Tales of the Marvellous and News of the Strange.

That's the title of a book which Number One Son got me for my Christmas box, I'm busy reading it now. It's a recent translation of old Arabic stories, similar to the One Thousand Nights and One, but I think slightly older (?). It's very interesting, and gives further insights into the modern-day Arab psyche.

Anyway, to get back to that "modern-day"; I've been snapping away on our rounds of Luxors shopping and dining opportunities. As usual, boring bits about buses, mildly interesting snippets which might amuse a few mad Luxor lovers and other general nonsense.

We'll get the buses bit out of the way for a starter, eh?
This piece could possibly interest people within the bus and coach industry back home, or even those hardy characters; the British Bus Spotters! It might even come into the above category of "News of the Strange", what do you think? It's certainly not one of the "Tales of the Marvellous" that's for sure! I expect that several Luxor bus drivers must think that this little fat kawadga (foreigner) must be a loony, but I was just taken by the multiple repairs to this bus door the other day, and therefore had to record it for you, Dear Reader:

On closer inspection, it would seem that the mechanics have used first grade pigeon droppings in their repair regimen. Here, have a look at these:

Also some nice sharp edges there, where the door's broken, see? I'm sure that Her Majesty's Traffic Commissioners would just love to get their hands on some of the vehicles which ply for hire here in Luxor, their vehicle examiners would have a field day!
Then there's the matter of "Destination Blinds". I well remember my mate (Fat Les) having to get these made, and them costing an arm and a leg.(Colloquialism: an arm and a leg = a lot of money!!!) Not so here in Luxor. Most of the local mini-buses have gone without destination displays for quite some time now. That's not much of a problem, really, as many bus users here are unable to read anyway, and content themselves (like we also do) with shouting out their preferred destination at the driver and making various coded hand signals to get the appropriate response. It's a system which works fairly adequately.
However! What did we come across yesterday, on our way to the Nile Palace?

Yes, that's the motor bike of the "Man from the Ministry", laden with....... windscreen destination stickers! And here is one to prove it:

You would, no doubt, have noticed that the varying stickers on the bike are of different colours? I imagine that is so that we illiterates can still see where the bus is going to, not much use to Yours Truly, though. (What with my colour-blindness, lol!) So now, that bus will be forever wending it's way back and forwards through Awamaya and wherever, unless someone hails the driver to do a "Private" for a tenner or whatever. Still, I'd bet that Fatty would have preferred that to messing around finding and paying for destination roller blinds, or now, I suppose they're all digital thingies; pre-programmed to go wrong just at the most inopportune time.

Talking about inopportune timing: how about finding this ugly b****r when all you want to do is clean some wrought-iron work on the outside of a bedroom window?

It goes without saying that the cleaning had to be postponed until the following day!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Was he a scout for a huge swarm, I wonder? I really don't care, unlike John the Baptist, I just don't like 'em! (Freda's senior school used to breed locusts for the Biology Departments of other Gateshead schools, and sometimes, they'd escape!) I don't remember doing anything with locusts, perhaps it was because I was pre-occupied with our lovely biol teacher, whose name momentarily escapes me. (Miss Toyne, perhaps?)

You must all know, by now, that Freda and I enjoy our tea and cakes (or whatever) at the Steigenberger Nile Palace. Well, how about their new chandelier? Did you see it in the last Blog? A touch of class, I'd venture.

The weather being as it is; we're able to enjoy our afternoon outings on their terrace, overlooking the swimming pool and the river. Along came quite a surprise:

I expect that they were from the famous (but Marie Celeste-ish) Luxor Rowing Club. What I was even more surprised to see, however, was the miniature submarine which was obviously spying on them, it wasn't even submerged! Just gliding along on the surface, a few metres astern of the rowers, and in full view of anyone who cared to look. There it is in the last few frames of the video.

Ooooops! I nearly forgot. How about yet another private hospital in Luxor? I'd noticed a new building going up quite nearby, a large and expensive looking building, at that! It first came to my attention when I saw a six-wheeled concrete mixer in Cleopatra Street (or Kelopatra St, suit yourself!) disgorging liquid concrete into a concrete pump, which was pumping it up about six stories. A very strange sight to see in backward old Cleopatra St. Anyway, that must have been a couple of years ago, and I was amazed to come across this gleaming spectacle the other day:

As I said, it's six stories high, and it seems to be "L" shaped, here's a shot of the "back" door around the corner:

According to a bystander, it's hoped to open in about a month. But that's probably Egyptian Time. I wonder if one of their specialities might be rolling the patient up in a carpet and sending them to Rome, "for the waters" or something? It lies about 100 metres or so beyond the Tourist Market, on Cleopatra St. The only problem might be vehicular access, as all vehicles will have to approach it from the Rameses St end, which could prove to be a bit awkward at times.
Onward and upward, eh? At least it has been purpose-built, and it's not a converted tour company office or hotel!