Dinner on the Red Sea

We walked from our hotel to a restaurant that was famed to have great, fresh fish, Fluka. 

On the way, we were stopped by a Bedouin young man with a camel on a rope.  I went to take a picture and he had the camel heel and kneel and told me to get on it for the picture.  Ok.  I went over and stepped on the rug of a saddle, flung my leg over his/her backside and sat on it.  Before my dad could even take the picture, the man had the camel stand up.  If you have not had the wonderful experience of riding a camel, I’m sorry.  First, the camel props him/herself up on it’s hind knees, so you hold on tight to the reins and your upper body is flung forward, then up on his/her hind legs, a bit more of a fling forward and then up onto all fours, as the front legs come up, and your body flies back.  It’s quite exhilarating.   

me on the camel 🙂

The man handed me the reins and started clicking with his mouth.  The camel started walking.   “Ok, thank you” I said.  I thought we were just taking a picture but it soon became evident that this was a business transaction for him.  I road the camel up and down the sidewalk, making small talk with the man.  “Ok,” I said, “no no,” he calmly replied “you will ride the camel back down the alley.  Looks like I didn’t have a choice.  It’s very peaceful, riding a camel.  Your lower body moves forward with the body of the camel and your upper body follows.  It’s really amazing, when you watch the camel walk, it moves both right front and right hind leg forward, together and then left front and left hind leg next.  This is unlike a horse and not that it can really be compared, but also unlike a human, we walk with our right leg and left arm forward and then reverse, to balance.  They really are amazing creatures. 

Sally and the camel, ha ha

I finished my ride.  Now for the camel to sit down, front legs collapse to the ground and your upper body flies forward.  You feel as though you will fly right off, somersaulting off the camels head. Thankfully that did not happen.  Then the back legs plop down and your body gets flung back.  Really cool sensation.  My dad put his hand in his pocket to give the man some money.  The man asked for 10 Dinar, about $14.  My dad got angry.  He started yelling at the man, “she just wanted a picture, you took her for a ride, this is a rip off.”  This happens a lot with tourists and camel owners.  My dad tried to give him 2 dinar, the man said it wouldn’t do.  He insisted that it was fine and we didn’t need to pay.  I felt bad, “How about 5?” “That won’t work,” the man responded, “khalas (enough) it’s on us.”  My dad was not pleased, “okay Sally, let’s go,” and he started to walk away.  My insides hurt.  I gave him the 5, thanked him a lot and went away.  My dad was mumbling how this wasn’t the first time this happened and they always cheat you, etc. etc. 

We made our way to the restaurant we’d been directed to.

shrimps!

Thank you for sacrificing yourself fishy, for my gastronomic delight

We sat down at the restaurant and had fish, caught that day in Red Sea, along with wine and various breads and dips.  The fish was prepared “harra,” which means hot/spicy, with red peppers, green peppers, cilantro, garlic, and whatnot (see image below).  We had white wine made in Jordan, which was quite delightful, from a vineyard call Zumot. This is what life is about.  Sharing a nice meal with people you love.  Sharing stories and experiences and just enjoying whatever life has to offer.  I wish that for you.  

Before
after

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