“The traveler sees what he sees, the tourist sees what he has come to see.”
I know that every foreigner who comes here influences the place (just think of Mark Anthony), but there are foreigners and then there are tourists. I couldn’t figure why the only international flights I could get out of Luxor were to England. Well now I can! It seems that waves of Brits have set about turning this into Benidorm on the Nile.
Why oh why do people decide to travel to a challenging location and then set about creating a cocoon of familiarity from the old country. If they had been posted here for years – fine, but for a week in the sun?? I guess this is about as corrupting to a locality as Egyptians emigrating to England and wanting to keep all their traditional customs unchanged…
I was getting quite depressed that the Luxor Temple had been corrupted, and that within a block or two of my hotel all the restaurants were Anglicised (including the Indian one which offered Moussaka, Chilli con carne, and Cottage pie, along with other well-known Indian creations – I guess Greek and Mexican food is less challenging than Egyptian).
So I kept walking, and, just as the Med in Alicante, three blocks away from the Nile the tourist joints evaporate and you are back in downtown Luxor with no tourists in site and only Egyptian food (or variations of same). I had Minced Meat Sour Pie which took some doing as the restaurant had only one menu not in Arabic, and my order needed careful matching to the position on the Arabic one to determine what I wanted as nobody spoke any English. Take a pizza sized piece of filo type dough. Throw around until the size of a bicycle wheel and totally translucently thin. Sprinkle on fetta type cheese, chopped peppers/tomatoes/pickles, and kofta mince. Fold carefully into a parcel, being sure to tear off any thicker bits of dough. Bake in oven for 10 minutes. Cut into small squares with a mezzaluna. Fantastic meal for all of $3.
I wonder if anyone told Bill his company is now marketing potato chips…
So now I am content and nearly happy enough to forgive British tourists!