Tea In The Sahara

Tea In The Sahara

This Blog is about the Spontaneous and Quirky Promises one makes to Oneself … and Fulfilling them.

After listening to the Police song – “Tea In The Sahara” for the first time, I promised my MBA-graduate self in 1983 that some day I’ll have “Tea In The Sahara”.

The song, written by Sting, was featured in the Police’s last album Synchronicity, See album track listing (above image).

I was pursuing my MBA in the US when the album was released in 1983.

After buying the album vinyl, which had different album cover versions, I started to give it a listen in the comforts of my college apartment. The album had an upbeat and punchy feel. From out of nowhere, the song “Tea In The Sahara” with its mystic lyrics and exotic song structure permeated the room.

I provide the opening salvo lyrics that I heard. I highlight some of the words in the song (above) that spoke to my Heart below:

“My sisters and I

Have one wish before we die

And it may seem strange

As if our minds are deranged

Please don’t ask us why

Beneath the sheltering sky

We have this strange obsession

You have the means in your possession

Tea in the Sahara with you

Tea in the Sahara with you”.

After listening to the song, I calmly told myself, some day I’ll have Tea in the Sahara.

Fifteen years later in 1998, amidst a fast-track and fruitful career as a global senior partner with an international management consulting group, I landed in exotic Cairo.

First, to see and immerse myself in the fertile land of the Pharaohs and Pyramids and Camels (above image – the obligatory touristy Cairo camel in front of Giza Pyramid pix).

The second? – you guessed it!

Besides Cairo, I also made my trek to Luxor and Alexandria. The latter, to see where Alexander The Great used to hang out.

I stayed at the best hotel in Cairo at that time – Cairo Sheraton (above image).

Yes, I do pamper myself whenever I travel.

I remember the splendid greeting the Hotel Front Desk accorded me when I checked in the hotel – “Welcome to Cairo Sheraton. You have great taste, sir. Prince Charles also stayed here.”

Congratulations, King Charles III, on your Coronation yesterday (6 May 2023).

So here I am, comfortably seated with tea in my glass, just before the Sound and Light Show at the Giza Pyramids (behind me) started (above image). It would have been nice if the tea was served in a porcelain cup.

No matter, I’m finally savouring my TEA IN THE SAHARA! Cheers!

This cherished image is my Personal Testament to always fulfill the spontaneous and quirky Promises I make to Myself.

This is a better picture of the night Sound and Light Show (above image), lifted from the internet. (photo credit : kind unknown tourist photographer).

I even have the tie dye version of the Synchronicity T-shirt (above image).

The Grateful Dead performed at the Giza Pyramids in 1978. I acquired the double CD/DVD, it’s not played as often as the Synchronicity CD. Haha.

Backstory to the Song – The song, written by Sting (image below), is about the Paul Bowles novel “The Sheltering Sky”. The book title is featured in the song lyrics.

The exotic novel, one of Sting’s favourite, “The Sheltering Sky” was later made into a 1990 movie by Bernardo Bertolucci, starring John Malkovich and Debra Winger.

The novel is about three sisters who invited a Prince to a tea party, tea in the Sahara. They have tea and he promises to come back and he never did”. I did though.

Ultimate Classic Rock critic Mike Duquette described the song as “a fable of broken promises“. I, however, will remember the song as a “self-fulfilling promise“.

I kid you not – it’s Monday 8 May 7.05pm. Toto’s song “Africa” appears on the 90.5 FM radio as I was typing this Blog. A sign from the Sahara?

A few feet away from where I’m typing this blog, a Toto band member, Simon Phillips, actually came to hang out, years ago.