What are the odds the first person I meet in Aswan is actually a fixer? I skeptically meet up with him this morning and within minutes, we’re in his car getting me lost in the non tourist part of town. He requests no money, just copies of my paperwork and heads to a small window in the side of an old building, which is referred to as “traffic court”. 5 minutes later he returns and says no problem, where to next.
I’m over the tourist scene, so decide to tag along with him for the next 3 hours while my paperwork is being processed. We drive around town running his miscellaneous errands; car parts and repairs, pick up some bread, etc. He takes me to his local breakfast place and we sit down to bread, beans, chopped fresh veggies with lots of salt and lemon-juice, and falafel. Next we’re sitting down at a shisha shop for a water-pipe smoke and so he can catch up with his friend’s. We finish off the smoke with some sweet tea and head back over to court to pick up my documents. Easy.
I spent about 4 hours with Mohammed non stop grilling him with questions on just about anything that came to mind regarding Egyptian life; politics, religion, schooling, work, etc. I learned a tremendous amount in the short 4 hours. What a good man.
He tells me to meet his brother later in the day for a sail up the river Nile in his old Dahabiya. We set off around 3:30 sailing up and around Elephantine island, where their family currently lives and has lived for as long as they can remember (generations). What a perfect and unexpected end to the day.
Tomorrow I leave early and cross into Sudan.
Grocery shopping with Mohammed and sailing with his brother
For anyone in need of a boat caption or a fixer in Aswan:
Mohamed Abouda 012 25111968 firstname.lastname@example.org