Hole in the wall

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I'm sitting in an internet cafe that is quite litterally a hole in a wall. They've managed to wedge three computers in here but you have to duck under and then step over the various cables and wires to get to a place to sit. After haggling for a good rate, well, here I am.

The luggage finally arrived, it'll be a while until I wear that shirt again :) It was interesting to listen to the depths of lies that the company responsible for getting it to me would go to to avoid being in any way responsible for the delay. The "field rep" just stopped answering our guide's calls. We had someone else call from a different number, they answered, as soon as he said "luggage" they hung up and switched off their mobile. The "home office" said they phoned the tour company in cairo (where it doesn't exist) and talked to the boss (who also doesn't exist) and had sent the luggage on to Luxor. Eventually they caved and gave me my clothes, but with now only 6 days on the tour left I've definiately packed too much :) My guide is a little bored now though, she doesn't have anything to hunt down any more.

Bribery and corruption are pretty much the name of the game here, but thankfully the cost of living is so low that you don't really notice it. Our guide got us into the temple of Horus a half hour early for the equivalent of about $4. Not bad really. The temple was spectactular (no photos just yet, see previous comment about state of cafe), anti chamber after anti chamber, walls covered in battles of gods, it was a truly awe inspiring place to spend the morning. Plus I got yelled at by guards again for hugging Horris. Apparently the hawk god isn't really that affectionate.

Abu Simbel, another temple less spectacular than horus but more well known since it was moved by hand up the side of a mountain so as not to be burried under the flood waters the new nile dam brought, well Abu Simbel was reallly more eclipsed by the well oiled machine that is Egypt Air. Set off the metal detector? just come on through, there's a long line. Have a ticket for a different flight? well you have a ticket so that's good enough, come on board. I kind of wish security at Sea-Tac were that easy to get through.

Other things from my notes (not necessarily in chronological order)

A group of tourists walk along the pier by our boat, one is dressed in full traditional egyptian garb. Not unusual. Smoking and wearing deeply tinted sunglasses - still not far from the norm. Sporting a classic full Mullet. A little different.

If you want to be a drug addict, prescription drugs at least, come here. Vicodin is an over the counter medication. While stopping in to a chemist to buy some sun screen a man in a black leather jacket walks in and surruptitiously hands a blue post it note to the man behind the counter. I glance and see a word that is six letters long, starts with a capital V and has a G in it. I work out he's buying Viagra, which isn't hard to do since he's standing right underneith a rotating oversized box of it advertising the wonders to the world.

I have a harram and apparently a well deserved one. Since everyone else in my tour group are women, whenever we're all in a bazaar and they stop at a shop one of the peddlers will invariably come up to me and say, "you have three women? very nice. you are very good my friend". So far I have done nothing to correct this impression.

If you ever are offered the chance to be bathed with hybiscus oils... well yeah, you should probably do that. However, if your bathing choices of the day are, say, Comet or "Gentle Breeze Hybiscus scented soap" (which, in point of fact, smells like hubba-bubba bubble gum) - go with the comet. That smell does not leave you for a LONG time.

Everyone is selling something. While I sit on our boat waiting for those who elected to travel by bus to return I see a man pushing along a cardboard box full of small appliance boxes. He stops and talks to a guard outside of our boat, the guard is apparently interested in a stereo. At this point the chef comes trundling out from below decks and starts inspecting a toaster oven. A crowd of about 7 people forms and eventually one man buys a blender. They disperse and the first man continues pushing his box of goods down the pier.

That's it for now, we're docked in Esna since the locks are closed and will make our way by bus to Luxor tomorrow. There the temple of Karnak, a trip to the valley of the kings, and one of the oldest and largest bazaars outside of cario where I've been told if I'm diligent I can find cursed artifacts though unfortunately no monkey paws (they're only in turkey).


Zack, when have you ever *not* had three women?

I second Moni. Glad to hear you got your clothes eventually... I wish the security here was like that again, too - I remember when you could just drop a large pocket knife in the key tray, walk through the metal detector, and pick it up on the other side, no second looks.

The turkey is dry! Oh cruel accursed fate!


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