Greetings Me Droogs N Droogettes!
We need to have a bit of a changeup from the usual crap. So, this means Story Time From The Files of The Intrepid Reporter. This episode is “The Valley of the Kings”. Now, as spoken of, I spent almost all of 2007 in Kuwait. T’was a mellow change from the ‘shewtin gallery’ that Iraq had been. I got there in late 06, in time for the ‘prep for the 07 ‘Surge’ up North. Spent the majority of time bringing in and in-processing all the vehicular assets for the DotMil on Arifjan. That was the mission where I usually had to play “CSI: Arifjan” with all the blowed the fuck up trucks and tanks that the IEDs were playing havoc with our troops.
BTW, those who read my story in Charlie Mike Comix Issue 1, Number 4? Yeah THAT’s the fucking location that story took place in… Creeeeeeeeepy and fucked up. That, for the record, is a M2 Bradley after a IED took it out. And then? This’s yours truly and whats left of an M1A Main Battle Tank:
Soooo anywho… Enough with the morbid shytte Aye?
It was November, and we had a rarest of the rare, a whole 4 day weekend. As in we actually had a three day for Veteran’s Day, and me and my bro Al worked the schedule that our ‘extra day off’ that we had banked, allowed us a 4 day, to which we promptly made plans to hit Egypt. The flight on, no shit, Al-Jazeera Airlines which was the Kuwaiti version on a Persian Gulf JetBlue. Waaaaaaaay cheap tix all over the Gulf. In fact, checking right now? A flight from Kuwait International to Luxor Egypt is running… whelp, nevermind… guess ‘cos the coof, they ain’t flying to Egypt currently… no flights available… anyways, back then it was like 8 KWD which is Kuwaiti Dinar, taxes and all one way, which was like $30 USD. Bargain Eh? Add on Egypt, besides doing the Valley of the Kings, is a booze-allowable country, despite the Islamics running around loose.
So, we hopped a plane, and made for the Land of Mummies.
Al was exceptionally happy to hit the Duty Free.
As was I
These are the faces of men who haven’t seen a drop of ‘real legit’ booze in 6-7 months…
So, we got to out Hotel, which turned out to be a favorite of the Russian Expat Community, as alllll the folks staying there were REAL Ivan-Ivans. The buffet for food was primarily Russian cuisine… but we literally paid $25 a night for our room(s) each. That was a $75 for 3 nights, all food included. $60 for airfare, let me tell you… it was OK…
Wasn’t the first class OMFG kind of place that most ‘Muricans stay in… bit run down, the bed was slab-hard, but after 2 point 5 years in Iraq, sleeping on Army Cots and bullshit? This was fucking heaven… especially since we were TAD… Travelling Around Drunk. Clean, no sand and Roach free? No rodents? Fuck yeah!
So, what we did was because it was November in Egypt, the Lower Nile (Luxor) gets hotter n’balls on a fire. Got to an average of 94 at 0700… Yep. Hot-Hot. So, what we did for the game plan was we drank during the hottest part of the day in the hotel, and then slept off the buzz.
Egyptian “Stella” which is a spinoff of Stella Artois I think. Good stuff.
So, then, we’d wake up after the sun went down and hit the parties all over the place. We hit and became ‘honored guests’ at an Egyptian Wedding… Pretty Cool shit there
They kept us there til like 12pm… oh dark early. BUT that was cool.
Don’t get to participate in stuff like that everyday Aye?
So, return to the room, crash and then? Wake up at literally the crack of dawn. As soon as the sun started peeking out, we hit Luxor itself, the Ancient City…before all the fucking ‘other tourists’ did. We literally got there at the opening at 0530, and had the place to ourselves. It was magnificent
Literally. Not a single. solitary. motherfucker. to be seen.
That guy in the background? Armed Guard. Forgot to mention it, but we were there apparently on the tenth anniversary of “The Massacre at Luxor” where Islamic Psychos took out a fuckton of tourists, so the local gendarme were out in force and armed tot he fucking teeth. Even they know the Haj love anniversary dates. I wasn’t worried though, I knew if -something- went sideways, there’d be a plethora of firepower laying around…
But overall, we had the place to ourselves because of MomUnit teaching me at a young age of the ‘how to’ of the tourista travelling. Now, we -did- hit the actual tombs as well… that wasn’t so much fun as a ‘has to be done and damned near kil’t my fat ass.’ We had to take a boat across’t the Nile which in itself was cool-as-fuck… how many y’all can say that Aye?
Signs ALL over the boat, in multiple languages, “Don’t hang your dickbeaters over the side, the Crocodiles are hungry and don’t fucking play”. Gitmo had a similar thing when I was at Guantanamo as the airfield is across Gitmo Bay on the other side from the main base, and you have to take a ferry… Substitute “Sharks” from “Crocodiles” and you get the picture. Side note, it’s because Castro was a dick an put two BIG chicken Processing Plants on HIS northern edge of Gitmo Bay, and flooded the Bay with the runoff and offal, which drew every. single. shark. known to the Caribbean into Gitmo bay… no shit, you could probably walk across’t the bay on the backs of the sharks, no shit. Read somewhere it’s the highest concentration on sharks in the Northern Hemisphere…
To continue… so… Valley of the Kings, King Tut’s tomb. Reason Tutankhamen’s Tomb got overlooked all those years? It was built on the floor of the Valley.
The rest of them fucking burial spots?
Top of the Mountain, then dug down to the center of the Mountain.
That’s the first of four staircases to get to the First Tomb.
Man… and at 100 degrees?
Fuck My Life Man.
They had waypoints for people to rest and buy $10 a bottle ice water, and in that situation? $100 would have been fair. It was OMFG Hot. Stroke the fuck out hot. And then, at the Tomb, you had to get to the ‘cool stuff’ take the 3000+ year old stairs OR the rickety ass wooden stairs they installed… down and in. And let me tell you, Al had it easy… My tall Fat ass? Notsofuckingmucho Aye?
Blurry ‘cos the lighting was minimal.It was a pure stone Ranger School Evolution Bitch of a Hump.
And yeah, Dat Me
I shot some vidya on a primitive camera as you can see.
So, after THESE adventures, Al and I went back and our ‘Slicky Boi’ (a kid who was taking us around for $20 a day showing us the ‘hidden sites’…) well, he took us out later that night. Asked us if we wanted to see some real Egyptian Belly Dancing Sahib?
Sure, why the hell not. So, around 8pm/22:00, he showed up at the Hotel with his rickshaw thing. We jumped in, and he took off running through the night. We had -no fucking clue- as to -where- we were headed. About three-quarters of the way in, I started having the hairs on my neck stand up. I never ignore that… Stranger Danger Alert.
We end up in what can only be described as ‘the bad part of Luxor’. It was positively distopian. In fact, looking back, we were in front of a turn-of-the-century Theater, run down and gone to shit. British place is my guess… LOTS of former Brit places all over the town from the Colonial Days… so, this place? Think the Theater in “Escape From New York” THAT run down and shitty.
Sooooo even Al was picking up on the fact that ‘shit wasn’t right’. We went in, and allowed ourselves to be ushered up to the second floor… the place had the big sweeping double circular staircase you’d expect, ‘cept this rug… man I was like “Gonna have to burn these shoes after this place.” Used to be (I think) a nice reg thick rug, now brown and -literally- shit colored. We get to the ‘room with the stage’ and took our seats… the ‘waiter’ if that’s what you can call this Hajji-Looking-Evil-Eye Motherfucker, comes over and begrudgingly took our order for 2 beers UNOPENED
Yeah that sort of vibe.
Pissed him off but fuck him, it was our asses.
So, we’re at the table, against the stage, with our positioning to be able to ‘see the room’ and our back. Out comes this middle aged land whale in a belly dancing suit, who then proceeds to turn on an honest-to-God Boom Box, and start shaking her blubber ALL over the place. I’m surprised this didn’t register on the Richter scale IMO. I look at Al, and realize I need to ‘case the joint’ so I tell him to watch hisself, whilst I ‘go take a piss’…
The bathroom will haunt me the rest of my life.
No joke. The most foul shitter that I have ever had to utilize. And that’s saying something… There were no toilets… only the ‘ghosts of urinals past’ and ‘thrones of a past life’… holes in the floors and walls, and the stall walls, while there, no doors nor any shit paper, unless the Egyptian Sears Catalog counts… and the holes where the shitters used to be? The hole had been enlarged… think “Life Preserver” sized, but with a ‘chocolate-not-chocolate’ rim around it… the hole? Went down to the lower floor, where there was ANOTHER hole…
and so on and so on…
where the poo ended up? No clue.
Soooo I made it back to the table.. Big OLD heavy oak thing with huge legs… one of the ‘waiters’ kept telling us to ‘tip the dancer’ to which we threw what in the end was like $20 USD worth of Egyptian Pounds… now, problem was, we didn’t have a lot of cash per US Standards… mebbe $120 on hand total… but by Egyptian Standards???
Old ‘Ali Baba’ and his boyos were sizing us up to be a couple of chickens to be plucked. We both picked up on the ‘vibe’ so I told Al sotto voce, “Dude, I’m going to pick a fight with you, you follow my lead, then smash the chair over the table.” He looked at me and was like “You got it… why am I smashing the chair?”
“You’ll get it in a minute… Now shuddup and follow my lead…”
I started ranting at Al about two minutes later… screaming at him, calling him an asshole dirty greaser bastid… anything I could at full drill sergeant volume… He in turn starts in on me, Yelling, calling me a motherfucker, cursing is Spanish…and sure as hell, he suddenly jumped up, and smashed the chair across the table where it shattered into pieces…. Me? I grab one of the stout legs on the table, and tore the fucker off, leaving two really BIG screws sticking out… quite the War Club as it were… Al was left with two shorter chair legs, and we immediately went back-to-back, shoulder-to-shoulder, and made a hasty retreat out of the building… The Hajjis who’d been following this play-by-play, suddenly realized that they’d been had but good.
We were now armed, improvised mind you, but better n’nuthin’ Aye?
We made for the door and >FOOSH< hauled ass outside… Our little piece of shit guide had vanished, so I looked up the dimly lit street, where I saw a streetlight about 2 blocks down. Man, not for nothing, but we broke land-speed records getting to the lit up corner just in time for one of them Taxis to come winging around the corner… the driver was -shocked- to see us out there and said as much when we piled in and started yelling at him to Yalla YallA! GOGOGOGO!!! Get us the -fuck- out of here.
Driver told us on the way back that we were in the “Ghetto-ey Ghetto” of Luxor and the fact we were still alive was proof that Allah was Beneficent.
Me? Good Luck… a fucking metric fuckton of Irish Luck in my eyes…
Rest of the trip was anticlimactic.. mostly boozing and tourist shit… we stayed far away from rando locales after that…
So, hope you enjoyed. I just was doing memory lane with Wifey, and she told me to put this one in… Also figured we needed a break from the Bullshit.
So More Later I Remain The Intrepid Reporter