The Gasman Cometh!

It's Freda's birthday today, but we've spent this morning (it's now twenty to one) waiting for an Egyptian workman to come and do a little job! He said that he'd be here at 8 o'clock, much to my dismay, but we were up and ready in time, and we're still waiting! I'm just wondering which implement I'm going to use to kill him with when he does, finally, arrive.

Anyway, he's not the gasman!

It appears that our neighbours (Adam the coffeeeshop man and his nearest relations) have become the suppliers for our area. Our attention was drawn by an unusual noise, mid-morning. It sounded like the Amoun men emptying the rubbish skip (dumpster) on the main road. They tip it over onto its side, and then sometimes bang it up and down a bit to loosen the stuff which has become stuck to the inside, then drag everything out onto a large tarpaulin before sorting through it and hauling the tarpaulin (rubbish and all) up the side of the truck and tipping it into the steel body. If they have trouble emptying it, the noise can go on for three or four minutes. This time it had gone on for about a half hour!!!

I climbed up the roof terrace wall, and craned my neck trying to see what the cause might be, but to no avail. However, when I went downstairs to go shopping, it was immediately apparent:

A truckload of full butane bottles was in the process of being delivered!

I had been told that the bottled gas (which everyone else uses to cook with) was in short supply and as it got more difficult to source, was getting much more expensive. (Adam was complaining to me a few weeks ago that he was having to pay 35le for a bottle which was usually 5le!) It seems that the Ababda (*) tribe of Luxor have taken the initiative by ordering a truckload from the main suppliers. They are paying 8le per bottle and selling it on for only 10le.So that's not a case of profiteering, in particular, is it? I don't think that a mark-up of 25% is extortionate for a commodity which has been in short supply for months.

Anyway, it had all been sold or taken into the homes of the immediate family (for their own use) within a few hours. Just as a matter of interest, does anyone know how much a bottle of Butane is in the UK nowadays? 

(*) The Ababda are an Arab tribe, originally from Saudi Arabia (and known as the 'Fuzzy Wuzzies') who are in great abundance in Egypt (approximately 34,000,000 of them I'm told) who were greatly preferred as fighters by the British occupiers of Egypt in years gone by! They include the Haggagis (Viking), and Aboudis (of bookshop fame) of Luxor.


  1. Dont know how much it is but not bringing any over there HAHA.HAPPY BIRTHDAY FREDA.X SANDRA MICK

  2. Happy Birthday Freda :-)

    At work we are paying around £30 for an 18kg Calor Gas refill for the forklift truck.