Water water everywhere, but not a drop to drink.....literally!

Well, this is a queer kettle of fish, and no mistake! The picture below is our carry-on case, which I've just used to bring 15 litres of Baraka water from Ahmed's little supermarket down in Yousef Hassan Street. (The Mohsen Market, for those of you who know the area. Ahmed is also a local plumber as I've mentioned on here before.) I would have rather bought a box, but I don't think I would have survived the stairs, in all honesty.

The reason for hoarding water? In all probability, we shall be "cut off" tomorrow for a couple of days! Someone has sunk a cargo vessel loaded with around 1000 tons of fuel, 100 tons of which have leaked out into the river. "Charming", I can hear you say.
The government departments are enacting their "emergency plans" and hope to contain the fuel in the Aswan area, but I believe it will prove to be an impossible task, and that they will close off the filtration and purification plants as soon as they know that they are unable to keep the drinking water safe. So, thanks to warnings on the Luxor4u forums, we are stockpiling like crazy!

As I went out of the building to buy the Baraka, I came across Adam in his coffee shop over the road (lol at "over the road", he's about five feet away). He and his wife have four boys, and they'll use some water during two days, I'll be bound. His wife was busy filling every container she can lay hand to. When I got out into the street, I came across Nashat (the tailor from the souk), a normally placid fellow who was wound up enough to be raging against the government. "What about the poor people? How will they manage?"

When I came back with my laden case, I promised to bring some empty bottles down for Adam. "No, no Mr Edward, just send them down on the string." (Now, I need to explain this to the uninitiated. Being on the roof, with 83 stairs: we have a bucket on a string, which we can let down to the street door. When the electric man comes and rings the doorbell, he then puts the bill in the bucket and we send the money back down. This happens with several people, and if we haven't got any money, I peep over the roof terrace wall and just pretend we're not in! Anyway, it all saves my poor old legs. OK?) After struggling up the stairs with my 15 kilos of water, I had a breather and then put the bottles (I only had 6, though) in a bag, clipped it onto the string and lowered away. I almost broke into a sea-shanty at this point, but I get into trouble with Freda for frightening the neighbours, so desisted. After gently letting it down the 5 floors (quickly past the doctor's window though, in case any of his thieving patients grabbed at it as it went past) I shouted for Adam, and shouted for Adam, and shouted for Adam. (No, the record hasn't stuck!) Then I whistled, and shouted for Adam, several times. In a state of some frustration, I eventually decided to go down the stairs again and get him by the hand!!!!! Yes, you've guessed it, just as I opened the street door, there was Adam taking the last bottle out of the bag! Apologising profusely for making me trail all the way down the stairs, he forced me to take a seat in the coffee shop and have one of his cigarettes before he would let me mount the stairs again. Well, you have to be sociable at times like this, don't you?
Poor Freda was, in the meantime, trying to find receptacles to hold water for our own needs. Here they are, taking up the shower and the livingroom floor.
InshAllah, it will all be sorted out by morning, but you never know?

When I noticed the sign in the picture below, I immediately thought of Karen the Copper, our Welsh friend.

Do you think they are giving tours of Luxor Police, or are the Luxor Police at last joining all the rest and proclaiming themselves to be tour operators. I wonder if they have a licence?

Bye for now, I'm off to have another cuppa before bed.


  1. Nice one Edward - as an ex copper myself, I like this one!!!