After my walk about this morning I happened to read this in a local mag, Luxor Times
It does not say how bloody obnoxious these buggers are and it also does not say that 99% all do the same thing.
but most of this problem stems from a greedy council who give out a taxi license to anyone who can pay 5000 le per year for a license. making a total of over 2500 taxis here in luxor all looking for money from the tourist, that is the ones who brave going walkabout in Luxor. the tour companies have also added to this hunger for money all the hotels tell the guests on arrival not to trust the Egyptians and offer their own limos or private minibus / busses to do the tours most have their own limos one small hotel has 10 new limos. I say limos all they are is cheap made in china or Korea cars in black. plus one top of the range Bmw for the more wealthy customers. this also applies to the calash and felucca sail boats that all have to be licensed. be wary not all the callashes are therefore not insured against accident check the license plate on the rear, some hide it to stop you reporting the license number to the police after you find out you have been conned. click on the photos to read
I beat Luxor Times to the horse and carriage con first blogged in 6/12/ 2009
These the drivers of the horse and carriage are the most obnoxious of all the people in Luxor even worse then the taxi drivers. for the most only half of the 500 or so that have recently moved from other places in Egypt have no License they are supposed to be a cheap form of transport for the locals and therefore do not need a license. but the police take their share of the carriage drivers income and its ok. until one loses a wheel or gets bumped by a tourist bus . then the tourist passengers realize that they have no insurance. soooo sorry says the driver and the police. and the poor horse is put under arrest and taken to the police station where the driver will be fined, if he has no money he and the horse will stay in custody until the money is raised.
so the police come off quite well by not letting these guys have a license, there is a reason and an answer to everything here. lies maybe but it is an answer and a reason.
Going on with the Drivers I did not have a photo of the the number plate. so At 1.30 I decided I need some groceries and I will get a photo at the same time, kill two birds with one stone so to speak. I caught the Microbus to town 1/2 an egp 18 of them for 1 English pound. and got off the other side of the Luxor Temple because that is where My shopping was taking me this day for my favorite meat "Smoked ham " pork is hard to get her since the silly Egyptian Health authority decided to cull all the pigs in Egypt. you can all guess why. when the chicken flue was here and still is . they hid the hens on the roof and that is where they have stayed just for the hens safety not to be killed before its time to go in the pot. not so easy to keep a pig on the roof. mind you if it was ok for a muslim to eat the meat they would be kept on the roof out of sight of the authorities also, If the Christians tried it they would soon get reported by his nice Muslim neighbor.
they keep sheep and goats on the roof so why not a little piggy. but that's the way it is here.
going back to my Ham. none in Until tomorrow so I ended up buying walnuts anton the shop owner knows I like walnuts , and said I know its early for Christmas Mr Tony but they are real nice and fresh as he was opening the sack. and I could smell the fresh aroma of the walnut.
so I bought 1 lilo. and already I have hade five . the temptation got to much as I was uploading tonights skywatchegypt photos. ( easily tempted me especially where food is concerned)
But there is enough for me in 1 kilo; for xmas only 1 month to go. and tomorrow I will have ham sitting in the fridge tempting the hell out of me, that also is for xmas, does not stand much of a chance being in the fridge for a month. never Mind there is always Chicken available from one of the roof top farms. and no worries about ploughing through snow and Ice to get there. lucky ol me,
As I left the grocery store I was spotted by a new carriage driver who braved the oncoming traffic up a one way street to get my attention, I had already spotted him before I even went in the shop. knowing full well he will be there as I leave. carriage mr. no thank you:
Maybe later. no thank you: and proceeded the whole 1/2 kilometer to my next stop
with! you know how much, I do not know where they have got this from but they are all at it the sail boat touts, the taxi drivers even had the shoe shine boy saying you know how much,
they think if they hassle enough maybe they will get a fare, even though I have been here now for almost 7 years I still get hassle even the ones who have seen me before and had arguments with but on no thank you is enough and they remember the man who got angry one day before,
I was on my way to Hamees restaurant, one reason a few days ago at that time of day I saw the Arabian warbler in one of the trees over the cafe seats. and the other for refreshment a cool glass of beer. I was not disappointed the arabian warbler turned up about 20 minutes after I got seated. and all through my time in the cafe the stupid carriage driver had also stopped as i got the camera ready to shot the bird the carriage driver put his hand up no photo he shouted . as soon as I took the photo he was gone . and so was the bird.
five minutes later the bird was back. and thankfully without the driver.
on leaving the cafe I was spotted again by the driver usually I can pick a microbus up from this point but I needed to go along the front whats known as the Nile cornish, to you who have not been to egypt its the promonade along the Nile all towns and villages on the Nile have one, some nothing more than a dirt track but its the village cornish. funny enough the places that have a sea front do not call it a cornish just the road name apart from Alexandria. we have two seas the Mediterranean and the red sea. even the village on Lake Qarun has a cornish. I have mentioned this because most of these carriages and drivers are from these areas no money there now they all have these little three wheeler phut phuts and of course no tourists to rip off. The towns with temples along the nile such as Edfu and Isna; Comombo tourists now see doing a Nile cruise. all in price busses are put on to take the tourist to see the temples along the way only three carriages remain in Edfu, the temple there is about 5 kilometer from the cruise berth.
so here we are in the largest open air museum in the world and all of these drivers need our money 500 carriages 250 felluca sail boats another 150 motor boats 2500 Taxis, limousines growing in number every day the busier the hotels get the more limos they have keeping the business to themselves. about 2000 buses includes mini and micro buses.
here we have a very heated argument over a tourist this one driver had followed a woman tourist for a few hundred yards, even though she wanted to take a carriage ride she did not like the hassle from this one guy and decided to go on another carriage just to get away from him. then this blazing row started telling the woman she had no right to do such a thing. the woman got off the carriage and walked into hamees where I had the story and these obnoxious people where still arguing outside right in front of the temple. poor woman was almost in tears. no sign of the tourist police when we need one not that anything would be done about it anyway. I often see these arguments turning into fisticuffs or rather stave fights. just as this ended a taxi came up the wrong way and hit a motorcyclist . as I always say the donkeys have more sense than the drivers, one of the scams with all these people is everything today is you know how much, next breath, 5pounds. now they have your attention and now is the time to be on your guard. as soon as they get you on board its, thats only to so and so or they will say one hour. then as you alight its, Whats this five genine I said 5 pounds thats 50 genine. even the taxis try this one. one just related to the carriages is never give them one hundred genine note,
it looks similar to 10 genine , as quick as a flash its swapped for 10 and unless you are certain you only have 100 notes or the note number. they will get away with it. they will even try it with a fifty piesta note. thats half of a genine. to us sometimes its not worth the hassle arguing over what is 5 £, to them its half a months wage for the labourers.
The street opposite my flat always crashes here between the idiots racing to get first to one of the cruise tourists.The safest way to travel here is the Little overworked donkey. they have more sense than all of them + they are allowed to go anywhere they wish to travel. they get arrested sometimes and have a 2 or 3 day rest outside the police station. some have a nice life especially the older farmers they know this is there bread and butter. unless they wish to carry the load.I love the way they ride these little fellows. no saddle just a rug and a piece of string . Yalla bina. Lets go.
The nearest thing I have seen to xmas yet this on the front of a microbus and yes the driver is Muslim well they do share xmas because it makes for a happy feast.
The grape vine growing on one of the villas by the main hotels
They never show prices on the tour boards. first question where are you staying , the price answer depends on the star of the hotel you are staying at.
This leaflet is being plastered all over the town make of it what you will I have.