Category Archives: drinks

how i lost my scuba virginity.

I miss 'er already.

As it turns out, that downtime in between day and evening never came to be. Instead, I sat with Ling and the folks with whom she had just completed a refresher scuba course as they rehashed the events of the day. We drank Stella beers (no, not Stella Artois…Egyptian Stella) and they talked about the fish they’d seen and what it felt like to be back in the water.

I had started a blog post in this same Word document five days ago when we were on the ferry from Aqaba, a beach town on the tiny coast of Jordan, to Egypt. As I write now, we are headed back the other direction, taking the ferry to Aqaba and staying a night before heading back to Amman for the duration.

The past week in Dahab, a laidback scuba town on the coast of the Red Sea in Egypt, has been phenomenal. Having traveled there before, Ling was very subtly encouraging me to choose a long stay in Dahab over a package deal in Sharm el-Sheikh, a larger and more touristy Egypt beach town south of Dahab. She had described to me just how relaxed Dahab was, but it was something I couldn’t quite imagine until I saw it. I’m so glad I trusted her, and feel so lucky to have spent a few days in such a gorgeous setting meeting such wonderful people. (And frankly, lucky to have gotten onto this ferry; the Sinai doesn’t really do organized tourism, so getting on this boat was an adventure. Let’s just say that an Egyptian line appears to be nothing more than a large crowd of people jostling one another in the vicintity of a ticket window of some sort.)

But back to the beginning of this leg of the trip: After an hour-long ferry ride, Ling and I arrived in Nuweiba, Egypt, where we were to meet a driver from our hotel who would take us on the hour-long journey to Dahab. When we got off the ferry, there was no driver to be found; instead, we found a mostly empty parking lot with a few buses and quite literally just followed the other tourists onto one of them. It was hot and things got sweaty, and after only a few minutes we were dropped off in another parking lot filled with cars and trucks and furniture and people. There were no signs to tell us where to go or how to find our drivers, so we more or less just wandered through a building or two until we arrived at something of a security checkpoint. And, thank god, on the other side of that security checkpoint a man was waiting with a sign with Ling’s name on it. (A bit different than when I arrived at the Queen Alia Airport in Amman and found my driver holding a sign that said “Ms. Mallory” – no last name. Made me smile.)

After several rounds of Would You Rather? (adult braces for a year, or pedophile glasses with transition lenses for a year?), we arrived at our hotel, Coral Coast, and instantly fell in love. It’s a tiny hotel with maybe a few dozen rooms, and the pool was literally steps away from the door of our cozy room. We spent the next four days doing what you do when you’re in Dahab: lounging by the pool, snorkeling and scuba diving, eating Asian food (yeah…I don’t quite understand either), and drinking lots of Egyptian Stella. It’s a place that makes it easy to forget that there’s a world outside, and in fact, many locals were once vacationers who found the thought of leaving Dahab unbearable. We met folks from London, the U.S., and New Zealand who had essentially dropped off the grid and now spent their days teaching scuba and living the dream.

The path we walked many times each day.

Dahab (emphasis on the first syllable: DAH-hab) is known for its scuba diving, and although I’ve never dived before, I figured I couldn’t leave the place without getting a taste of some underwater adventure. I signed up for a “Discover Dive” course one day, overslept (that’s a shocker for those of you who know me), and rushed out of my room with nothing but a towel and lunch money. I hopped in a truck with my American-born dive instructor and two Welsh divers about my age and we drove 20 minutes south of Dahab to some of the loveliest landscape I’ve ever seen. As you’ll recall, I brought only a towel and lunch money, so there was no camera to document my adventure, but suffice to say it was amazing, and that I’m officially hooked. I spent the morning snorkeling, and I was so giddy and high on life that I kept laughing out loud underwater and gurgling (to the fishes, I guess), “I’m SNORKELING off the coast of AFRICA.” When I’d pop my head up, I’d see sandy beaches, sharp mountain ranges, and camels and then I’d duck back under and continue beaming to no one in particular.

Scuba diving itself was equally amazing. My guide, Matt, held onto my tank and took care of the other stuff that keeps you breathing on our 30-minute dive, and while the experience is a little nerve-wracking at first – I mean, you’re breathing underwater – it is ultimately freaking a-MAH-ing. I’m already dreaming up where I might go to take a full scuba certification course. Who’s in?

This is pretty much what I looked like, only my guide was on top of me making sure I didn't drown.

It’s hard to believe that this large chunk of the trip is already over, and it was even harder to leave a place that allowed me to spend my days in the water and my nights sitting on a bunch of pillows on a deck overlooking the water as I sipped cocktails, played gin rummy, and smoked sheesha (don’t worry, Ma; that’s not a drug). The night breeze almost makes you forget that the daytime is so hot that it’s impossible to spend more than a few minutes at a time outside of some body of water.

When it comes to vacations, I’ve always been frustrated with myself for taking a thousand scenery pictures that never mean much to me after the trip (and that my relatives have gotten rull bored looking at). But Dahab was so interesting that it was hard to not take a ton of photos of the beach, the shops, and the sights in general. It’s a strange place that’s both dirty and gorgeous; the streets are littered with bits of trash, as is the beach, and many of the buildings (even just outside the busting center of the city) look deserted. Stray dog and cats appear in every shop, hotel, and restaurant, and around every street corner. That description makes me think I’d hate the city, but all things considered, it’s still a beautiful place, and the contrast of, say, dirty streets to bright blue water silhouetted by mountains, makes you appreciate your surroundings even more. I could do without the extreme nature of the heat and the persistent shopkeepers (who were occasionally very creative – one man selling canvas bags yelled out, “Want to steal some money?!”), but they don’t make me love Dahab any less. I mean, I got to spend last night drinking Bedouin tea (a black tea made with sage), playing with an adorable puppy (pretty sure he didn’t have rabies….yet), and sitting by the ocean watching the moon rise. How can you argue with that?

I brilliantly didn’t bring my camera cord with me on the trip, so you may not be seeing photos of said gorgeous scenery until I’m back in DC (perhaps a bit sooner if we upload some of Ling’s). For now, I’m headed out, but I hope I can go back to Dahab soon. Tonight Ling and I will be staying in a slightly less sparse hotel in Aqaba, and I’ll be doing my best to avoid further sunburn and treat my totally badass “reef rash” which left me with large welts on my right knee. I’ll do my best to check in a bit more regularly, but again, I shouldn’t really promise anything. If you don’t hear from me for a few days, please assume that I’m having fun and ignoring my computer rather than slowly dying of coral poisoning.

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youtube clip of today: bp spill.

Brilliant! That is all I can say about that.

In other BP related items, the geniuses over at AutoTune the News made a new video with Barack’s ass-kicking comment.

[Posted by Kathleen]

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devil wears prada correspondent on MFCs.

anne_hathaway_devil_wears_prada_chanel

Our dear friend — let’s call her Corporate Barbie — had the most ridonk, legit Anne-Hathaway-in-The-Devil-Wears-Prada job ever. She survived a year and got promoted, and luckily her sense of humor emerged unscathed. Because this here blog is the quickest way to fame — of any kind, really — she penned this little number and asked that we share it with the masses. And I DO mean masses (hi masses! thanks for reading!). As Corporate Barbie explained, “I thought you might enjoy a piece I wrote earlier today.  It is inspired by my life”:

Earlier today I mentioned to some friends that we should go to the movies tonight. I was under the influence of a “Mid-Friday Crisis” (MFC). Allow me to elaborate.

The MFC typically occurs between 11am and 1pm on Fridays after a Thursday night out, although it can happen at anytime. You know you are having an MFC when you look at your clock and think to your self, “Crap, I have to start being more responsible. It’s only 10:59 and I can’t order lunch yet because I just ate an egg sandwich. The day is not even close to over and I have so much to do that I inevitably will not accomplish.”

Once this thought enters your head, ideas such as “staying in on Thursdays” and “going to the movies on Fridays” immediately follow. And you are actually able to think they are good ideas.

Then you order a grilled cheese/chicken parm sandwich, someone mentions a cover band and the clock turns 2:45. The end of the day is in sight. The Black Eyed Peas “I Gotta Feeling” becomes the theme song to the soundtrack of your life and you can already taste the bad decisions and terrible dance moves you will be pairing with Yuengling and whiskey tonight.

It is safe to say that our resilience when faced with an MFC is the direct cause to why we are such messes.

I wish you all fun Fridays. I’ll be at the Whiskey Bar in Hoboken if any of you care to join!

[Posted by Mallory, but written by Corporate Barbie. (Maybe you think Corporate Barbie is meant to be offensive. It’s not, don’t worry. Corporate Barbie just has a tendency to look exactly like a Barbie in photos.)]

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today is a google holiday, hooray!

Sooo I’m sitting here on the couch of our Korean-in-looks-alone correspondent in the apartment that she shares with the worst guest blogger ever, Shannon Marie. We are eating all sorts of delicious foods and drinking red wine out of Christmas wine glasses at 5 p.m. because I’M IN CHICAGO, so why not? (And even though Chicago doesn’t get to host the 2016 Olympics, and even though it got kicked out first, and even though Bad Guest Blogger Shannon volunteered for the bid, it’s still a cool city, okay?)

But there’s another reason to celebrate: it’s a Google Holiday!

Today’s Google Holiday: Gandhi’s birthday! Today would have been Gandhi’s 140th birthday. Celebrate by being kind to your friends, flashing the peace sign often, and rocking a moustache, if you’re so inclined/capable.

What we were Googling: aaron carter lyrics saturday night

Picture 2Peace, love, and Chicago deep dish.

[Posted by Mallory]

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here’s your freaky friday grab bag.

I don't know what bothers me more, the mutiple !!! or the comic sans font.  Whatever, TGIF.

I don't know what bothers me more, the !!!! or the comic sans font. Whatever, TGIF.

It’s freaky Friday, y’all.  While only one of these stories is really freaky, it’s so freaky that it dominates the non-freaky stories.  Let’s just get to the point:

  • Amy Wolfe, a 33-year-old unemployed church organist, loves carnival rides.  Well, actually just one.  No, she doesn’t just love it.  She like LOVE LOVES it.  Amy is an objectum sexual, meaning she falls in love with inanimate objects.  No joke.  And soon, Amy and her love, named the 1001 Nacht, will be machine and wife.  She and it are getting married. (I felt weird saying “they”.)  She plans on taking the surname Weber, after Nachtie’s manufacturer.  I promise you I am not making this up!  Read the story the Jezzies have on it, it includes UNBELIEVABLE video.
  • This falls under the just plain dumb and hilarious column.  Dennis Cretton isn’t supposed to drive anymore.  After a DWI, his license was revoked.  Dennis found what he believed to be the solution to his troubles.  He decided to drive his lawnmower to the gas station to get beer.  Fortunately for the world (and unfortunately for our friend Dennis), the police got a call reporting a man drunkenly weaving in and out of traffic on a lawnmower.  According to the story on MSNBC, he tried speeding away from the cops, and drove up onto his lawn. (I wonder who mowed the rest of it?)  He spilled his case of Milwaukee’s Best and ran into his house.  Needless to say, he ended up in jail.

Have a wonderful weekend everybody! I hope your daily dose of weird was satisfying.  More and longer posts next week, I promise.  XOXO.

[Posted by Kathleen]

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happy national tequila day, dear readers!

Just another Public Service Announcement from your friends here at SWTCTW: it’s July 24, which means it’s National Tequila Day! Great holiday, right? Half of you probably don’t drink tequila anymore because of that one time in college, but for those of you lucky enough to still love the stuff, drink up! While you’re pounding margaritas, think of us and also of these wonderful songs honoring your favorite agave-based spirit:

(Follow up thoughts for that one:

1. Who goes out to drink margaritas at the Holiday Inn?

2. Joe Nichols is an exceptionally unenthusiastic lip syncher.

3. Really, with the naked grandma?)

And it just wouldn’t be National Tequila Day without this classic:

Cheers, folks! Don’t eat the worm.

[Posted by Mallory]

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youtube clip of today: roller babies.

I don’t know what it is about babies and animals talking or doing uncharacteristic things that makes them so successful in television commercials, but apparently it doesn’t get old.

This is the number one viral video on the interwebs right now.  Watch it, and then tell me why.  Pleeeeeeeease.

PS- Sorry I haven’t posted in awhile.

[Posted by Kathleen]

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