Day 42 - Return to London

London Travel Blog

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After 2.5 weeks in Egypt, preceded of course by three weeks in Turkey, we were both looking forward to returning in London.  Egyptian breakfasts being so similar to Turkish breakfasts meant we were tired of soft white cheese, dry breads, cucumber and tomato.  Furthermore, we were dying for some bacon!!  All that remained then was getting on the plane home.  Naturally, it wasn’t going to be uneventful.  The doorman hailed us a cab, by crossing the road and barking at a cabbie who was asleep on his back seat.  After he had shaken off his weariness, the old boy almost killed himself trying to lift our bags onto the roof of his cab and then advised us the fare would be “sixty …. five” Egyptian pounds.  Mahmoud has advised us not to pay any more than 50 and reception had told us it would be 60, so already the price was creeping up. 

I’ve already discussed how mad the drivers are in this country.  What seemed truly amazing was that we’d gone 2.5 weeks without so much as grazing another car.  However, on the way to the airport we broke that duck.  Whilst merging on an onramp, the old boy chopped off some bloke in a new magna and he received a shunt to his left rear quarter panel.  Thankfully, it was only a light bump and since Egypt doesn’t have any such thing as car insurance, we just kept on driving. 

When we arrived at the airport, a hoard of men descended upon the cab, offering to carry our luggage for us.  All for the low, low cost of 5 LE.  Knowing that I had about 250LE to get rid of anyway, I agreed. 

With the luggage off the roof of the cab and onto the trolley, our driver made his way over seeking payment.  I didn’t have any change, so was forced to make payment in two 50 LE notes.  He took the money, clapped me on the shoulder and said “ok”.  I replied with an enquisitive “OK” myself, letting him know that the trip was OK and we had all our bags, then he simply walked around the car, jumped in the drivers seat and bailed.  The cheeky bugger helped himself to a 35LE tip! In the meantime, the eager trolley bloke was making off with our bags, so I didn’t pursue the cab driver.

We tried to make our way to check in but security wanted to see passports and tickets and “we’ve got e-tickets” didn’t cut it.  I was sent to the far end of the airport to pick up my e-ticket.  I’m not sure the Egyptians properly understand the concept of e-tickets!!  Once I had my printed e-ticket in hand we were allowed to pass through security and make our way to check-in, where our trolley bloke proceeded to throw our bags onto the scales (doing his best to destroy them in the process) and then swiftly offered his hand out for a tip.  The only tip Michelle wanted to give him was the one about having respect for his clients belongings, so he left empty-handed.  Well, not entirely empty handed because the receipt he gave me for the trolley hire was for $1, so he’d pocketed 2LE by deceiving us about the cost of the trolley service in the first place.  Typical egyptian experiences – right up to the departure gate!

Thereafter, the trip back to London was smooth sailing.  Naturally, when we arrived it was cold and raining but we weren’t going to have our holiday high lowered by the weather, it was time to go to Russ and Sarah’s and to demand a BBQ for dinner.

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8,824 km (5,483 miles) traveled
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photo by: ulysses