Civil Unrest..Luxor Style

Here we are again folks! We had an interesting trip out this afternoon, with our good friend Ahmed the caleche man. We were strolling down to the Etap, to sample their tea and free cake, when we came across Ahmed (he’s been our caleche man for about 10 or 11 years) and changed our plan. When Ahmed asked us “Where to?” the Boss said that it would be up to him. (As you know, I just “fit in”, it’s best that way!)
Anyway, off we went along Karnak Street, travelling north, towards the airport. Ahmed drives very slowly when we are with him, so the car and ‘bus drivers just love us to bits, and show their appreciation by honking their horns at every opportunity, we wave back at them to be sociable. Within a minute, I was feeling for the camera, as Ahmed explained why there were tents all over the new grassed area just past the two big Churches on the right. It appears that some of the locals are under the impression that their beloved leader, Samir Farag Governor of the Luxor Governorate, has gone, and with him “his” plans for the development of Luxor. So, they are reclaiming the land which the authorities took from them, and “squatting” on it in makeshift tents and shelters. I’m not sure with what purpose in mind, perhaps they are intent on getting a better pay-out than they have already had. I’m sure they aren’t daft enough to really believe that they can actually reclaim the land legally, even though rumour has it that much of the Land Registry paperwork was destroyed by vandals when they attacked the Council Offices at Awamaya! There are quite a number of them along the route of the Kabesh Road, one actually on the road where it crosses the sphinxes! I think that they are probably spending money for nothing and are in for a big disappointment, and quite possibly some harsh treatment from the police, eventually, when they come to evict them, again.
Here are a few of them, either on either side of the Avenue, or by the side of the airport road. As usual, you can click on the pictures to enlarge them, or click again to make them very big.

One thing that I really enjoyed about the ride was the renewed friendliness of the passers-by. They kept on asking Ahmed where he found his tourists and of course he just laughed before admitting that we were “Egyptians”. Along Karnak way somewhere he pulled over (we were in the outside lane, going the wrong way along a stretch of dual carriageway) against the central reservation. I asked him why he had stopped and he told me that there was a good place there to buy “macarona”, and he wanted to get some for us. I don’t like pasta (foreign muck!), so off he went, promising to stop next at a good falafel man. When he returned, a few minutes later, he brought some food for himself as well. (I was very pleased to see this, as his brother, Samir, tells me that he hardly eats anything at home, and he’s getting far too skinny!) Being a Nosey Parker, I asked what he had. Of course, I had to then try it! It happened to be delicious, and was called “hawassy”. I remembered the name by thinking of Zahi and his big hat. The nearest I can think of, which might relay to you the taste and texture of this delight, would be haggis, thinly spread between two thin layers of filo-like pastry, and too hot to touch! I shared his, and then sent him back for another, I was also brave enough to try a bit of pickled something or other, which smelled like coconut, but obviously wasn’t.

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