Abdoul invited me to ride along as he ran errands this afternoon. First stop the ATM for some pounds for my trip tomorrow – 3000 Egyptian Pounds. Next to the oil change guy. His normal place was closed so we headed out, down the narrow dusty streets of Luxor. I am starting to know my way around a little. I sit in the passenger’s seat and think about how many tourists ever get to see 1/100th of what I have seen in Luxor with Abdoul. Women dressed in black, head to toe. rhythmically walking with baskets or boxes on their heads. How do they do that?
Off to the next garage. They were open. It was surprisingly like a Jiffy Lube, kind of. Abdoul went into the rear area, where there was a sofa and a TV and bought a gallon of Mobil oil and a filter. Then he popped the hood and the mechanic went to work.
Investigating the store, walking around everywhere, taking pictures…..I heard a very unusual sound. Playing from some pretty decent speakers was music. Not the chanting of the Koran which is ubiquitous – in restaurants, souks and in cars – but Kenny G!! I listened carefully. Yep, that is Kenny G. I was blown away. Seldom do you ever hear western music in Egypt. And it was blasting in an Egyptian oil change shop!!
After the oil change was complete it was time for the obligatory interior cleaning of the car. The young service man opened all four doors of the car and removed all four floor mats. I watched him walk away and wondered what condition the vacuum would be in. There was no vacuum.
He returned with an air hose with the hose end crimped over in half, like you do to a water hose to stop the flow. Then he flipped the hose open and using about 90 PSI of unregulated compressed air (in the US this practice is prohibited by OSHA) he blew all the rocks, leaves, dust and trash out from the front passenger’s side out through the driver’s side door. He crawled in and worked his way across to the driver’s side and blew everything out in a big cloud of dust. Then he repeated the process in the back seat. I thought “I never thought about doing that, but it works.”
Next he blew off the floor mats. Then we were off.
Stopped and bought $0.40 worth of fresh bread, about 10 pancake sized pieces of pita bread. Then to Abdoul’s home on this side of the Nile. I was greeted by his young children, Yousef, 3 and Rhakma, 6. They have been asking about me…..“Where is the big man?”
We ate spicy eggplant, some beef, beans, salad – all was delicious. Abdoul rested on the couch and I again spent time with Rhakma going through her english picture book. Dog, cat, elephant, dolphin, house, apple, boat, etc. Rhakma is adorable. Yousef is a devil child and even Abdoul admits it. Took some great pics of the three of them. I thanked his wife for the wonderful lunch and we departed.
Now 6:13 PM, sunset and have a caleche driver waiting patiently to take me for a carriage ride for an hour to take pics for $4.00.