Did I Ever Say That Luxors Local Buses Are Safe?

No, nothing very exciting today I'm sorry to say. Unless, that is you know what or who VOSA is/are!
If you don't, and you've nothing better to do for a few minutes, I'll tell you. Are we all sitting comfortably?

VOSA stands for the Vehicle Operator Services Agency. It's actually a bit of a misnomer as (depending on which area your operating base is situated) sometimes vehicle operators have more of a sense of VOSA being the "Devil Incarnate" rather than a "Service Provider". VOSA's staff carry out the inspection of trucks and buses and coaches, as well as controling those who carry out your annual MOT inspection at your local garage, on behalf of the Area Traffic Commissioner, who works for the Queen, as opposed to the government.

In the North East Traffic Area, where we used to live and operate trucks and coaches, there was usually a fairly benign Traffic Commissioner, and his VOSA staff were reasonably fair and sensible. They knew who was trying to pull the wool over their eyes and who was trying to keep their vehicles as safe as possible. Many of the "old school" vehicle inspectors were ex-forces gentlemen, who would judge your character and expertise before even setting a foot inside the garage to inspect your vehicles and/or maintenance records. These were good men, who weren't frightened to take responsibility, because they were mature enough to trust their own judgement. But some of the latter ones, before I ceased trading, were officious and over zealous to the point of actually often being offensive, always seeming to suspect that you had "something to hide". Most unsatisfactory, and typical of the mindset of a government which needed to minutely control every facet of its elector's lives! Orwell's 1984 wasn't all that far from the truth, with Tony Bliar cast as Big Brother!

Just a minute, I'm getting away from what I wanted to show you!

"Did I Ever Say That Luxors Local Buses Are Safe?"

Probably not, I should think. However, as I ride on them nearly every day; I must have some sort of confidence that the driver doesn't want to become an RTA statistic any more than I do. Actually some of the buses are very poor, like having 40 minutes of free play on the steering wheel (that's taking the whole wheel as a 60 minute clockface), or the body sides and roof swaying to and fro while the floor stays still, or as still as is able with the back axle bound solid to the chassis! But, in general, they don't go fast enough to cause a great deal of damage if things did come apart!!!!!! Here's one which I'd like to have a go at, it runs around Beamish Museum in County Durham, and an old mate of mine drives it! (My brother sent me the picture just tonight.)

I was on the wander the other night to Mr Romani's friend who does the upholstery stitching etc. with his heavy duty sewing machine. (Mr Romani is the foam man across the way from where we live.) The stitcher was reinforcing some blackout curtains we had been given by one of our rich friends here (Marianne actually), but he didn't have them finished when he said that he would do. "Egyptian Time", remember? Calm, calm calm! Anyway, there was a local service bus parked in the street on the other side of the school, one of the bigger ones (based on a Toyota Coaster chassis judging by the size of the wheel studs and nuts) with about 20 seats. There are only a few of these knocking about as most of the buses are little, van based, mini-buses.

"Old habits die hard", or so they say, so as I walked past, I noticed a very slight problem with the left hand front wheel, which any bus or coach driver would notice on his/her "daily 'initial use' walk round check" before getting into the driver's seat. What do you think Her Majesty's Vehicle Inspectors would say about this?

Perhaps an "Immediate Prohibition", do you think?

I went to see my old mate Mr Aboudi in his new shop in Passport Street this morning. After that I was making my way to Tutti Frutti for a cup of the Amber Nectar (Tea, of course) when I came across another victim of the lack of "Elf N Safety" here in Egypt.

If you have a gander at the break in the trunk, I think you'll see that it's rotten! If the Council "Tree Man" had been inspecting trees for safety; he'd have found that, and had the tree cut down before it fell and caused some damage. But, being Egypt, it wasn't picked up. So when the strong wind (Khamseen?) got up last night, blowing sand everywhere and rattling everything which wasn't well fastened down, the old tree was toppled.

It was opposite the Sonesta St George Hotel, and fell right where they park their limousines etc. I was amazed that there hadn't actually been something parked there!

I've just remembered something else, which I actually noticed before, but that was before I was doing the blog. Mr Romani's stitching friend (I'm sorry, but I don't know his name, so that's the best I can do) is on the other side of the school, and up a little cul-de-sac which seems to end at a gate, in a high wall, leading into a garden of sorts in front of the new church. It always seems to have people sitting around outside their doors, talking, clipping kids, and drinking tea (so not all bad, eh?) but there is always a bit of a smell there too! Something like a butcher's shop.

Although I had my camera with me, I didn't feel able to take a picture with so many people sitting around. But there were large tins (maybe about 2 gallon size) lying on the other side of the small street containing.........empty hooves!!!! That's right, just the hard outer part of animal hooves. I cannot imagine what they do with the insides, which I suppose to be of a softer material, or how they actually get the stuff out? I'd forgotten about these, as I haven't been up that street for quite some time. The last time I used this stitching man, he'd not made a good job and charged me too much, so I have been reluctant to go back to him, until now that is.

What do you think? Is this what they make glue out of? What?


  1. Here in the states there is a show, Bizarre Foods with Andrew Zimmern. Here's a link.
    Supu, a soup with goat lungs, heart and liver, cow hooves and tail. Count me out.

  2. I think I read that link thinking Supu was the name of the soup with hooves in it. I think that should read Zimmern has Supu, as well as a soup with... Sorry about that. Anyway,
    Hooves are also used as pet treats. Some are even stuffed with ground tripe to give it that extra melodorous-ness that dogs find so appealing. Yummy!