Got me some Nile Miles
Luxor Travel Blog› entry 3 of 23 › view all entries
Obviously me being on the opposite side of the world Darryn and Kim had done much of the wedding organisation themselves so apart from getting a few beers in here and there I didn't have many "Best Man" tasks to fulfill. Figured that meant I could swing on over to Egypt for a bit of a look around.
I had to all the visas etc back in NZ but I had left the actual planning and purchase of flight etc until I was in the UK as there is a lot more choice over here. Once I had it all sussed I was holding tickets for a return flight to Luxor with 14 days in between. I had thought 10 days might be the go but the airline only flew one day a week so it was either 7 or 14. I decided I would be back in plenty of time for the nuptuals so 14 days it was!
I have to say that Egypt didn't disappoint at all.
But it was all good. Once through the terminal I had a gritty discussion with a taxi driver who wanted more money than I was prepared to give and finally I was handed to a driver that had parked outside the airport gate and therefore hadn't paid the parking fee to get in.
My hotel was one selected from within the pages of my "Rough Guide" and I must say, the guide wasn't the only thing "rough". Obviously it was one of those times things had changed from what was experienced by the critic. Promised aircon was not working, the shower was dirty, in poor repair and cold. The bed was also less than inviting so I didn't get much sleep during my first night.
After I had settled in I set off to look around the city. I found something to eat and checked out a few shops.
As I wandered around I was collared by a local kid who asked me if I had purchased my duty free liquor yet.
His mate drove a Red open-topped jeep. We piled into the back of it and raced at break-neck speed to the nearest liquor store. The guys dropped me out of sight of the shop and told me what they wanted and how much it would cost me. I went in and filled the order, paid the money and had my passport stamped. Back at the jeep my new "friends" counted out my cash and dropped me back where they found me, very pleased with their score.
I later found out that this was a very common practise and that a shrewd operator could have got them to split the difference on the tax -a little reverse baksheesh. I would have liked that for sure! We don't tip in New Zealand and I still find the whole process confusing and annoying. Kiwi bills include service in our prices and life is sweet and simple!