Looking forward to a bit of sun before Christmas, we booked a few days in a beachside hotel but the first day was rainy! We were entertained by the Russians filling all of the hotels here. We couldn't believe how rude they were to the staff, and got used to sticking out our elbows to prevent them pushing in. I caught a nasty cold which I'm convinced was a Russian one. I think the funniest was watching a portly gentleman attempting press-ups when his stomach stuck out further than his arm span. It was not unusual to see a 60something man with a 20 something 'trophy wife' but there were also plenty of families.
The snorkelling was amazing, such a lot of species very close to shore and it was easy to walk out over the reef on the protective pontoon to swim.
Hotel staff were all male, supporting their families in Cairo and happy to tell us about the problems there. Many were trying to get visas for the UK as they thought they could earn more working in London, but they didn't have much grasp of our cost of living. Most of them slipped seamlessly from Egyptian to English to Russian, and admitted to smatterings of Spanish and German too.
SoHo Square was just around the corner and was gaudier than Oxford Street in the run up to Xmas. Disney princesses and reindeer vied with santas and clowns, incongruous in the warmth. Half a dozen smelly camels sneered at the Russian children taunting them in the early evenings. We were not pressurised into having rides, instead the sales pressure came from the numerous stall holders peddling scarves, cotton goods, slippers and perfumes. They were good natured, and we never felt threatened, in fact they seemed keen to practise their English and tell us how much they disliked the Russians. I suspect they told the Russians how much they hated the English who didn't buy.