My holiday.

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Re: My holiday.

Post by newcastle » Tue Nov 18, 2014 6:54 am

I also see a lot of truth in Zooropa's 'take' on the Egyptians....which begs the question as to why I live here.That, of course is the stock in trade retort you tend to get when you moan about the Egyptians!

(Various reasons, since you ask, none of which I intend to expand on here!!)

To be fair, however, I have found the Egyptians outside of the tourist hotspots to be a rather different breed....and generally no better or worse than other cultures I've encountered all over the world. For every tedious encounter with the rip-off merchants of Hurghada, Luxor or wherever, I can think of incidents of unbridled generosity of spirit met elsewhere.

As someone known to be intolerant of fools & charlatans, and with an equally renowned short temper, it is surprising to me that I have become, if anything, more "relaxed" after 8 years living here than in my previous homes in London & Spain. There is "something" about Egypt & the Egyptians that I have not found elsewhere.....the love of my Egyptian family perhaps...or maybe I'm just growing old :lol:



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Re: My holiday.

Post by carrie » Tue Nov 18, 2014 7:41 am

I agree Newcastle the people I have met in Qena, Qus, Armant. Assuit and many other towns have been some of the nicest people I have ever met. In Luxor too away from the caleche drivers, motor boats and taxis in other words those not directly involved in tourism here are kind and generous. Even the really "wrong uns" who I know would, I know, help me if I needed help.
A woman who lived here found herself homeless with no money sleeping in a coffee shop. An Egyptian she barely knew saw her there and asked what she was doing she told him and he insisted that she go home with him. She stayed with him for almost 18 months rent free, he fed her he went to the Secret Police explained the situation and got papers to allow her to live with him and his wife and kids, he was far from a rich man. Where in Europe or elsewhere would you find such kindness to a casual aquaintance.
Also Cairo, I once got lost in Atabar in Cairo just completely lost my sense of direction, I rang a friend in Luxor and he said find a man. Which Man? Any man and put him on the phone. I did and he spoke to my friend and then said come with me, I did. He walked with me for half an hour till I knew where I was I offered to give him something for his time, he refused and looked offended. Another time also in Cairo couldn't find the train statiion, gone completely the wrong way, finally came accross a bus station and asked the way to the station, the guys there said I had to catch a local bus, I said I would prefer to walk but they insisted. Put me on the bus told the driver where I wanted to go and off we set. He dropped me opposite the station, didn't take any bus fair and was very happy telling the rest of the passengers that this silly foreign woman had got lost.
I have also found that some of the biggest rip off merchants in Luxor are the foreigners, because we tend to trust them we don't expect them to behave in this way.

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Re: My holiday.

Post by Yildez » Tue Nov 18, 2014 8:06 am

All the comments on this post, both good and bad, about Egyptians, could be equally applied to Turks. And my guess is there are many other countries where the same things happen, and the UK is not excluded - plenty of rip-off taxi drivers etc there, although redress through the Police is easier.

Sadly, I believe, very strongly, that you shouldn't judge a nation by people who work in tourism.

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Re: My holiday.

Post by Dusak » Tue Nov 18, 2014 10:38 am

Although the term of 'rip off' is a tad strong when it relates to a few pounds only, I really can't think of a better one. I got parted from my dosh then, still do today. At first this made me rather angry to say the least, but I soon came to realize that the whole point of coming to live here was to detach myself from such emotions, so I learned to take it all in my stride and still do. It is true that if you are going to be the fool that is easily parted from their money, then the odds of it happening in a predominant tourist area are higher than the more out of the way places where locals are just happy with an extra sale, no matter what colour of skin you wear.

And it is true that the Egyptians fall foul to the odd bit of higher pricing, same as us, but for less amounts. They, unlike us passives, will argue until one from either side becomes the proverbial blue in the face until the correct, or more agreeable price is reached. When out and about with my friend shopping I will happily concede defeat over a couple of pounds, but have to stand there feeling most uncomfortable while she argues the toss. As she walks away, usually claiming victory, she says that a couple of pounds to me may be nothing, but then gives me a walking list of what a couple of pounds buys for her. And she is correct. If more of us were willing to put the item back, even for the sake of a pound, instead of just excepting it as our time is so, so precious as not to waste arguing the point, then perhaps things would improve.

I can see Zooropa's point. While on holiday, you do not have to make friends, or even be friendly towards any Egyptian you happen to come across, just show good manners towards them. And if you are lucky and good manners are returned then all is well. But unfortunately it has been my experience that this 'good manners' is not a thing that is inherently common in most of the Egyptians that are connected to 'doing business' with foreigners. And it is this constant barrage of ''why not's'' that tend to cancel out any or all manners that you where born with.

There is only one Egyptian in Luxor that I find distasteful, again just doing his business, and that is the one that stands on point duty outside B-Tek, waiting to get and deliver at a high cost, any large items you may purchase. He is stocky with a gold tooth. Very persistent and ignorant towards your decline of his help. He follows me around the store, even though I tell him that I'm just looking, which is a thing I enjoy doing when in the vicinity of this shop. All to no avail, my protests falling on deaf ears with that stupid looking gold tooth shining in the fluorescent lights.
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Re: My holiday.

Post by Glyphdoctor » Wed Nov 19, 2014 5:24 am

carrie wrote: I have also found that some of the biggest rip off merchants in Luxor are the foreigners, because we tend to trust them we don't expect them to behave in this way.
I remember during my first year in Egypt I met some Egyptian crooked types but the WORST were the foreigners and the problem is you deal with whoever you meet first and only after some time you whittle out the bad ones. And they came from multiple continents and countries. I met people from everywhere. All sorts of illegal **** they were involved in. The funniest one was one from a West African country who had come into possession of a large snakeskin that I think was illegal and was trying to find a buyer for it. His whole life seemed to consist of going around with the snakeskin for weeks looking for a buyer, like someone interested in making shoes out of it. He took it with him everywhere. I don't remember his name as I always referred to him as "Snake" as he was also quite tall and skinny like a snake.
Last edited by Glyphdoctor on Wed Nov 19, 2014 5:39 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: My holiday.

Post by Glyphdoctor » Wed Nov 19, 2014 5:38 am

Yildez wrote:
Sadly, I believe, very strongly, that you shouldn't judge a nation by people who work in tourism.
Couldn't agree more.

I always roll my eyes when I read about people saying you can come to Luxor and meet "real Egyptians" in places like Gezira.

Charming to tourists perhaps, and yes real because everyone is real, but hardly real as in typical of the rest of the country or even people in Luxor who have no connection to the tourism industry. But if you live in the middle of an environment like that and don't get out of it, or worse, marry into it, you will never see anything but it and think it is typical. As an example, I look back and chuckle at Stan's continuing insistence that most Egyptians drink alcohol even though you can see for sure from the stats on alcohol sales in Egypt that virtually no one does at a national level.

The tourism industry is a different culture from the rest of the country. It's as different as Saudi Arabia would be from say France. Not saying that either is like Saudi Arabia or France but just in terms of the gap between them in their ways. It is essentially like a different country.

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Re: My holiday.

Post by A-Four » Wed Nov 19, 2014 5:41 am

Good God, I can hardly believe that it could possibly be you Glyph who gave Mohammad Snake his name. A certain character on the WB here in Luxor who made a fortune on,...........well lets not go there.

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Re: My holiday.

Post by A-Four » Wed Nov 19, 2014 8:35 am

I have always agreed here with Glyph on her points above, I get fed up of reading about how bad it is for all the people of Luxor when now there are so few tourists. The fact is that many of the working population here work in Quss, Quiff, Quinna or Armont, if you do not believe me visit the railway station early morning except Friday.

There are those, and there are many who hang around the tourist areas of Luxor waiting for what is known as 'the Chance', the chance that they meet a European, and for the rest of THEIR lives they will have money. Most people who live either in Luxor or the WB know exactly who they are. The rest have seen the light and have moved on to Hurgarda, like a few of the ex-pats I could mention.

Throughout the whole period of Egypt's troubles few tourist have been seen here in Luxor, however, take a look at the shops in the less tourist district, and all you seem to see is new mobile phone shops. It a little like the old days when there were the old houses up on the hills, some one wrote on here how poor these people were, I simply suggested that they should count the satellite dishes on the roofs of these buildings.

That reminds me, some will remember the Flobottar Hotel, next to St Joseph's Hotel, this has now closed down, but will re-open in the near future as yet another private hospital in this area.

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Re: My holiday.

Post by carrie » Wed Nov 19, 2014 10:01 am

I don't think it is yet "another" private hospital A four but an extension to the one that is next door. Maybe some people don't know but the doctors at that hospital give some of their time free to visit poor Egyptians who can't afford medical treatment.
Yet another example of how not all Egyptians are out for what they can get.

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Re: My holiday.

Post by Bearded Brian » Wed Nov 19, 2014 11:13 am

If it's the same medical centre I went to with a friend last month the doctors may not be after all they can get but the admin staff are. They wanted to put my friend's bills through my medical insurance under my name - not quite kosher.

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Re: My holiday.

Post by Scottishtourist » Fri Nov 21, 2014 10:47 pm

Bearded Brian wrote:If it's the same medical centre I went to with a friend last month the doctors may not be after all they can get but the admin staff are. They wanted to put my friend's bills through my medical insurance under my name - not quite kosher.
Just as an update to this situation you found yourself in Brian.

Second week of my holiday I started getting a "pulsating throb"in my mouth.
I bought antibiotics from a pharmacy,but they had little effect.
4 days before I left I could hardly lift my head off the pillow.I suffered for the full day,rattled back the pills until my sister decided enough was enough!We asked ex-pat in Gaddis to recommend a dentist..at 7p.m in evening.

I visited Dr Farid in Cleopatra Street.I was attended to immediately,given STRONG antibiotics,and he diagnosed a HUGE abcess above my eye tooth crown.I'd been in agony the full day.The antibiotic kicked in almost instantly.What a relief!My face was swollen,my left eye was closing.
I was bit apprehensive about what he would charge me,a tourist!I told my sister to take the English money out of the safe"just incase!"He charged me 50le.I'd gladly have given him 50 "english"for the treatment I received and to stop the pain!

He told me to come back the evening before I travelled home.Was bit embarrassed by fact that there were Egyptians sitting waiting..but I was attended to the minute I entered surgery.This time an x-ray,an antibiotic rinse,and an antibiotic paste applied to the top of the gum to seal the crown.The swelling had receded immensely by this time and I felt great!
Again 50le for all.And another strip of antibiotics prescribed to tide me over until I got home and could visit my own dentist.

He saved my holiday.He could've charged me the earth(as I always travel with insurance)He didn't and I'm very grateful.I l gave him a box of Scottish teabags and box of Scottish shortbread as a "thankyou." and gladly paid the fee he charged me.He was most gracious in his acceptance.

A lovely man,a gentleman...no mention of big bucks,insurance,or anything else!

So..they're not all rip off merchants.

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Re: My holiday.

Post by A-Four » Sat Nov 22, 2014 6:14 am

carrie wrote:I don't think it is yet "another" private hospital A four but an extension to the one that is next door.
Yes you are correct Carrie, and one hell of a big extension it is to be, do you think it might have anything to do with an un-expected influx of tourist to Luxor,................. no, and neither do I.

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Re: My holiday.

Post by carrie » Sat Nov 22, 2014 7:21 am

I don't understand your point A four, are you trying to say that because there are not many tourists in Luxor to use these facilities then they should not be built. What about the local people the majority of those who use the clinic are Egyptian. It is providing them with further choice. Not all Egyptians are poor.

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Re: My holiday.

Post by Billy_whiz » Sat Nov 22, 2014 9:19 am

[quote][What about the local people the majority of those who use the clinic are Egyptian./quote]

Ummm I don't think so now Carrie. There was a post on FB just recently with the Hospital displaying with pride their recent certificate of excellence (which was not in connection with medical things, more about their systems, paperwork etc). A European lady said that her Egyptian husband took his mother there as she was unwell and they were turned away. Alis who works there confirmed in response that currently they are not seeing Egyptian people other than orthopaedic cases. I remember it clearly as I had just recommended an Egyptian friend to go there and was feeling guilty just in case they had tried and been turned away.

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Re: My holiday.

Post by Glyphdoctor » Sat Nov 22, 2014 10:35 am

After reading some of the above comments, I decided to learn more about this hospital and went to their website and did a bit of other googling. However, I have a personal rule to not comment on such matters as I don't want to be seen as criticizing my husbands' colleagues or health facilities specifically by name and I only would comment specifically if I could offer a positive recommendation based on personal experience or that of patients he has dealt with himself. So I'm not going to say what I found except to say that based on the specialties and other things about their website they are most definitely targeting their services at foreigners and in particular are clearly trying to tap into the foreign medical tourism market. They may get Egyptians coming in but I very highly doubt that they would have opened the hospital if there weren't foreigners available as patients.

That said, I would take any single positive remarks with a grain of salt, based on other things I have seen. There are certain physicians in Luxor I have seen positive remarks about from some expats such as 1-they describe something they think that the doctor did as good that actually is a violation of medical ethics, 2-I know of cases where said doctor is not keeping up with the latest in medical developments and as a result has left at least one patient permanently disabled due to improper treatment.

Dr. Farid though seems to come highly recommended by many as a dentist and I do remember Dr. Scott praising the sterilization practices in his clinic and while he was a heart surgeon himself, his opinion I think was valuable.

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Re: My holiday.

Post by Scottishtourist » Sat Nov 22, 2014 12:19 pm

Glyphdoctor wrote:
Dr. Farid though seems to come highly recommended by many as a dentist and I do remember Dr. Scott praising the sterilization practices in his clinic and while he was a heart surgeon himself, his opinion I think was valuable.
The sterilization practice in his clinic was something I paid particular attention to Glyphdoctor.

Am happy to report though that all instruments used were clean and sterile(taken from the autoclave)He also washed his hands before and after treatment and put on a new pair of latex gloves to examine and treat me.
These are relatively simple hygiene requirements ,even in Egypt they're not too difficult to perform.

But they can make the difference between being successfully treated..or succumbing to an even more serious infection.

So,full marks to him for this.
I told him that in Scotland,women who are pregnant are given free dental treatment during their pregnancy and up until their child is one year old.He thought this was "wonderful."

Happy now that I know of a dentist in Luxor and will not hesitate to re-visit should the need occur again.

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Re: My holiday.

Post by carrie » Sat Nov 22, 2014 1:45 pm

I'm really pleased you had such a positive experience ST, I have been to this dentist and there is nothing I fear more than a trip to the dentist. He was great with me very patient and kind.

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Re: My holiday.

Post by Glyphdoctor » Sat Nov 22, 2014 2:33 pm

ST-You are also in a position to know proper sterilization techniques so it is good to hear your positive review in that regard.

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Re: My holiday.

Post by Scottishtourist » Sat Nov 22, 2014 11:53 pm

Glyphdoctor wrote:ST-You are also in a position to know proper sterilization techniques so it is good to hear your positive review in that regard.
I give credit where it's due Glyphdoctor.
There's no great secret with sterilization procedures.It's very simple really!Clean hands will always win!
Wash,dry,and respect your OWN personal hygiene!
The autoclave is now somewhat primitive in Scottish hospitals.All instruments are sent to central body for re-packaging and sterilization.I hate this!
The old autoclave may be primitive..but it's VERY effective.A "pressure cooker"boiling out the germs!
And in situ,it's even better!
Clean and sterilized instruments at a moment's notice!
Sorry,I'm just old school,terrorised by a matron...and eternally grateful for her guidance and tuition!

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Re: My holiday.

Post by Dusak » Sun Nov 23, 2014 3:01 pm

Personally speaking, I do not think that you have to be in ''the profession'' if European to understand the concept of sterilization or cleanliness practices. As young as I can remember I was being shown how to wash my hands after using the loo, before I had food, also to wash the knives, forks and dishes with hot water and whatever cleaning agent was used then to kill the germs. Not rinse them in just cold water and wipe with an over used tea towel or cloth as is par for the course in many households here. They do not have the money to buy the likes of Fairy liquid. I would expect anyone here in the public/private sector of medical care to be fully aware of good hygiene as it would of been covered within their first days of training. So in this case, I do not think a 'pat on the back' is warranted.
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