Wot's new? Nothing under the sun!

Yes Playmates, it's another post full of the same old same old, I'm afraid. But not necessarily for everyone, eh?

We aren't spending all that much time roaming the streets, as is our usual wont, because it's too bleedin' cold!!!! This morning, around 10ish, it was 5 degrees C, which was 5 degrees colder than Windy Nook, you couldn't make it up, honestly. Who, in their right mind, would travel to red hot Egypt to suffer temperatures like this?

I had to go and visit our good friend Ahmed Badawy (of caleche fame) today, as he is really quite ill. Those of you who know him will remember how thin he's been getting these past few years since the Revolution, well, I was shocked to see him today (for the first time since we returned). He was wrapped up in bed with several layers of galabiyas on and a couple of those furry blankets, but still felt chilly when I embraced him. His cheeks are now sunken in, and his mother was almost in tears with worry about him when I saw her last night. Brother Samir had him to the hospital three times yesterday, and he now has a selection of medicines which he seems to be taking, let's all hope they do the trick. I was able to drop off a significant sum of cash to help the family along, which had been sent by a very kind lady in England. (Thanks again to her and the others who send us money to distribute in these terribly hard times.)

Getting back to El Sisi's visit, I've still one or two pictures which may be of interest:

The first one is of the lazer light show taken from Sharia Karnak and then from our terrace. The next is a sneaked shot of the orchestra playing in the Temple:

Remember, Dear Reader, that all these pics can be viewed separately, and bigger, by clicking on any one of them.

The following day, security was still very tight, and El Sisi had a helicopter roaming around all day, almost skimming rooftops at times:

Strange Beggars!

You've seen me mention our local scrapman, Mohamed Sabbah, haven't you? He has the tiny shop just in our main road, next to the nearest of the 4 local barber shops. Here he is chatting with said barber, outside their respective shops:

Mohamed is the one who's all wrapped up. He took over the shop from his father, and quite possibly his father before him. He buys scrap (ferrous about 2le per kilo, last time I asked) and sells old newspaper, shisha pipes and accessories and rudimentary wooden household items along with oven trays which he makes from old butter tins, brushes and mops, the odd  china set and pans etc. He squeezes a lot into that tiny space, let me assure you. 

But, have I ever mentioned the Fat Brothers? (They're not really fat, just not as thin as the rest of our neighbours.) Two of these organise the annual stick fighting to celebrate Abu Haggag in our little square,. Remember, when they close the road? Well, they have the large building right next door to Mohamed. It was once a real restaurant (before my time) and they wanted me to rent it as such when we first came here. Since then it has mainly lain unused except for when the stick fighting and the Moulid come around each year. In between times it has been a coffeshop in various styles, but lately it's been boarded up. 

Until...........last week, when it seemed to be all go! Here's the finished article, sadly a much bigger replica of poor Mohamed's little store, and right nexr door!

What a trick to play on your neighbour, eh? And it's over two floors as well! That's the baldy one of the Fat Bro's standing there.

This sort of thing isn't new, mind you. Identical shops are often to be found next door to each other, no-one here seems to have any original thought for business ideas. Until one of them died, we had 5 barbers in spitting distance of each other right nearby, telephone shops and shoe shops abound. But....there's not enough business for more than one of any trade to make a half decent living. Daft!!!!!!!

People in the tourism sector are still crying their eyes out, as they close their shops, hoping to re-open when the tourists come back, or see their horses slowly dwindling away to death for want of proper feeding. Mr Jadhallah, the Shakespeare quoting boatman, has almost disappeared, he's that thin! 

I know that Westerners, in general, are afraid to venture into Muslim countries just now, and rightly so in many cases, but my experience of Luxor is one of relative safety when compared to many western countries. We certainly haven't had 3000 unfortunate workers killed in one blow, like the USA, or had people killed by the dozen in bus and tube train incidents like the London carry on, nor yet loads of innocent music lovers massacred in a night club like in Paris, nor even the mass sexual assaults which have been seen in Germany!  Yet the people here, whose lives are intermingled between Christianity and Islam, are paying with their livelihoods.  

Next time you're here, take a look above street level, and see the indications of unity and cooperation between the two religions; like this, for instance:

Maybe it's not all that clear, but I can assure you that it is a representation of the Christian cross and the crescent moon of Islam intermingled, just like the Luxor population. A number of these signs are visible throughout Luxor, if you look carefully.

Another rooftop gem is situated on the main tourist coach route into town:

One of the poor little angels has lost his wings, or is he like Clarence in the fabulous old film "It's a Wonderful Life", and hasn't yet received them?

Finally, something to warm your heart as you travel around here on the local service buses:

2 out of 5? And the hub bearing open to the sand and dust? Safety first, eh?

Bye for now, my beloved requires tea!


  1. looking through and reading you blog, it surprised me they had an apache gunship and they don't come cheap
    I remember everyone you have mentioned on your blog
    Everywhere I went in Egypt, I never saw any animosity between religions, they all just got on with their lives, trying to make a living (we had more arguments on our truck than the locals did)
    Luxor is about as safe as your local area and in some cases might even be safer
    Only problems I ever encounter is turning down the numerous cups of tea I am offered, but I have never refuse that red drink (I forget the name, but it can be drank hot or cold, its lovely
    Now the weather, cold, it cant be, we have global warming, I have never heard of Egypt being this cold (I hope you bought your vest with you Edward?)
    I really enjoy this blogs and snippets of life in Luxor (and Luxor is my favourite place to visit (always something to do or see, even if its just the kids kicking a ball or plastic bottle around)
    Its the media that is putting people off travelling to Egypt, which it doesn't really tell the full story (who wants to read about getting along, doing their thing, just getting on and making the best of anything and everything)
    They want sensational stories, death and violence, starving horses, don't make headlines or sell papers
    C'on people, give Egypt a break, go visit them, they will be glad to see you
    I'm coming back and looking forward to it

  2. Oh , Edward , how awful to hear about Ahmed . Next time you see him , please give him best wishes from Raymond and Kristin
    Every time we come to Luxor , we have constantly used him and Samir for our caleche travel , and only wish we could come more often , but the old age pension doesn't allow for Egyptair's prices , unfortunately
    Thank you so much for allowing us a glimpse of Luxor n the meantime