Friday, December 05, 2008

Friday Fantasy - Egyptian Escapade, Part 1

Previously posted June 8, 2007

Sue and Mr. Butterfly were on the second leg of their Lufthansa Dulles to Frankfurt to Cairo flight. It was the longer, 14 hour leg. Sue glanced over to Mr. Butterfly and said, “So what do you think of the progress on the anti-hiv goop drug we found in the Amazon?”

Dr. Gutekunde has already identified the structure and his synthetic chemists have synthesized small quantities. I think that is fantastic progress for two weeks! Don’t you?”

“I suppose. They are beginning scale up today. I hope they have luck with that and don’t run into any problems with that one difficult synthetic step they were talking about.”

“Yeah. I hear ya. Then we need to do some FDA required safety tests and we could be in people in six months. That is so exciting! Isn’t it?”

“It really is!” Then she just beamed at Mr. Butterfly. “I love my job!”

“I do too!”

They high-fived, and it was really loud and woke some nearby passengers who looked around trying to see what happened.

“You must be excited about our current assignment.” said Sue.

“Yes, I am. I get to go look for a new water strider species in the Nile delta. Ever since those new species were found in Thailand in May I have been excited again to be an entomologist. I can’t wait to put my waders on and get into the water and collect water striders to see if any of these new species exist in other countries as well.”


“Yeah, yeah. Just don’t get bit.”

“Oh, the bites aren’t that bad, no worse than a bee sting. Besides, sour grapes doctor? That’s not like you.”

“I am just reminding you that I will be working to foot the residence bill for your little find the new species party.”

“Ah, yes. The deal the foundation made for us to stay at one of the 200 organic farms gratis during our stay in the region in exchange for your pro bono work for them. I remember.”

“And use their horses!”

“How could I forget!”

They were all smiles at the “using horses” remark. Both of them loved to ride. It was like a fantasy in and of itself to ride out into the desert and see the pyramids. These were the happy thoughts they shared as they returned to their private thoughts and the flight continued on to Cairo.

* * *

Many hours later, at 7:00 pm local time, the flight landed without consequence at Cairo International Airport. They deplaned and made their way through the airport, to baggage claim and then customs. After clearing customs, they got some local Egyptian cash and remarked again on how pretty foreign currency is compared to American dollars.

Next, they went to ground transportation to find their guide, Nuri, who was an employee of Middle East Farms & Foods, the company that was hosting their stay in Egypt. There was a handsome young man standing and holding a sign bearing both of their names. So they went up to him and introduced themselves.

Nuri was sort of shy, but took as many of Sue and Mr. Butterfly’s bags as he could handle and led them outside to his company van. He showed his guests into the van and then stowed their luggage into the back. They set off for the company’s main farm compound not far from Cairo’s center. After about an hour they arrived at a walled in compound. The van drove in and a servant closed the gates after them. The van drove up to the main building and stopped.

A gentleman in shirtsleeves and slacks walked up to the van from the large stone house smiling and opened the door for them. He was drop dead gorgeous and the most sparkling blue-green eyes and black hair. He helped them both disembark from the van and said, “Hello there. I am Ernst Cullen. I run Egypt operations for Middle East Farms & Foods. So nice to meet you.” He had a slight German accent but was perfectly understandable.

Sue stepped forward and said, “Hi, I am Dr. Sue Fairview from the foundation and I will be working with you here, but most folks call me Sue.”

He nodded and said, “Hello Sue!” Then he turned to the young explorer and said, “Then you must be Dr….”

“Oh please, call me Mr. Butterfly, everyone does.” he said with his usual easy going manner. Then he leaned forward to shake hands with Ernst while making deep eye contact.

“Well, it certainly is great to meet you two. It isn’t often that I enjoy the company of guests from the west, so I am going to enjoy your visit very much. I am going to let you get settled and relax a bit before I torture you with my presence any more. Nuri. Please show our guests to their rooms?” And with that, Nuri grabbed our things and began leading us down the hallway to our rooms.

We waved to Ernst as we walked away. Mr. Butterfly watched Nuri’s ass as we followed him down the hallway, and turned to me and quietly said one word with regard to Ernst, “Mine!”

I turned to him and replied, “Mine!”

Back and forth we went, like the seagulls in the movie Finding Nemo, mine, mine, mine, mine, mine, mine… Not very mature, but hey, neither were we at that moment. I mean, we were fighting over a man. That sort of brings things down to a base level.

We were pleased with our rooms. Mine was large and airy and had a private bath. The bed wasn’t too bad for Egypt. I was expecting far worse. The bath was super and had lots of really pretty tiles plus a wonderful tiled square tub, sunken into the floor. Mr. Butterfly’s room was similar. There was no air conditioning and it was pretty hot and I felt dirty, sweaty and dusty from my trip. So I ran a quick bath to freshen up. The bath was heavenly.

After I had dried off and dressed, I joined our company for a very late dinner. Thankfully, Ernst was aware of the time and the dinner was light. There was salad, some chicken and dates.

The dinning room was large, but intimate all at the same time. The three of us sat close together at one end of a very large round table so that we could all reach everything easily. The best thing was the coffee afterwards. I don’t know how I would ever get to sleep after that.

Ernst was a captivating host. His eyes were magnetic. They grabbed you and held you strongly. I saw it happen to Mr. Butterfly too. We were both entranced by his beautiful eyes. It didn’t even matter that what he was saying happened to be very entertaining too. He could have been saying, “Blah, blah, blah.” It just wouldn’t have made any difference at all so long as those eyes were looking at you. He was actually telling us about how he came to be affiliated with MEFF and how he brought organic farming to Egypt. It was quite fascinating.

Finally, it was time for bed and we excused ourselves and headed down the hallway to our rooms. All the way there, if one was following us, they could hear soft sounds of mine, mine, mine, mine, mine…

Ernst photo credit: Brawny Stud

2 comments:

Thonnibg said...

I`m anxious to see whose Ernst will be.

Rob Bartell said...

Beautifully done Sue! Looking forward to the next chapter... :)