The best falafel in Luxor!

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You know when you just fancy something? We were wending our way home this evening, on the arabeya (local 'bus to the uninitiated) when Freda said that we should get off and have a falafel sandwich for tea. Of course I didn't take any tempting!
We jumped off the 'bus at the corner of our street and Rameses St and walked up to the railway crossing, hoping to be able to see the lights from the falafel stall along the street. (Karen, if you read this, he's moved across the road onto the corner.) WE were hoping, because it is Friday, the Muslim holy day and we're never sure which days they are open or closed. When we first started to buy our falafel here we were told that of the two partners, Ibrahim and Osman, one was Christian and the other Muslim. This being the case we would expect one to work on Friday while the other worked on Sunday, so that each one could have his "day of rest". But, of course, this being Egypt it doesn't work like that! They were both on duty tonight.

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So here we are on a Friday night and they are both here!

On approaching, Ibrahim saw us first and immediately offered me a cigarette. Not wanting to offend, I felt it to be my duty to accept. Then he was pleased to show us that he was frying potatoes "Chipsy, Mr Edward, chipsy". He knows that I cannot resist his chips. So we got two sandwiches, Freda's was stuffed with falafel, aubergine, baladi salad and chips, mine was the same but without the rabbit food. Being high-class customers, we were given metal plates with pieces of printed paper on them. Freda sat on the step, near to the gas burner, to eat hers and to keep warm at the same time. It was a bit pricey for a falafel take-away at 5LE, but maybe he had charged us VAT as we had plates and sat down to eat it? (I think not.)
Osman and Ibrahim can hardly keep up with demand at mealtimes, they often have serious queues, which shows just how good their falafel really is. They work behind the new 9000 capacity Coptic Church which is just up our street, in the back lane.

Trip Advisor's loss is my blog's gain!

Yes, the people at TA are making it difficult for dummies like me to do certain things on their site.
Trip Advisor have a "Destination Expert" for Luxor who goes by the name of eLaReF. L, R and F being his initials. He always stays at the Winter Palace, but I found a sign near to our bakery which I think tells us how he can afford to stay there. His secret income is derived from his Rachman type tendencies involving this flea pit.
I tried to put the picture on my profile page where he would have been revealed for what he really is, but they wouldn't let me!

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Egytpian Experience? I don't think so.

As some of you will know, I’m a Trip Advisor addict. If you don’t know about Trip Advisor, it’s an internet site which travellers and holidaymakers use to ask and answer questions about their proposed/favourite destinations. It’s quite useful for first time visitors in particular. They can get loads of information from the people who either live there or those who regularly visit.
Today there was a question about the new holiday village development to the South of Luxor known as “The Egyptian Experience”. Well, funnily enough, The boss and I were invited to have a guided tour of the place the other week, and being inordinately nosey; we went! I suppose I should have told you about it at the time, but these things slip the mind when you get to a certain age.
We were picked up by a car at the Sunrise Tours office on the Corniche and whisked away along past the big hotels and up through Awamaya onto Movenpick Road to Bogdady and past Luxor bridge (with its big pictures of our beloved President doing a passable impression of the plump one of the “Blues Brothers” without his hat on). Just past the bridge is the Nubian Craft place with the huge cafeteria next door. We passed Mr. Mohamed Ayad’s farmland, where we spent last Easter Monday at the “Sniffing the Breeze” festival, and the land belonging to Mr Hamada (Mr Viking, that is) where he has a dying cruiseboat moored in the Nile. The man who owns Travco, whose name I cannot recall, also has a piece of land bordering the Nile hereabouts. Anyway, the Egyptian Experience is just next door to Mr Viking.
The site is a fair size and there is a barrier through which everything and everybody has to pass. Our driver told the security man that we were invited etc. and we passed through without being strip searched. It’s just like a proper building site! Big holes and equally big humps, piles of sand and gravel, stacks of bricks and timber. Everything was there.
Our guide was the English chap from the Egyptian Experience office in town, very pleasant and accommodating. He first showed us a “Studio” apartment of 45 sq. mtrs. (including the balcony). It was very nice, compact but ok. The furnishings were all quite modern and Western style, which was how all the viewed apartments were furnished. The Studio was on the ground floor and a short walk from the pool area. Biggest problem was the £31,000+ price tag! All the apartments were nice to look at but very small for the prices they are asking. Even the three bed two bathroom version was only 6 sq. mtrs. bigger than our one bedroom apartment. The four bedroom duplex apartment was the exception, with 226 sq. mtrs. over two floors, very nice indeed but at £170,000 it sure wants to be!
Each section of the development has its own pool and sunbathing area, but it will be quite some time before it is all finished. Along the main road, on the edge of the site, the owners are planning to have a row of shops to service the whole place. Anyone who buys or rents there will have no need to come into town. So this is something else which will not bring much benefit to the residents of Luxor. But as long as tourists are frightened to engage with the locals, developments like this and other walled “compound” type places will flourish in Egypt. It’s such a shame, and the irony of the name was not lost on me. Egyptian Experience, indeed!