No wonder I get so p***** off at times.

What is it like to live in Luxor? Share your experiences of Luxor's culture.

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Dusak
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No wonder I get so p***** off at times.

Post by Dusak » Mon Jul 25, 2016 5:55 pm

My friends that are now back in the UK asked me to arrange them a pick up from Hurghada to Luxor and return trip. So they wanted to know how much. I got the transport for 900Le return, which is about average cost. Last night I received a call from them at the airport stating that the driver was demanding another 900Le as the first payment was for one way only. He came on the phone with an attempt to explain it all, me calling him all the thieving barstewards names that I could think of. I know this driver and his brother very well. His brother then rang me up, the one I gave the money to. He came out with all the usual bull about me not understanding the agreement, even though the price was discussed in front of two other English friends and an English speaking Egyptian early on this year. All to no avail, so he was called all the most unsavory comparisons to the most unsavory objects that I could think of. I know the price as I know that anyone with only one brain cell would not agree to pay 1,800Le for the trip. Unfortunately I could not contact my friends to see what happened as he shut the phone on me and they had obviously given back their Vodafone sim that they borrow while here. So all I could do was send a message to them on FB to see what had transpired. I did tell then not to pay anything extra, so hopefully they didn't. Why oh why do they try it on to such an extent? Do they really think that we are that stupid to just pay up?


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Re: No wonder I get so p***** off at times.

Post by Who2 » Mon Jul 25, 2016 6:08 pm

If they are coming on the 3rd we can do a deal.... 8)
sorry that should say arriving on the 3rd...I have nice modern a/c car with careful driver....
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Re: No wonder I get so p***** off at times.

Post by Bombay » Mon Jul 25, 2016 10:46 pm

I have a car arranged for people end August 600le return.

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Re: No wonder I get so p***** off at times.

Post by DJKeefy » Mon Jul 25, 2016 10:53 pm

Just use Petra Luxor, now known as Oceanus Luxor (Down near the Sheraton) you will never get any of that nonsense, plus you are properly insured.
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Re: No wonder I get so p***** off at times.

Post by Who2 » Tue Jul 26, 2016 1:01 am

I'm just saying that i'm in on the 3rd and if you want to share my car, cool if not no 'sweat, it costs me 500 but I bung him 100le.
And he drives carefully, which in my book getting to & from Hurgharda day or night....
is far more dangerous than flying anyway....8)
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Re: No wonder I get so p***** off at times.

Post by Dusak » Tue Jul 26, 2016 6:58 am

Thanks for all your answers. Thanks to Who2 but their holiday has now ended they are back in the UK. I had a reply from them this morning on my FB. He virtually kept them prisoner in the mini bus until they were forced to hand over an extra £65. They were so late getting into the airport that their pre-paid for better seats had been re-sold, they missed the duty free. A very bad end to a months holiday. I will reimburse them with the money next year. I wasn't going to name the taxi firm, but after this I have no problem, it was Oscars. He even attempted to blame my friend for it all saying that she had ''demanded'' 200Le commission out of the original 900Le. A thing that she would never do, especially when connected to me and my friends that she has known for several years. I know find out that he was charging them 100Le from the E-tab to say, the Indian restaurant and back. This, apparently, was due to the fact that they required the minibus as they are all big people and find it a bit uncomfortable encased within a taxi. Apparently it costs a lot more to run the minibus than a taxi. Cack.
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Re: No wonder I get so p***** off at times.

Post by Major Thom » Tue Jul 26, 2016 7:18 am

Another bad holiday report from Egypt, how can they complain they have no money to feed their families when this type of thing happens. It happen to one of my family members who vowed never to return to Egypt again, to home they are all liars, cheats and thieves. That's how things get around globally and that's some of the reasons people will never return.

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Re: No wonder I get so p***** off at times.

Post by Dusak » Tue Jul 26, 2016 12:05 pm

I could never use the ''all' word as a blanket description towards the population, as I have had the pleasure of meeting and still have, many very honest Egyptians. :up Take today for instance, I was in the taxi and happened to mention that I needed the exchange place to change some money. I knew that I would get 13.50Le to the £, [bank was 11.32] but he said that he could get it changed via a contact for more. He got me 14.50, I was happy with the 14, so gave him 200Le as a thank you, not just for the extra he gained for me, but his honesty. And it was a job getting him to except it.

Another example was while out pricing today for my aluminum windows and doors. Stopped off at a shop that had been recommended to me only to discover that he wanted 6,000Le more that the one I had not given the job to as he had increased it by 2,000Le when he came to my home to measure up, the infamous white face payment. My friend happened to catch a side glance of an aluminum shop down a side street. So we stopped and I sent her in first ''under cover'' to get the price per square meter. She came back with a very good price for the best quality, so I went into the shop. He said something to her that I presumed was something in the region of ''clefty, you coming in first for the price.'' But no, he was telling here the price was still the same for me so I did not have to hide behind the corner until she got the price. :up I ended up getting just what I wanted for 6,000Le. Very happy. There are some very honest folk living and working here.
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Re: No wonder I get so p***** off at times.

Post by Hafiz » Tue Jul 26, 2016 4:37 pm

Dusak - your exchange arrangements could put you in prison in the current environment - you need to be quiet. Do I need to post the necent news reports of round ups about the black market? Tell me if I do.

On the other hand you must be good at exchange - or have local friends who are good - because your rate is well over the extreme of the reported black rate. :) Someone is doing good business.

Your general point, if I understand it, is that the current crisis has produced crooks and exploitation. Should anyone be surprised?

What I mean by that is not that Egyptians are bad people but that, as you know well, this situation is desperate.

On related point the harassment of small number of tourists by the large number of traders in Old Cairo is a standard news report. Its a conundrum. How do you deal with a downturn with surplus traders (including drivers)? Lying to people about imminent good times ahead may not be good business strategy.

The problem is desperate individuals looking for short term exploitation with no view to long term reputation. Is there any answer, let alone a short term answer? I find it more than passing interesting that the government, that owns or controls most that moves in Egypt, does not even talk about this negative competition/fighting in the street/aggressive haggling. Given its the dominant narrative on Tripadvisor you would think they would be interested. But no. To put it another way aggressive haggling has been the number one tourist negative in Egypt for decades, worse now, but the government has done nothing about it.

The government has the opportunity to benefit from the Chinese, Indian and other south Asian markets (the fastest tourism growth markets in the world) but makes a choice to maintain political time servers in official posts in obscure parts of Europe. It has made a choice to fail. Its choice has succeeded because there continues to be lots of very attractive jobs in the nice capitals of Europe for its useless workforce.

There is money to be made in tourism - even in bad times - but the Egyptian bureaucratic class doesn't seem to want to do the hard work to do it. My earlier post on Oberoi is proof that there is premium money, if you know what to do, in Indian tourism in the current environment. The same post makes the point that the Egyptian Ministers and Bureaucrats are complete fools and muffins in trying to grow tourism. Maybe they should leave the job to people who know something about the industry and who have some skin in the game? As with almost everything else in Egypt less government has got to be the answer.
Last edited by Hafiz on Tue Jul 26, 2016 5:07 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: No wonder I get so p***** off at times.

Post by Major Thom » Tue Jul 26, 2016 5:00 pm

The trouble is D, many tar with the same brush, it's a part of life I am afraid, whether we like it or not.

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Re: No wonder I get so p***** off at times.

Post by HEPZIBAH » Tue Jul 26, 2016 5:16 pm

:o

Well that's me having to clean my keyboard again after choking on my coffee.
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Re: No wonder I get so p***** off at times.

Post by Dusak » Tue Jul 26, 2016 10:02 pm

Hafiz, do you really think that for one second that I would have anything to do with the black markets? That is why the word does not appear in my post. Goodness me! All I can say is that, from my angle within the car, the building he went into looked like a very posh one, so it could of been a high end exchange building that had just opened and was offering a better rate as an encouragement to encourage new customers. Of course as I was playing about with my phone and wasn't taking much notice as to my surroundings I haven't a clue where I was parked up, and the others with me had been dropped off to get some sugar cane drinks. Maybe, just maybe, this new temporary driver was so impressed with me and objected very strongly about how my friends had been treated that it was, in actuality, a real exchange house and he added on the rate so that I could compensate my friends for their loss. Hence his reluctance in taking the thank you as I was, in fact, giving him his own money back. Stranger things have happened.
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Re: No wonder I get so p***** off at times.

Post by Major Thom » Wed Jul 27, 2016 5:25 am

Take another sip Hepzi :lol:

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Re: No wonder I get so p***** off at times.

Post by Horus » Wed Jul 27, 2016 11:29 am

Hafiz, it is no surprise that people can get good exchange rates for a solid currency, it has always been so. When you consider how much some of these African currencies have devalued over the years then it is not surprising that people will pay a good premium to externalise their money. Back in the day I could easily get myself a premium of 100% over and above the official exchange rate in several newly independent countries. Take Zambia and Malawi as two examples, their local currency the ‘Kwacha’ was always worth around 50 pence (10 shillings) Sterling, so the exchange rate was around 2 to 1 for Pounds converted to Kwacha. Many business men, especially of Asian origin could see the writing on the wall and were desperate to get their money out. Several options were available, one was that many British people who had a work permit were allowed to externalise a set amount of money each year and often this was not used up to the limit so you ‘sold on’ the difference, all transactions involved a lot of trust, but worked like this:
I needed to exchange £1000 pounds Sterling for whatever reason, the official rate would therefore be 2000 Zambian Kwacha, but you pay me a premium to get your money out of the country of 100%. You (the businessman) give me your UK bank details and also the 4000 Kwacha in local currency, I then transfer £1000 pounds Sterling into your UK bank account.

This method was the most risky (trust wise) for them, but safer than other methods which involved them carrying large amounts of Sterling in cash or Travellers cheques out of the country. The other two methods were just a straight exchange of 400% on cash or travellers cheques. Of course we are talking of a time when banking laws were less strict and many fiddles could be worked around.
I did check up on the official current exchange rate of the Zambian Kwacha and it came up as 6794 to the Pound Sterling. :sd The Malawian Kwacha has faired a little better at 928 to the Pound Sterling, but if you remember that they both had a parity of about 2 to 1 in the post colonial days you can see how much the currency of both countries have plunged and why these people were desperate to get their money out.

It can of course hit you the other way around, I recall leaving a large hotel bill in Port Elizabeth (SA) in the early 1990’s until after the Rand had been floated against the Pound as everyone and his dog expected the Rand’s value to fall. Much to everyone’s surprised it shot up in value and I finished up paying about 25% more than the day before. Although even back then the SA Rand was about 2 -1, far better than the 24 – 1 for today’s exchange rate.

One only has to recall what happened to the Asians of Uganda in 1972 when Idi Amin kicked them all out of the country, but of course all the really savvy ones had already been secreting their money out of the country for a few years as they were under no illusion as to what the future held for them. This feeling was reflected in many other African countries, hence the high rates available if you knew where to go. ;)
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Re: No wonder I get so p***** off at times.

Post by hatusu » Wed Jul 27, 2016 3:51 pm

Many years ago my ex-husband was the overseas sales manager for a successful tinware company and travelled extensively to get orders. One of the countries he regularly visited was Nigeria. One day at home he received a parcel quite out of the blue with no indication who had sent it. On opening it he found just one filthy wellworn sandal. There was no accompanying note so at a loss he obviously threw it in the bin. A few days later he received a letter from a company in Nigeria explaining couldn't get money out in the normal way but he had sent a parcel and if my husband tore off the heel of the sandal enclosed he would find a large sum of money there. Luckily the bin men hadn't been!

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Re: No wonder I get so p***** off at times.

Post by Horus » Wed Jul 27, 2016 5:01 pm

hatusu wrote:Many years ago my ex-husband was the overseas sales manager for a successful tinware company and travelled extensively to get orders. One of the countries he regularly visited was Nigeria. One day at home he received a parcel quite out of the blue with no indication who had sent it. On opening it he found just one filthy wellworn sandal. There was no accompanying note so at a loss he obviously threw it in the bin. A few days later he received a letter from a company in Nigeria explaining couldn't get money out in the normal way but he had sent a parcel and if my husband tore off the heel of the sandal enclosed he would find a large sum of money there. Luckily the bin men hadn't been!
:lol: :lol: I like that one, before now I have exited certain African countries with crisp £10 notes carefully folded and rolled up so as to look like a set of 4 batteries in a cine camera (before the days of video) ;) As to Nigeria, if the world has a bum then Ikedja near to Lagos must surely qualify for that honour. :lol:
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Re: No wonder I get so p***** off at times.

Post by Dusak » Wed Jul 27, 2016 7:40 pm

James Bond's eat your hearts out. :lol:
Life is your's to do with as you wish- do not let other's try to control it for you. Count Dusak- 1345.

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Re: No wonder I get so p***** off at times.

Post by newcastle » Wed Jul 27, 2016 7:48 pm

Makes your grubby dealings in the back streets of Luxor look very amateurish Dusak ;)

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Re: No wonder I get so p***** off at times.

Post by Horus » Wed Jul 27, 2016 7:56 pm

Not grubby Newcaste, just good business ;)
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Re: No wonder I get so p***** off at times.

Post by BENNU » Thu Jul 28, 2016 1:44 am

From another topic:

In 1952, Nassar let a successful coup, and Farouk was forced to abdicate. He was seen as a hypocrite, when he took numerous crates of Champagne and Scotch with him, although, as a Muslim, he wasn’t supposed to drink alcohol. The crates, however, were packed with gold bars and represented the bulk of the fortune Farouk was able to smuggle out of Egypt with him ...

viewtopic.php?f=3&t=37439

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