The Journey!

Well, what can I say?

The trip started off well enough, with Mr Ayman, our regular taxi man, arriving on time with a clean car with room in the boot (trunk, for our American friends) for the baggage and enough "benzine".

As usual, I had my trusty shifter (Colloquialism: shifter = adjustable or adjustable wrench.) from Mr "Snap-On Tools" with me as I took the luggage downstairs.

This is to remove the handles from the mains water taps (faucets) so that no-one can mess with them whilst we're away. I put the handles, fixing nuts and shifter in the little pocket in the top of my "TripAdvisor" haversack, where they stay until we return to Luxor, so that getting the water on is one of the first things I can do when entering the building. (Mind you, this time I forgot to turn the electricity off at the main switch, which is in a pad-locked wooden box, and had to get our friend "Slack Alis" to go and dismantle said box and switch the leccy off for us.) Never  mind!

Service at the airport was fine, although our second case (which was completely empty) did cause a raised eyebrow or two. After getting rid of the large cases, we sat on the sofas opposite the international departures check-in for quite a while filling in the emigration forms, and without having to buy anything to eat or drink, as the snack-bar wasn't yet open. I do like this part of our journey, as it's a great tourist-watching opportunity!

Upstairs at the airport, in the duty-free, we managed to find some menthol fags (Colloquialism: fags = cigarettes, not people of a certain sexual orientation!) for Number-One-Son and Number-One-Son-In-Law, and then joined the shortish queue for the actual departure lounge.

This is when the wheel fell off! (Another colloquialism: "wheel fell off" = a catastrophe occurred.)

Security at Luxor International has been strengthened dramatically! At every transfer from one section of the airport to the next, our paperwork wasn't just checked (as usual) it was "inspected"...........twice! With the current perceived threats (even if they aren't actually real) I wouldn't really complain about additional security measures; like everyone having to remove their shoes before going through the magnetic thingy at the departure lounge entrance. Like a good lad, I'd removed my watch, switched off my 'phone and also placed my keys in Freda's handbag. I was therefore rather surprised when I was asked to open my little haversack!

"You have a 'key' or something in there?" said the officer. Of course, me knowing Arabic English, I realised immediately that he was referring to my shifter. As I retrieved it from the small pocket, I explained to him that I had used it to dismantled the taps at my home, and needed it with me to reassemble them when I returned, quite simple, really. He took it from me and laid it on the desk, while saying that I also had something with a battery in it. Laptop, tablet, phone? No, it was my nose and ear hair trimmer! I remonstrated with him that I wouldn't be able to trim my nose hairs while flying, but he was having none of it; he wanted the battery taken out! I subsequently picked up the shifter as he inspected the Energiser AA battery.

"No, no, that stays here!" "No, no it blooming doesn't!!!! That's a lot of English pounds there Matey." He realised that I meant business, and called for a supervisor. I made it quite plain to him, too, that I was not willing to just lose the tool, and that if it could not accompany me into the cabin of the plane, then it would have to go into my checked baggage. I was duly packed off back to the check-in, where my cases were sent for and eventually arrived. After that, and queuing again for the departure lounge for about 15 minutes, everything else went reasonably smoothly. Of course, they were wary of me being able to dismantle the plane with my shifter. It certainly couldn't have been that they suspected that I might use the tool as a weapon, as they freely passed weapons around to everyone on the plane when the meal was served; proper metal cutlery!!!!!

You see this bloke?............

Yes, that's him; Stratford Johns, aka Chief Inspector Charlie Barlow of "Z Cars" fame. ("Z Cars" was a long-running British TV series about fictional policemen and their trials and tribulations in a Liverpool suburb in the 60's.) You thought that he'd been dead since 2002, didn't you, Dear Reader? Well, you'd just be wrong, again!

He must have been drinking from the fountain of eternal youth, as we came across him stewarding on our EgyptAir flight to London Heathrow! Honestly, it was him, just looking younger and speaking Arabic instead of Scouse! Strange, eh? (It's all the fault of with that modern commercial television channel; "ITV" is it?)

It's bedtime here in WN, so goodnight and God bless.

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