Thomas H Czech
First published: April 10, 2010
From the desert into the frying pan
The year was 1976, we lived in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, my father, mother, brother, sister and I left our home early one morning as the air was just beginning to warm up.
This trip was always an adventure for us as my brother and I would take turns driving our dad’s Mercedes through the vast desert; as young kids this was something which made us feel like grown men.
We would go to the 29 Palms Beach along the shores of the Red Sea as often as we could. It was a quiet place with no people around for many kilometres. The palm trees were a perfect land-mark for anyone driving through the hot dry desert making their way to the shores of the same body of water which God once parted as Moses led the Israelites to freedom from the grasps of the Egyptian Pharaoh who once enslaved them.
By the time we arrived at the beach and set up our camp the water was so hot near the shore that we would have to run then jump to avoid the hot water near the edge. My brother and I would make a game of it to see who could jump the farthest. The five of us always had a great time swimming and snorkelling. My brother and I would explore the Red Sea as if we were the first ever to spot the abundant life which was swarming beneath the waves. The many colours were so vast and vivid, and we saw creatures which we could not even imagine existed; life which was so incredible and yet different was living harmoniously in the same salty sea without any ill will towards one another.
Time would get away from us as we explored the world beneath the waves, before we knew it we were called in to shore for dinner by our parents; hesitantly we would slowly make our way back.
We all sat by our small camp fire as we watched the remaining daylight giving way to the night sky, the stars would come out one by one filling the vast expanse and sparkle like diamonds which danced to the sounds of the waves as they gently made their way to the shores before receding back into the depth of the Sea.
The air was cooling off when we were told that it was time for sleep, our parents would tuck the three of us into the tent, it was not long before we were sound asleep dreaming of all the beauty we saw that day hidden beneath the surface of the waves.
The morning came in with the sounds of crunching and tearing outside of our tent. My mother and father unzipped the tent and looked outside, well to their surprise, before them stood a camel eating our eggs right out of the carton, and then actually eating the carton as well. My brother, sister and I pushing at each other rushed out to see the excitement. Well the camel looked at us as if to ask why we would interrupt his breakfast as he stood there with one foot in our frying pan.
Our hungry visitor did not stay around much longer; I think our laughter must have insulted him because he turned around, grunted and went along his way without ever looking back. This made me think; sometimes we humans go somewhere or do something without planning, and we rush into things because we think the other place is better and will make us happier. So we go without giving it a second thought, then before we know it, we find that we went from the dessert into the frying pan.