It was very foggy.The sharp smell of abundant multiple types of tabocco just kicked forcing itself into your nostril. Initially it felt like you just ran into a burning house and your chest felt slightly congested After hours of smoke free environment, the Smoking Room had that effect on you. But you carry on, loking around for a seat. There were about 10 chimneys there. men and women.They were Caucasians, Rabs, Indonesians and Filipinos. Enter a Malaysian chimney.Me. I sat at the end corner and took out my Gudang garam. I joined the others to increase polluting the Smoking Room.
Despite the foggy and stuffiness, I had my fix. Went to the washroom meant for wheelers( the non-wheeler's washroom was full) and washed my face,brushed my teeth and wet my hair.Its time to go check-in at Gate 6 of Doha International Airport.
We checked-in and went down stairs to the waiting aerobus,to take us to our plane.Doha-Luxor. It was a smaller plane compared to the A330 from KLIA. And no, it doesn't have the entertaiment console like the A330. Its okay. I have my MP4 and the faithful Nokia 3110c for the music.And I could do with some sleep.
Apart from tourist to Luxor, there were few Egyptians to. Must be going home for a holiday or after finishing their bussinesses in Doha. Most have several luggages with them.Big luggages which I don't think qualifies as hand-luggage.
At 0810 am(Doha time. Its 5 hours difference btwn Doha and KL. Doha and Luxor is 1 hour)) the plane took off and after a while I was sleep only to be waken by Mrs TA when the crew served our breakfast( and I thought we had one on the A330,earlier). But,you do get hungry fast when flying intercontinent right? The food was an indicator of our diet for the next 1 week. There were steamed(?) carrots,potatoes,smoked tomato. Arabic meatball and smoked chicken. And pita bread too.Croissant with butter and jam and orange juice. After 5 minutes,finitto! Is that starving or what. Or maybe pelahap!
I took out Dean Koontz's Watcher and read a few pages before falling asleep.The plane continued its flight across the Arabian desert north of Makkah and Madinah. When I woke up, I could see desert mountain ranges below. Ah!That must be the Eastern desert of Egypt.Everything is sand and rock. But it was a beautiful sight. Sometimes you can see a highway at the fot of the mountain range and see vehicles running on it like a lost ant.
When the plane stared to descend, we know we are maybe 200-300 km from Luxor,our destination. As the plane descende you see the mountain range getting bigger and bigger but no Pyramid was on sight. Then you start to see vegetations.Plots of farms. Green. With the greens you see scattered villages and houses.
Finally the plane landed.No applause or cheers.Everyone in our tour group was excited and eager to step on Egyptian soil. The land of Pharoah*. With our hands clutching our lugages we entered the arrival hall of Luxor International Airport. Our group re-group and Angel(our tour leader)briefed us. "Get your passports ready. There are money changers on your left if you want to change your US dollars into Egyptian Pound. The washroom is over there...I'll give you all 20 minutes before we go through the immigration booths.Is that okay with you??"
Angel..she such an angel foto by Hafiz Nokia N73
I went to the money changer booths. There are 5 and 4 are opened.The rate is 5.51 Egyptian pound to the greenback(in Malaysia I got RM3.41 for a dollar). There was ofcourse confusion at these booths. Some wanted to change US50.00, some a hundred. And everyone was confused with the rate( well not really confused I guessed,more of misunderstanding) and I heard someone saying to the other that we have been ripped-off. Well, I did my homework before coming to Egypt and I had calculated how much pound you get for how many dollars.
The Luxor IA is small, about 3/4 of Langkawi Airport.But the arrival hall is clean and well maintained There were no smoking signs but I can see few guys in uniform and the janitor smoking happily. After re-re-grouping, we headed for the immigratiom counter and passed through without much problem. We took all our lugages and headed through the Customs officer without bothering us visitors of Egypt. But the locals who boarded with us in Luxor were searched . Their big boxes of TV sets,DVD players were opened. Some bags were opened and clothes spread around. And we see Egyptians arguing with the Customs officers. I wonder how long will that take after we left the airport. I wonder if pounds will exchange hands!
Outside the airport, porters were waiting to collect our luggages and cart it to the buses about 50 meters away. We were told earlier that all the tips were included in our payment,so we don't need to tip anymore if didn't wish to."Its up to you!"- that will be the favourite phrase of our Egyptian guide. After putting my luggages in the bus, the porter ask for a tip.5 pounds in his palm,he thanked me a lot( and its about 65 sen to an Egyptian pound).
The weather was fine. Very sunny and bright but temperature was about 19 C. But you get the chills when the wind blew.
Muhammad al_Gharbawi our Egyptian guide foto by Hafiz Nokia N73
We were introduced to our Egyptian guide on the bus. A handsome young man. Muhammad al-Gharbawi. He spoke to us in English. And we understood him.That is good point,I told myself.We wouldn't be chicken speaking to ducks after all( but thats gonna happen while shopping). As Muhammad was briefing us, the bus started to the road. I was interested by the views rather than Muhammad's explaination.Never mind, MrsTA can brief me later.
Despite being colonised by the British and later for a short period by the French, the Egyptians drove on the wrong side of the road! They followed the French and the Americans and the Chinese.And the Egyptians they like to drive fast.And they honk a lot. They'll honk when they want to overtake you.They honk again after taking over. They honk when another care wanted to take over them and they honk when the other car had taken over. So its a honky place if not a honky-tonky one. And then the motorised vehicles have to compete with the horse carriages which goes ktok!ktak!ktok ! ktak! on the road. Occasionally the road become stalled when an ass cart is infront.The honking will get very loud all at the same time. Being an ass, the ass just showed its ass to the drives! Maybe,just maybe thats how the term asshole was coined!LOL.
Our bus passes by the Karnak Temple from far but we saw Luxor Temple at close range.What a sight! It was on our left and the great Nile on our right with ships(cruise ships) and motorised boats and Felukas.I know this trip is gonna be great.
Then ,Muhammad told us: " There is going to be a slight of change in our plan today! We will skip the Karnak and Luxor Temple today...", my heart sank...."...but we are going to see the Valley of the Kings.Its on the west bank of the river Nile".
Ahh...that would be nice too. VOK(Valley of Kings) here I come.
Valley of Kings foto tokasid BQ
Pharoah*: in the Ancient Egyptian it is Per 'a , closer to the Arabic word : Fir'aun. Pharoah is the Greek word for Per 'a
Next: The Valley of Kings.
Kandungan posting mungkin ada kena mengena atau tidak dengan makhluk yang hidup atau yang telah tiada.Kalau sapa-sapa terasa nak buat macamana kan. Sapa makan cabai melaka dia pedaih laa