New Veg Shop?

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

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New Veg Shop?

Post by carrie » Tue Sep 18, 2018 8:12 am

In town the other day and walking back to the ferry I noticed that a large tent had been erected behind Luxor Temple. Large posters of Pres Sisi dominate and inside the tent fruit and veg are on sale. Being nosy I wanted to know what was going on especially since there was rather a large police presence. Went in Hamess in which were about 6 police officers. I asked and was told the police where there to ensure that the correct prices were being charged for the fruit and veg. I did go in the tent and have a look at the goods on sale, no different to the prices at my local veg shop here on the west bank. The place was nearly empty, it was hot though and the middle of the day, so perhaps things would improve later on.
What it's all about I have no idea, perhaps the police have started to branch out into selling fruit and veg?



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Re: New Veg Shop?

Post by Hafiz » Tue Sep 18, 2018 6:15 pm

There is a bigger argument here which has been in the specialist western journals based on complaints from business owners in Egypt.

1. The Army, and maybe the police are expanding their businesses at a huge rate to the disadvantage of the private sector.

2. A lot of this is based on getting government contracts 100% of the time or government grants to do social security work.

3. Because they don't pay tax, use free conscript labor and force the banks to give them loans and get their imports through customs without tariffs they have an unfair advantage over the rest of the economy/businesses.

4. (as has been the case for a long time) potential overseas investors - particularly Gulfies - feel 'obliged' to have an army joint venture partner rather than just a local business.

5. (this is unclear) a commercial dispute with an army business can't go to a normal court but only to a kangaroo court military tribunal which always decide one way. This disadvantages local suppliers to army businesses.

6. (little known but probably true) the army are the biggest farmers in Egypt, pay no taxes including land taxes, use taxpayer funded equipment and free conscript labor. This affects the ability of normal farmers to compete with them but maybe is a source of food supplies like you mention for political publicity purposes.

7. US specialist journals have been crying out that the current Sisi approach will constrain/kill private enterprise but maybe this is the intention, Sisi's response seems to be that the private sector is slow, corrupt and wants unfair profits.

At this stage I think he's worried about the public mood - the soccer player allegedly got 1 million votes and some of his military mates think he's getting a bit too big and unilateral , so the food stunts you describe are the amputated version of his idea to rebuild his popularity. That most of the major projects have failed/stalled and even where completed created few jobs seems to put him under pressure. At this stage I think his successes are small and the Sinai thing only looks better because all media have been kicked out, one journo jailed for 10 years and Israel doing a lot of the work.

When the UN does its food programs well, rarely, it tries to buy as much locally and use distribution systems so that the UN effort doesn't further ruin local farmers or shop keepers. It doesn't want to create dependency. In this case they don't care because its all about propaganda and they forget that they have made new enemies - farmers and shop keepers - I'm assuming the food comes from the immense Army farm about 100k's north of Luxor.

A cynic would say that enterprise and initiative are the last thing a dictatorship wants - what they want is dependency and gratitude.

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Re: New Veg Shop?

Post by Who2 » Tue Sep 18, 2018 8:55 pm

Well that's a pretty in-depth view of some temporary veg shop opposite Hamees or as some people like to call it Weiners..

Spotted that tent the other week, traders come and traders they go,
To make money trading, one really needs a 'special day, a holyday or a holiday, a market day, any day to make a buck or two..
Iv'e worked on the odd market stall or two..
When will they find out about 'Farmers Markets, over here ?
Wholemeal brown bread, cheeses handmade, craft beers, we can but dream.. 8)
Ps: Never forget Napoleon once called us "a Nation of shop keepers..
reinvented when all those lovely Indian families didn't close to watch f..... Coronation Street at 7.pm...
"The Salvation of Mankind lies in making everything the responsibility of All"
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Re: New Veg Shop?

Post by Major Thom » Wed Sep 19, 2018 5:18 am

Those that do not pay taxes are ruining the Country. The exchequer needs taxes to survive. An excellent post Hafiz. But nothing surprises me at all.

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Re: New Veg Shop?

Post by Mad Dilys » Wed Sep 19, 2018 9:30 am

Who2 wrote:Well that's a pretty in-depth view of some temporary veg shop opposite Hamees or as some people like to call it Weiners..

Spotted that tent the other week, traders come and traders they go,
To make money trading, one really needs a 'special day, a holyday or a holiday, a market day, any day to make a buck or two..
Iv'e worked on the odd market stall or two..
When will they find out about 'Farmers Markets, over here ?
Wholemeal brown bread, cheeses handmade, craft beers, we can but dream.. 8)
Ps: Never forget Napoleon once called us "a Nation of shop keepers..
reinvented when all those lovely Indian families didn't close to watch f..... Coronation Street at 7.pm...
If you get out of Laandan Doctor and visit me you will find a farmers market every week in the courtyard opposite. In the same courtyard there is a specialist brewery, a specialist coffee shop, a bespoke furniture shop a wood carver and a vegan restaurant which often sells out.

Behind my house there are some converted garages, now labelled "Mews" where there is another coffee shop selling specialist cheeses, wines and beers plus products from the owners farm in Anglesey.

Down the tree lined road about 75 metres is a delicatessen selling fresh local produce and continental specialities. Continue down this road and in the next couple of hundred yards there is a plethora of coffee shops restaurants including a fish restaurant and more specialists of other kinds, art from sculpture to picture framing and all interspersed with lovely old Victorian family houses.


Not my cup of tea however, I prefer to live in rural isolation. :up
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Re: New Veg Shop?

Post by Horus » Wed Sep 19, 2018 10:42 am

I can't think of many rural villages in the UK that don't have a Farmers Market or a Farm Shop, they have been about for years, ;) in fact many farms in the UK sell everything from their own ice cream to home grown meats, vegetables, eggs, fruits etc.
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Re: New Veg Shop?

Post by Who2 » Wed Sep 19, 2018 12:14 pm

Sadly not in Luxor, here they are just about on every corner charging exorbitant prices.
Seeing as they don't pay high rent or rates they are 'micky takers.
But then one rarely sees a poor farmer, does one ?..... 8)
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Re: New Veg Shop?

Post by carrie » Wed Sep 19, 2018 1:02 pm

Do you never go to the market up in Gourna Who, on a Saturday?

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Re: New Veg Shop?

Post by HEPZIBAH » Wed Sep 19, 2018 1:27 pm

Should Who2 find himself visiting his long lost relative, that he tracked down living in Winchester, not only could he avail himself of the good Brother of St. Cross's honey, but also visit an excellant Farmer's Market. It would depend on the day chosen to visit the ancient capital of Wessex though. (You may need time to draw sufficient cash as it's possibly more expensive than many markets in boroughs of London.
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Re: New Veg Shop?

Post by Who2 » Wed Sep 19, 2018 3:36 pm

I have visited Guorna souk many times Tues & Sat but it's hardly a farmers market, not a pork-chop insight!
Brother John is on the visiting list oneday, when he forgets who I am or what a little sod I was.... 8)
13235
Ps: if anybody visits The Hospital of St Cross and Almshouse of *Noble Poverty in Winchester, give him my regards
tell him I haven't changed...
Pss: *Noble Poverty: means he is titled and skint! a de Mussenden Leathes no less....
It's calling my cuz, Brother I find difficult to face......
Note: had to walk miles through Islington today as the markets fish man wasn't around to an old fish monger called Moxons.
Stopped at the George & Monkey for a Guinness, they don't sell it, What! 'Filthy McNasty's was the Guinness pub.
Cornish live crab & smoked haddock...........£19.50
Bottle Sancerre Le Pierrier da la Chapelle £15 quid the Co-Op....
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Re: New Veg Shop?

Post by Major Thom » Thu Sep 20, 2018 2:50 am

Where we lived in Norfolk Farm Shops were in abundance, along with PYO outlets for fruit. All were cheap and all were well sponsored. The product were exceptional, and most were organic. The farmers in many cases expanded into other things such as Farm Ice Cream, Milk and other dairy products, all home made on the farms. The selection was vast and the products superior. Every Saturday we would trundle down to these Farm Shops for our fruit and veg, normally ending up in the farm coffee shop for coffee and a sausage roll.

Here every month we go to the local coffee shop for a different reason, although we have our coffee and savory we pick up the used coffee dregs that normally get thrown out and use them for mulch in the planters. It keeps the bugs away, keeps the moisture in and give a lovely aroma on the patio, you can almost imagine being in a coffee shop with the fresh aroma of ground coffee...
Intoxicating..... :lol:

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Re: New Veg Shop?

Post by Hafiz » Thu Sep 20, 2018 8:20 am

Sorry for being long winded.

I didn't make it clear enough. Army food sold out of zero cost army tents, if its done on a large scale, will badly affect Upper Egypt farmers (some of the poorest people in Egypt) and shop keepers (who have been struggling since 2011). Its madness with a political/propaganda purpose to a wobbly regime.

The Army also owns a chain of supermarkets (not sure whether there are any in low income Upper Egypt) which, one assumes, accesses products from army 'suppliers', definitely uses taxpayer funded conscripts as labor and pays no tax. This makes life difficult/near fatal for the competition and this has been going for several decades. A similar point with their chain of petrol stations or their Chrysler car 'factory'.

Carrie my point is that the small example you give is part of a much larger system which leads nowhere positive for the average Egyptian - but I guess cheap (if things in Army supermarkets are cheaper) benefits some.

Cheap consumer items including food will be helped by the government getting out and a consolidation of shops into chains or co-operative alliances for centralized buying, better stock management and refrigeration, refrigerated supply lines and the government getting out of how farmers interact with wholesalers and retailers. They could start by selling Omar Effendi before they entirely destroy it.

The Army also run shops, exclusively for Army 'types' where a full range of consumer items are available well below normal prices. Its hard to know how much of a discount but some are also oddly located in general gated residential communities - one is about 2-300metres west of the GEM in a gated community behind the 12 foot concrete fence which 'protects' this 'beautiful' place full of 'beautiful people'.

UK style up market farmers markets work OK in rich middle class societies where transportation distances are short and heat not intense. Can't even see them working in Cairo where the middle class is obsessed with US style shopping malls and shopping being a major social 'outing'. Most farms in Egypt, even the big ones, don't do value adding into middle class, upper middle class products like exotic fruits, vegs, unusual cheese - they don't even do extra virgin olive oil. Its unbelievable how the just stick to standard product, high volume low profit products - a lot like their tourism trade.That's one of the reasons why their food exports are so hopeless.

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Re: New Veg Shop?

Post by carrie » Thu Sep 20, 2018 10:58 am

As I mentioned Hafiz the prices were very similar to the prices here on the west bank the only benefit I could see is that now that the Avenue of the Sphinx has been closed anyone coming from the ferry and having to go round Luxor temple wouldn't have to walk so far to buy fruit and veg as they would if they had to go to the Souk (Egyptian).
Who knows?

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Re: New Veg Shop?

Post by BENNU » Thu Sep 20, 2018 11:13 am

carrie wrote: the only benefit I could see is that now that the Avenue of the Sphinx has been closed anyone coming from the ferry and having to go round Luxor temple wouldn't have to walk so far to buy fruit and veg as they would if they had to go to the Souk (Egyptian).
:tk Perhaps that explains why there is no bridge over the avenue ...

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Re: New Veg Shop?

Post by Hafiz » Thu Sep 20, 2018 2:36 pm

Bennu sorry missed your point about equal prices which might mean massive profits - for some. Question. if similar/identical prices why the negative custom effect you observed on existing businesses? Do people feel they have to be patriotic or is there better quality?

Given there must be planning regulations for where businesses can be located and health regulations on the storage and handling of food, is the Army observing any of these. Has the tent registered for the VAT/consumption tax or do they just do what they want. Will they pay land tax/rates on the tent?

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Re: New Veg Shop?

Post by Who2 » Thu Sep 20, 2018 2:57 pm

BENNU wrote:
carrie wrote: the only benefit I could see is that now that the Avenue of the Sphinx has been closed anyone coming from the ferry and having to go round Luxor temple wouldn't have to walk so far to buy fruit and veg as they would if they had to go to the Souk (Egyptian).
:tk Perhaps that explains why there is no bridge over the avenue ...
Or perhaps It explains the actual stuupidity of certain local government officials ?
That's for sure but, 'We knew that already... 8)
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Re: New Veg Shop?

Post by Dusak » Fri Sep 21, 2018 3:32 am

Hafiz wrote:Sorry for being long winded.

I didn't make it clear enough. Army food sold out of zero cost army tents, if its done on a large scale, will badly affect Upper Egypt farmers (some of the poorest people in Egypt) and shop keepers (who have been struggling since 2011). Its madness with a political/propaganda purpose to a wobbly regime.

The Army also owns a chain of supermarkets (not sure whether there are any in low income Upper Egypt) which, one assumes, accesses products from army 'suppliers', definitely uses taxpayer funded conscripts as labor and pays no tax. This makes life difficult/near fatal for the competition and this has been going for several decades. A similar point with their chain of petrol stations or their Chrysler car 'factory'.

Carrie my point is that the small example you give is part of a much larger system which leads nowhere positive for the average Egyptian - but I guess cheap (if things in Army supermarkets are cheaper) benefits some.

Cheap consumer items including food will be helped by the government getting out and a consolidation of shops into chains or co-operative alliances for centralized buying, better stock management and refrigeration, refrigerated supply lines and the government getting out of how farmers interact with wholesalers and retailers. They could start by selling Omar Effendi before they entirely destroy it.

The Army also run shops, exclusively for Army 'types' where a full range of consumer items are available well below normal prices. Its hard to know how much of a discount but some are also oddly located in general gated residential communities - one is about 2-300metres west of the GEM in a gated community behind the 12 foot concrete fence which 'protects' this 'beautiful' place full of 'beautiful people'.

UK style up market farmers markets work OK in rich middle class societies where transportation distances are short and heat not intense. Can't even see them working in Cairo where the middle class is obsessed with US style shopping malls and shopping being a major social 'outing'. Most farms in Egypt, even the big ones, don't do value adding into middle class, upper middle class products like exotic fruits, vegs, unusual cheese - they don't even do extra virgin olive oil. Its unbelievable how the just stick to standard product, high volume low profit products - a lot like their tourism trade.That's one of the reasons why their food exports are so hopeless.
They have a supermarket next to the main Christian church here in Luxor opposite the T junction leading to the corniche and the E=Tab hotel. Been there since I came here. Prices not much cheaper than the other local ones.
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: New Veg Shop?

Post by carrie » Fri Sep 21, 2018 7:12 am

Also one on Juseph Hassen street, not much choice but used to be handy if I had forgotten something and was making my way back to the ferry, alas that route is no longer available.

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