Baksheesh

Trip Start Apr 09, 2008
1
88
138
Trip End Aug 30, 2008


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Flag of Egypt  ,
Friday, June 27, 2008

Coming into Aswan this morning we passed some pyramids, a Monument to Soviet-Egyptian Cooperation, and then sitting tall and proud on the cargo ship in the pier was FOXY! We were so relieved.

It was 10am but we still had to wait another 5 hours before being allowed to disembark. All the passports had to be inspected, stamped and recorded by Egyptian Immigrations. You had to line up and give in your passport in, have the officer ensure you were the one in the passport, go back to your cabin and wait, and then hours later, listen for your name to be called on the loudspeaker so you can collect your passport again.

What a tedious affair and they do this every week! Little did we know, this was an introduction to all the bureaucracy we were going to face in the next few days.

Surprisingly enough, getting our Landy's off the cargo ship was fairly simple. We got things going by slipping a bit of baksheesh (bribe/tip) to the Customs Officer later. Actually there was no choice in the matter; the cars were already off and we were told we had to pay up.

We couldn't actually drive the cars though since we hadn't yet processed the papers, gotten our Egyptian license plates, registered at the police station, bought insurance or received Egyptian driver's license.

These procedures are mandatory for all foreign-registered vehicles. Again, there is no way around it. It was just the beginning of the weekend, so we left the cars in the parking lot and took a taxi to our hotel, The Nubian Oasis Hotel.

After dumping our bags, we went out in search for food, our first meal of the day. We ate at Chief Kalil, a cozy little restaurant famous for its seafood. This was a monumental moment to be sitting in Aswan, drinking sweet lime juice (still no beer to be found - yet!) and munching on fish bones.

The 'easy' part of the journey was finished and now all we had to do was go north to Alexandria on paved roads. And if anything did go wrong, a garage or service station was always nearby. And here in the land of sly business men, we at least understood and could partake in the common language: baksheesh.



Start: Nile Navigation passenger ferry, cabin 2, on Lake Nasser, EGYPT.
End: Nubian Oasis Hotel, Aswan, EGYPT.
Distance Traveled: 0
Road Conditions: -
Temperature: hey is it me or does it feel cooler in Aswan?
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