Recycling and Blue Peter.

I think I'll not write about all the recycling which goes on here in our little backwater of Luxor. (Mainly 'cause I don't have the photos I would like!)

Never mind, we are not altogether backward in the recycling game! Just for those who don't know:

Our household rubbish is meant to be placed in one of two skips (dumpsters) just a few metres away from the entrance to our little alley. Our good friend Rashad (the cleaner) usually takes our bin bag, which I give to him when I go downstairs to pay him each day. (Well; each day that he turns up, that is!) But then; most of what goes into the bin bag couldn't be recycled anyway, at least not here and not easily. But...whenever there's anything else to go, it's a different story!

Any old bits of wood, or plywood, never get as far as the skip, "Ah, meester Adward" yes, someone has a use for it, if it's not Adam from the coffeeshop, it will be Girges the doctor's assistant or Mr Ramadan the electrician. Failing either of those three it would be Mohamed Saber, our local scrap and general dealer, who is a couple of shops away to the left of our alley.

It's good, in that it means that I never have to carry heavy things very far, but Adam just wants to leave stuff lying in the street for a year or two, till he finds a use (or maybe even a buyer) for it, which is no good to me at all! What Adam does take, though, is empty water bottles. He uses them in the coffeeshop. Whenever a customer orders a tea or coffee, they also get a drink of water. Adam has a fridge full of my old bottles, which are full of Egyptian (tap) water. If you're a stranger, or at all posh looking, then you might get a glass for your water, but most likely you'd just get the bottle on the table next to your glass. He also likes the fabric conditioner bottles with the wide opening, it's good for throwing water all over the street to "keep the dust down". In actual fact, it just turns the street into mud!

A couple of streets away, I was curious about a high (maybe 20 feet or so) pile of great big black plastic bags behind a wall of about 15 feet or so high. I eventually asked Ahmed the caleche man about it, and then was delighted to actually see the man and his family doing what they do! They were soaking the labels off plastic water bottles as they sat in their home with the front door wide open. Once the bottles are clean of labels and glue, they are put into these giant sized sacks and allowed to pile up until there are enough of them to warrant a truck coming to take them away. I was quite amazed, to hear that this family make a living out of just this!

Anyway, while we were visiting the tombs at Al Kab last week, on our dahabiya trip aboard the beautiful Zekrayaat, we were approached by two young girls from the village through which we had to walk. They were selling small baskets and plates, like this. (Of course, this is one which was made earlier!!!) Do you reckon that they would have deserved a "Blue Peter Badge" for this?

If you read Ruby Tuesday's blog ( you might have seen the large bowl which her sister-in-law made for her. They are made from the plastic foil of crisp packets! Ours had a handle on, which Freda didn't care for, so she took it off and investigated the construction.

As you can see, apart from the skill involved in actually doing it, it's simplicity itself! A few "woody" type fibres from a common plant, for stiffening, and wrapped in strips of crisp packet. It's very effective for a nice little conversation piece and so much better than throwing them away in the street, or canal, or onto the roof across the street, wouldn't you agree?
As we walked back to the dahabiya and passed through the village, we saw some women sitting at their door actually making some of these items. One, was a great big platter, it must have been nearly two feet across, and she was arranging the packets so that it had a perfect "swirl" pattern on it, a work of art!

1 comment:

  1. Wow! That's a pretty awesome bowl!!