... the tales of two sisters

Dana lives in Seattle, and Tracie lives in Germany. We are businesswomen, writers and humorists. We write about life, dating, and today's modern women.

William Balser and Miss Mermaid in Egypt!


The Red Sea.


Shortly before my flight took off from Frankfurt towards Cairo where I would have a three hour layover before heading to Hurghada, I heard a man’s voice come over the loudspeaker. Deep and smoky and calm, it immediately drew my attention to its source: an inflight screen with the picture of a mosque with Arabic under titles. I determined that the voice was saying a prayer, I assumed for safe travels. A good thing. In my just released book, Incompatible with Nature–a Mother’s Story you can read about what prayer really means to me. When I arrived at the airport in Cairo, I couldn’t help but to go inside one of the prayer rooms which was connected to a room for washing oneself. I have a passion for culture and how and why people do things differently than I do.

I was heading to Egypt on the amazing invitation from William Balser to be a juror at the Miss Mermaid competition. Thank you William and the sponsors Egyptair, The Red Sea Hotels and the ETI Organisation.

The Miss Mermaid competition is William’s brainchild. It all began with an idea of presenting the euromodel competition as a beauty competition with a bit more splash––shall we say.

This is the third year of this event and it’s happening now at the Palace Hotel in Port Ghalib, Egypt.

The 25 participants in this international event are representing the following countries: Germany, Belgium, France, England, U.S.A. Thailand, Philippines, Serbia, Tunisia, Switzerland, Egypt and Mexico.

The complete duration of the competition is two weeks. Each contestant banks 100 points at her arrival because of her participation, and as with most beauty pageants, the contestant with the most points at the end will be declared the winner. A major factor these young women need to concentrate on of course, is keeping these points, which are deducted for tardiness, forgetting a certain piece of clothing, fooling around with their cellphones when not allowed and just generally displaying ill manners.

The contests thus far have included underwater posing for pictures in their mermaid costumes, distance swimming in one breath (also in costume) and creativity in the design of their bikini tops. Swim suit, evening gown and talent shows are coming up. I’m looking very much forward to these events and the rest of my stay in this port city. The Red Sea is warm and gently wavy and the coral reefs are incredible. The people are very, very friendly and gracious. The food is well seasoned and I’ve got stay the hell away from the desserts. What I’ve also noticed is that in each of the resort hotels I’ve stayed, I’ve only seen men in service–whether it be the reception, housekeeping–anywhere.

I’m going to think about this underneath a palm tree.