I'm a rambler, I'm a gambler, I'm a long way from home, and if you don't like me then leave me alone!

Now then, who remembers the Clancy Brothers, with their Arran jumpers and diddley-do-da songs along with the banjo fiend Tommy Makem? I'll eat when I'm hungry and I'll drink when I'm dry!" and on it goes.

Well, as most of you know, or perhaps have realised by now, I'm certainly not a gambler! But I am a long way from home, and (as this Blog amply proves) I could ramble for England, eh?

Do you remember this picture, and the corresponding Blog post from February 2014? You could look it up in the Blog Archive at the bottom of the bits and pieces on the right of this page, if you wanted to refresh your memory. Or, I could just give you the gist of the story, anyway.

It's a picture of the 3 inch water main as it comes out of the ground just outside our building. It had burst, flooding the street, and the Luxor Water and Wastewater Holding Company men had come out and repaired it by wrapping a bicycle inner-tube around the hole and taping it up with electrician's tape. I was very unhappy about it, and sure that it wouldn't last for more than five minutes.

The day before yesterday, our neighbour, Mr Gamal, stopped me in the street and said that if we didn't get the pipe fixed, he would turn off our water altogether as it was seeping, and he was afraid that it would wash away the foundations of his building, which is next door. I commiserated with him, and explained that I had asked the other neighbours and the two Doctors in our building to arrange to have it repaired and I would willingly stump up my share of the cost. (Many times.) It would obviously be easier and cheaper for them to get it fixed than me, me being unable to converse with the Water Company people sufficiently well, and being a Kawadger into the bargain. (Colloquialism: Kawadger = [I think] a white skinned, or possibly Christian, foreigner.) All to no avail, I'm afraid to say, for the past 20 months! After making my apologies etc, I asked Mr Gamal to speak to the two Doctors, Abd El Malach and Ashraf, and see if he couldn't galvanise them into some sort of action.

Coffeeshop Adam spoke up and said that he would force Mr Edward (remember, Dr Abd El Malach's assistant) to accompany him to the right place, on his motor bike, the next day! (FYI, Adam promised to have it repaired while we were in England, a year gone March!!!! I even left him 100LE as my share. So I wasn't going to hold my breath this time!) Never mind.

Yesterday, we went out in the morning to have tea with a couple of friends who have just returned to Luxor for the winter; Ann and Robert, a lovely couple. We met in the Cafe Latte at 10.30, and had a good old chin-wag, in between the noise of the Mosque and the motor bikes and other traffic rushing past! (It's not a place for me, I'm afraid; tea was awful and even with my new hearing aids I was struggling to make much sense of the conversation.)

Afterwards, we had some real tea in the Winter Palace and did a little shopping before returning home at a little after one o'clock. Imagine my surprise to come around the corner to this sight:

Yes Dear Reader, a brand new plastic pipe in less than three hours, all done and dusted! It's amazing what can be accomplished by threats. And my share of the cost was 115LE, not bad, I thought.

As I made my way to the offices of the Luxor Water and Wastewater Company in order to attempt to pay for my water, I came across yet another ingenious temporary repair which would probably outlast the original article:

I know it's difficult to see when you've no idea of what you're looking for. Look at the plastic bags adhering to the wheel. They're meant to be there, look again:

I'm not 100% sure, but I believe that they're sealing leaky wheelrims, where the tyre should seal onto the wheel. Never seen it before, but Egypt is a place where the strangest of things crop up.

I'm sure that you'll agree that that's enough rambling for one night. Tarra!

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