10 or 20 dives in a few different dive sites doesn’t nessecary make you familiar with them, but you do get to know the procedures (Egypt is VERY profesional when it comes to that). The dive sites I got to go to were easy, just go in at one point, drift a bit while you gaze at everything there is to see and come back up at another point. The red sea is quite nice. The visibility is amazing, the coral widespread and full of life, and there is quite some life in it. The water is colder than in Asia though, so you’ll need a wetsuit quicker.
With friends I also went to Dahab and did a dive there at the Canyon. Dahab is a lot more laid back than Sharm, a lot more laid back, more backpacker style.
I didn’t stay very long, I stayed a month and a half and heard that you should expect to survive as long as that before you get a job, which is true… I booked my ticket and the next day I got about 8 offers. Nothing grande, but still solid work. However, I already had my ticket, and I was aching to see Asia again.
So Asia it was.