Another day, and yet anther dollar.......spent!

OK then, I've been having a sort through some of the photo's I took whilst we were away on our intrepid jaunt. These first few relate to visiting a dear friend who is our sometime neighbour when he is in Luxor. We went to visit him at his mother's house, which lies behind the railway station, very nearby an impressive Fatimid cemetery which I didn't even know existed!

They live on the first floor of a two storey dwelling. His next-door-neighbour is Muslim, but both downstairs neighbours are Christian. Although a devout Muslim, he did make the comment that if he'd been born downstairs, he'd have been a Christian.

Anyway, the Muslim neighbour soon arrived with a queer looking pot:

I cannot deny that I thought it looked rather dubious! "We have this before drinking tea." piped up our host. He went on to explain that, in the olden days, on seeing someone receive guests, it was customary for a neighbour to quickly kill and roast a lamb for them, but that custom had slid by the board. (These are Ababda people, originally from Arabia and reputedly numbering something like 34,000,000 in Egypt.)

So now, we had to suffice with a welcoming, neighbourly, drink of jababnah (pronounced jAbanA). It's made with hand-ground coffee and rather more hand-ground ginger, amongst other bits and bobs. It's heated on charcoal, hence the rag around the red-hot handle, and some wire wool is stuffed into the spout to act as a filter. Speaking as someone who only likes Irish coffee, and that because I cannot taste the coffee for the Irish whisky, I could have sat and drunk this concoction all night. I'm surprised that they get away with serving it in these tiny cups? (Unless it was/is relatively expensive to make?) In short; it was utterly delicious!

After a good old chin-wag covering the various differences in politics, religion, economics and social problems in Egypt and England, we had a stroll past the fascinating Fatimid cemetery, and ended up at a house/factory belonging to an old man who was his life-long friend. The old man, who was asleep while we were there, makes decorative man-hole covers. Like these:


We sat by the roadside for ages, just watching the back-street life of Aswan going about its routine, it was lovely, and peaceful too. 

Our Aswan friend maintains that the British introduced the segregation of rich and poor in Egypt, when they built the railways. He pointed out that the rich live between the railway and the Nile, and the poor are confined to the East of the railway. This had never occurred to me before, but on reflection, and in the main, he's right! But was it a deliberate policy decision? Who knows?

It's about bedtime now, but my mouth is watering thinking about that jabanah! See you later, alligator! 

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