Saturday, March 12, 2011

Vehicles in Luxor

By popular request (thanks Gail), here's a little flavor of Luxor streets--in the city center, that is:

Caleches (horse-drawn carriages), giving the tourists rides.
Taxis, typically white and mid-blue.
Minibuses, sort of like 16-foot vans, fitted to cram in about 14 passengers. (Must be fun in the hot weather--a joy I have yet to experience!) I ride these buses all the time. They come along every minute or 2 on Television Street, and the ride costs half an Egyptian pound--that is, under 10 cents!
Motorbikes with loud annoying horns, ridden as fast as possible up & down Medina & Television Streets in the evening by young fellows trying to show off.
Cars that have to be covered overnight, and/or hosed off frequently, in order to keep the dust off.
Bicycles here and there, sometimes ridden in an alarmingly incompetent manner.
Motorcycle pick-ups--motorcycles with a pick-up bed on the back--and all sizes and shapes of gasoline-powered delivery vehicles on four wheels.
Donkey carts--the most common type of delivery vehicle--loaded with anything from fruits & vegetables, bread, and other foodstuffs (sold right off the cart, either in the market or as the cart passes along the street with someone braying out the wares through an electric megaphone); to
cans of propane gas for the kitchen stove (also sold right off the cart, as it passes along the street with someone banging an empty propane can loudly to summon customers); to stock for supermarkets & other businesses; to a set of wooden furniture; to coils of rebar and bags of cement powder.

Not very elegant. Quite noisy. Although the sound of hooves on my street is a sound I love, and so is the braying of donkeys. If you want elegant, or at least a little more serene, go to the Corniche (riverside road) or cross the river to the west bank.

Oh, I left out full-sized tour buses. But they're more common along the Corniche, anyway, transporting people back and forth between cruise boats or hotels and Luxor and Karnak temples and other destinations. Tour buses are making a comeback, a few at a time. Soon the Corniche will be jammed with tour buses again--inch'Allah.

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