The last few days…
Mostly I have had a case of the common cold. Spent most of the time holed up at the hotel watching movies kindly donated by Jane, one of the Expats in Luxor. She is a lifesaver! So the below is an amalgamation of things.
We went to the Mosque on top of the Luxor temple. This is an interesting Mosque. It is fairly plain but well done. It does not need flashy gimmicks or anything. The old tower was built about 800 years ago and was mud brick. The new tower is only about 100 y/o. As said it is built on the temple, at the original ground height, with the tops of the pillars being incorporated into the structure of the Mosque.
Apparently there was a bit of fuss when excavating the temple, as the archaeologists wanted the structure removed, and the local congragation (with fair right) wanted it to remain. A compromise was met. They would allow the tourists to come in and look as long as they got to keep it. Some of the pillars have had the plaster removed to show original rock,and there is one section of the wall in the Mosque itself with all the carvings uncovered. It is a peaceful serene place, and quite relaxing for a little visit. You also get good views of the temple from the Mosque grounds.
We tried clothes shopping. This is not that much fun in Egypt (or anywhere from my point of view!). It is almost impossible to find women’s shops, and all the jeans are skinny. As this trend has been around for a few years world wide, we hope it is over soon. The only things Anna found were either so badly made that they would fall appart within a week or two, or cut so badly that the only way she would be seen in them is if she was dead. So this was a dead loss. Still, we met Ahmed, and he tried his hardest to find something acceptable. even though we didn’t end up buying anything, he made the process a lot easier. Especially finding the shops.
Had a couple of nice meals… Run from each place that says they will charge you “Egyptian Prices” as it is always at least double what it should be if not 5 or 10 times the price. Get a straight answer on what it will cost before you consume! Egypt does have some interesting foods, as long as you don’t mind occasionally ordering offal accidentally! They do need to work on the veggies though. A meal out in Egypt is meat bread and sauce. (Although when you eat with the expats you can get fish and chips or vegetarian lasagne – without the veggies!
Watched a bit of TV and found they censor the words Bleep and Bleep on tv. So I cannot order a Bleep and Eggs roll, or Bleep chop. Then there are Sheep, Bleeps and Goats. Thought that was a good one. Anna wants to open up a petting zoo that has Bleeps, and the menu would be Bleep, Bleep with apple sauce, Bleep sausages, and Bleep with Bleep and Bleep. If you haven’t got it yet it is Bleep.
A lot of talking about Egyptian men, customs and religion. Our favourite from the Qur’an 2:42 “Cover not Truth with falsehood, nor conceal the Truth when you know (what it is).” Maybe the people here in Luxor need to take note of that.
Trivial Pursuit! We met up with Stan again for a few beers before we went shopping, afterwards we ended up at the Local Pub/Hotel for Trivial Pursuit. Thinking this was just trivia night, we rocked up, met a lot more of the Expat population here (a great bunch of personalities. Almost makes me wish I had one!). We almost fell off our chairs when the board came out! It is the proper game. 2 sides of 8, and off we went. It was kind of embarrassing when we got the only Australian question wrong. What do the two Latin words that make up Nullabor mean? Well, showing my bad memory (and spelling) I assumed it was an Aboriginal word! Oops. Post if you know it! (NO USING WIKIPEADIA!) Still it was great fun and amazing to see minds at work. Art and Lit was the favourite topic, and by gosh, most of the answers were right. Still, it was a great night, and we were very happy to be there. Talking and listening to people without having to worry about mistranslations and a common cultural background.
Luxor as a city is not that interesting. There are too many people people in the tourist trade just happy to rip you off or insult you if you do not spend/give money to them. Yet the attractions and expats make it worth while. Also we have met really good Egyptians here as well. They seem to be everywhere, but are out numbered 6.7×10(3K):1!
The west bank gets lit up at night along with Luxor and Karnak temples. Quite a sight.
There was also a wedding in our back alley. We were a bit worried about this. Mainly that if we walked past we would be drawn into it! So staying discreetly indoors we saw the bride and groom arrive, and listen to them party into the night. Our best wishes for them.