Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Luxor and the Valley of the Kings

Arriving in Luxor was a headache.  Leaving from Hurghada, I encountered some tourist discrimination.  I wanted to take the local mini-van and this cold man with dark brown eyes shouted in my face, "No, 50 pounds for you." The local bus costs 25 pounds, but because I was tourist he was trying to double the price.  Of course, I was not going to agree to this and I told him, "No, I pay 25." We went back and forth until finally the driver( a very kind man thankfully) grabbed my hand and told me to "Come sit." He said, "25 okay." He just kept looking at me and smiling with his silver teeth wearing a light blue gharieb, a towel wrapped on his head, and black sandles.  This rude man who was shouting directly in my face "50 pounds" just kept looking at me and laughing.  The bad Egyptians love to make you upset and looove to push your buttons. He was content just knowing that he made me upset. 

Again, Priscilla makes this difficult- the Super Jet VIP bus was just $1.00 more but I had to go and be with the locals.  The mini bus was fine and quite peaceful.  The driver kept checking on me and when passengers were leaving he would hop up to the top to grab the luggage.  His foot was right next  to my face and then he would just sit and smile at me with his silver teeth-such a nice man.  

Arriving in Luxor in the middle of the street, which was not a bus station was a headache.  I had to go to the ferry to cross over to the West bank and no one knew what the West bank was because I was saying it in English.  A nice blonde hair and blue eyed Egyptian man(rare occurrence seeing blonde Egyptians) was so helpful and kind.  He helped me get a taxi and went with me to the ferry boat to make sure I arrived safely.  Off the ferry boat, feeling like I was pretty much the only tourist in all of Luxor, I approached a local asking to use his phone to call my couch surfer.  I arranged to meet a local couch surfer to tour around the city for a bit and then planned on heading back to Cairo on the night train. One day in Luxor not enough, but I could only take so much of the sightseeing and just wanted to relax back with my family in Cairo. 

Calling my couchsurfer a few times, it kept saying his phone was shut off.  I decided to just make my own way and head to the Valley of the Kings.  A local man said he could help me get on the bus over to the Valley of the Kings. I ended up on the bus and we were not picking anyone else up.  Luxor was completely deserted except for the tour buses full of Russians. It is the beginning of summer, which is off season, which results in less tourists, but in general Egypt is a ghost town for tourists right now. 

On the bus, the man is friendly, but shortly he becomes too friendly saying that, "You are beautiful, I love you." Any comments on my looks or when I get "the look" that means go the opposite direction.  I tell him, "Please stop the car." I get out and get a ride from another mini bus.  I stopped at the famous UNESCO temple, but I did not have time to go inside unfortunately. 

Off I went to the Valley of the Kings without my friend as a guide...

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