BRIBERY! BAKSHEESH! BEGGING! AND BARTERING! The “four Bs” aren’t necessarily the first subjects you think about before embarking on a cruising life.
Only this morning I was hopping about on the empty promenade of Ismalia marina, having been left behind by the rally. We’d been woken up at 5am only to be told that our pilot wouldn’t be turning up till ten. After our last experience of that ungrateful arse of a pilot Liz and I had said that whoever came on-board as our pilot for the second day would not get any more than $10 baksheesh. A kick in the bollocks would also be offered if any objection was raised over the sum of our present.
He ripped open the parcel, threw aside the t-shirt, scattered the other goods across the deck and tore open the envelope containing the money. The next half an hour was spent listening to this whinging, ungrateful shit complain about his present.
A very angry Arabic marina manager started shouting in a way that only an angry Arabic-speaking official person can do. The pilot boat had to catch us up in order to drop off our pilot, Moussa, which is Egyptian for Moses. Biblical this man was not…