We were touring through Egypt in the year 2007 and spent few
days on the Nile cruise. I think I was in third year of my college! I was with
my parents but had a single suite to myself! I made few friends in the ship, it’s
always good to hang around with your age group, because otherwise some people
(the aunties and uncles I mean) can get on your nerves!
On this particular day we were anchored in Luxor for the day.
If you are visiting Egypt you will probably see more temples than you can ever
see in India! After some sightseeing through the day our evening was free to
roam around. My parents, as usual, wanted to visit the market! Now there’s
hardly anything you can buy in there – other than local perfumes, handicrafts
or dates!!! So I really wanted to skip all that and go for a swim. Thankfully I
was left alone and not dragged all the way to the market.
But this gang that had formed within the ship had some other
plans – partying!! I had to say yes to that! But we were faced with a tricky
situation. I had some Egyptian Dollars with me and no USD and I didn’t want the
bill to be charged to the room (for obvious reasons). If my parents got a hang
of this party I could have been in trouble! So we decided to go out in the town
and party. Good enough.
The super market nearby didn’t have anything in it. Not a
single can/bottle of beer! We were expressing our disgust while walking over to
another store nearby when a man approached us and spoke in broken English. The
guy didn’t look to be a tourist or a shop keeper, we figured out he was a horse
carriage puller. He had heard us.
“You people looking for beer? No beer!”
We thought we’ll ignore and keep walking.
“You will no get there, nowhere now” he yelled.
We thought – like really! Nowhere! He must be mad. The place
is throbbing of tourists everywhere. What did he mean by no beer anywhere??
The next store too didn’t have anything for us!
“Told you, no get beer this month” he said as we stepped out.
He was waiting outside the store!
He probably understood our expression and explained – “this is
dry month – its Ramadan!”
We had completely forgotten it was October and it’s an
But that man offered us to get some local brand beer in
black! We were little wary of that but gave in because we didn’t want to spoil
He was back with a rag sack in 20 minutes but asked us to get
back to the ship and open them. We obviously were happy and respected their
faith and were back at the ship. But pretty soon the party turned
bitter – one sip of that beer and everyone started swearing – the worst beer
any one had ever tasted!
Some were brave enough to finish their cans. But mine
went down the flush! I was rather happy with the mineral water bottle in the
If you are visiting an Islamic country, always note which
time of the year you are going. And if you are in a similar situation like mine
(but I was quite young that time) please have booze from trusted sources!!
Let me know if you are enjoying the anecdotes!
Until next time, Cheers!!
Meanwhile check out an easy breakfast recipe