At the Consular meeting last evening , which was held at the Gaddis Hotel, Mr Hulbert did explain to us that the Egyptian Government had forbidden its citizens to any longer hold the position of "Honorary Consul" for any foreign nation.. Therefore Mr Ehab Gaddis would no longer be the Honorary British Consul for Luxor.
Were we on our own, then? Not quite, apparently.Mt Gaddis would still do whatever he was allowed to in order to assist British subjects in Luxor, but there are a range of Consular services which are now out of his remit; such as issuing emergency travel documents etc. and this sort of problem would have to be dealt with by the Consular staff in Cairo, for the foreseeable future.
Never mind, the other reason for calling the meeting was to discuss what we could do in the event of an emergency, i.e. how could we make sure that important information was disseminated among the British if the normal means of communication were inoperative, for any reason? This matter had been discussed previously, and this time volunteers were asked for; to become "Wardens", whose responsibility would be to pass on the information to a certain number of particular people, and also to report any "relevant happenings", here on the ground, to the Embassy staff in Cairo. They were looking for people with landline telephones, so we weren't any use, as normal there then!
The meeting was very well attended, and there were lots of folk whom I'd never seen before. The present lines of communication (or seeming lack of them) were being discussed by some women at the front, who were obviously not happy with the responses that they were (or not) getting to queries sent to the Embassy. I was saddened to hear Mt Hulbert come up with the line, "We are allowed 20 days to respond".
Then, when the discussion turned to the couple who were locked up for supposedly trying to smuggle antiquities, he assured us that the Embassy would write to the Egyptian Authorities within 24 hours of being informed of such an arrest, and the Egyptians had 10 days to respond!
20 days?10 days? That's the sort of response we expect from MFI, or an estate agent! It's no blinkin use Her Majesty's representative spouting that sort of worthless rubbish, when you're innocent and starving in an Egyptian cell.
I like to welcome visitors to Luxor, so I often wave at passing coaches, and "Pasha runs" (you know; the convoys of caleches, which cause so much of our traffic mayhem!), much to Freda's embarrassment! We were crossing Sharia Karnak at teatime, and there was a coach pulling around the corner with a small banner in the windscreen, reading "Carleton College" the people looked quite nice, so I gave them a welcoming wave.To my delight; about ten of them waved back! I don't know what they thought of this strange, non-Egyptian type, waving at them; perhaps they assumed that Freda was my carer?
We often go into the Etap via the back door. Tonight, we came across a giant's club, just lying there! A nasty great thing with sharp bits sticking out that would really hurt:
Does anyone know the Arabic for "Fi Fy Fo Fum, I smell the blood of an Englishman" Just in case, I don't want to hear an Egyptian giant's voice, and not know that he's coming for me!!!!! Maybe I should report it to the Vice Consul?
Anyway, we were on our way to the Etap, for our usual "Wahed tea wah wahed Nescafe" (One tea and one Nescafe, in case you hadn't figured it out) It's no use asking for chai, as they wouldn't bring any laban (milk). As we were sitting, I was astonished to see that a Triffid was devouring a palm tree, not six feet away!