So, my ‘normal’ job is that of a bellydancer on the Nile, Cairo. Granted there are perhaps few that would call this ‘normal’ but there you go. That’s what I do.
My UK agent, Taste of Cairo, contacted me 4 weeks ago and asked if I would like a wee holiday away from my normal Cairo job. The contract was to be bellydancer on a cruise ship, the MS Noordam, part of the Holland America line for 12 days. Sailing Rhodes, Egypt, Crete, Athens, Santorini, Katakolon and ending my contact in Venice. All I had to do was teach an Arabic lesson, 7 bellydance lessons and perform 4 times total over the 12 days. Ok, the pay wasn’t great, but all the flights food and accommodation (obviously!) was thrown in. A busman's holiday (ok- so more like a boatwoman's holiday!)
I have to admit, it took me a week to decide whether to take the job or not.
I know reading this you are probably surprised that it took so long... a 5 star cruise in Europe...What on earth is there to think about?
The truth is I am a bit of a scaredy cat when it comes to doing new things, meeting new people and travelling alone.
Honest. I am.
I know, I know... I gave up my entire life in Scotland and moved to Egypt over seven years ago to be a bellydancer here, how could I possibly be scared of doing new things. In fact, what could be braver? Truth is, I suspect if I had had the slightest idea of how difficult things were going to be here in Egypt, Getting work and work papers, living through a revolution, just day to day living at times, if I had known all that, I am sure I would not have made that move! Plus of course, in the beginning when I was young and naive, I really thought I was just coming here to Cairo for 6 months and then returning to my friends and family and dance business back in Edinburgh! 6 months, oh how the fates have enjoyed that wee joke. I am glad I did it, of course, but I do sometimes wonder how different my life would have been if I hadn't. It certainly wouldn't have been as interesting or as challenging! Being a Bellydancer in Cairo now defines me.
Anyway, even though I was so scared about doing something new, I decided, after a 'get a grip of yourself woman, its a 5 star cruise on the Med!!!!' talk from my friend Ellie, to bite the bullet and go.
After all, How bad could it be? The ship had a pool, and a gym and I would have lots of time to catch up on outstanding emails and work I had to do (oh how much I laugh at that idea in hindsight now!!), and it would be nice to get a break from Cairo pollution and chaos for a little while!
I flew to Rhodes (via Athens) 2 weeks ago, and then the adventures began.
You have to excuse me, but the next few blog entries are going to be about my experiences as the Guest entertainer on a cruise ship! Some of you were following me from one port to another via facebook, however here is a little more of the story. Let me take you on a Mediterranean journey on board the MS Noordam....
... and back again! (yes I am back in Cairo now!)
Thanks to Tracey at www.TasteOfCairo.com for the opportunity!