Sunday, August 31, 2014

The shepherd

Someone is sitting there alone next to a handful of sheep which are grazing on the single green patch outside a hotel in Hurghada.

Shall I stop by or not? Tact or curiosity? I hesitated this morning for some instants, the wind had cost me some energy, however, the shepherd’s friendly waving encouraged me. I cycled back, put my bike down on the sand and greeted the stranger.

He rose, surprised. The man in the green caftan might be in his early thirties although his sun tanned face is already wrinkled. His eyes gaze emotionlessly, his smile shows discoloured teeth which is typical for the poor here; they never ever see a toothbrush throughout their lives.

I asked politely whether I may take a photo of him and the sheep? Sure, he said, but… he wanted money! Where he was living, where is family stayed, I asked?
In Qena and he was poor. Well, I did see that. Has tourism corrupted him as well? Or is he so desperate that he resorts to begging? This, however, I supposedly will never get to know.

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