I arrived in Dahab in the middle of the night, the Red Sea choppy with a half-moon floating above in its own sea of stars. Even at 2am, I could see the silhouette of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia set against the constellations.

I stood on the walking bridge near my hostel for more than a few minutes, watching the small waves lap the shore, listening to the gentle sounds, breathing the salty fresh air. A person walked by me on the bridge, “Perfect night,” he said with an accent I couldn’t place.

“Perfect night,” I replied.

I walked down the shore a ways and saw a large projecter screen on the roof of a bar playing the World Cup match, Russia facing South Korea. The sign for the bar was in cyrillic. Nobody was around, but I ventured in and found my way to the roof. On the roof was one person who was watching the match, he nodded at me, I nodded back, sat down, and took it in.

The match ended 1 – 1, which was fine, because I was only half watching. With the moon behind the screen, the sounds of the sea to my left, sitting on a zafu in the middle of the world, there was much more to take in.

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I’ve been told dozens of times since I’ve been in Egypt that I need to visit Dahab. That I do. That I would love it. “The energy,” one person said, “you’ll really appreciate it.” Or maybe it was the vibe. And the atmosphere. And “the people.” And all of those other hard-to-place sensations that some places are ripe with, and I was promised that this was a place that had those in spades.

I’ll be the first to say that I’m a person who buys into all of that wholesale. If you’ve read much of what I’ve written on this site, that’s no surprise. And in just an hour here, I’m already sold.

Walking slowly back along the shore, I passed another late night stroller. “Perfect night,” she said with an accent I couldn’t place.

“Perfect night,” I replied.