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Have you ever been beaten by a coral? Yes, a coral, the one that is related to the coral reefs. But….wait a minute….how can one be beaten by a …plant? What are you talking about? A coral is a beautiful and colourful kind of plant. Hmmm…not quite. A coral is an animal and a plant. How about that? Dang! Yes, it’s very counterintuitive, because these gorgeous creatures look like anything, but an animal. I had the misfortune to actually witness myself the duality of a coral and I will tell you that they are quite mean. One of the world famous coral reefs can be found in Egypt in the Red Sea. This is where I had my first encounter with a mesmerizing coral colony in Sharm-El-Sheikh, located on the Southern tip of the Sinai. I went snorkelling for the very first time in my life and while under water, I was deeply stunned at the discovery of a totally new world! Colourful colonies of amazing corals that stood like some kind of giant jewelry at the bottom of the shallow water. They were red, orange, yellow, white, blue, black, creme, turquoise, and of many other colours, beautifully complemented by their small endemic (found nowhere else) fish inhabitants. These were wearing the same fascinating colours and each fish seemed to have its own personality and character. It was like a fashion show in the water, where the sophisticated fish represented the incredible designers along with their artistry and flair, and the corals created the extravagant and luxurious environment for a runway podium. The whole show was a feast for the eyes and I will never forget the feeling of awe that invaded me in that moment. I wanted to stay there. I wanted to live there and wake up every morning in that paradise. For a moment, or two, I forgot about my snorkelling mask and my fear of not being able to breath under the water. I was terrified at the idea of being under water and my breathing depending on a little, tiny mask that was extremely uncomfortable. Challenged by the beauty that was laying in front of my eyes, I rushed to the brightest red coral I saw and embraced it. Yes, I hugged it as if it was a big bouquet of flowers. It was like a dream! And it was a beautiful dream until suddenly I felt a painful burn on my arm. The water was incredibly cold and any type of warmth was sure to be perceived. Well, my burn was pretty annoying, as I couldn’t continue to enjoy the scenery and had to get out back to the boat. I was horrified when I saw my arm burning as if somebody dropped a heated iron on it. It’s exactly the same feeling, the same pain and the same type of burn. It was quite excruciating and even though I was told by a few locals that my burn would go away in a week, I had to struggle with it a year after. I am not exaggerating and I am not telling you stories. The corals are animals and like all the other animals they naturally defend themselves. And I guarantee you, they will win.

Ok, but enough about corals. They just inspired me in choosing this shirt for today’s outfit. The colour is so vivid and happy! It’s just perfect for a hot summer. Wishing you all a wonderful day filled with colour and much joy!

Always,

Sabina

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