HELLO + WELCOME as we cross Australia, Africa and Europe.
It’s Gareth here with Part 2 from Aswan. Read PART ONE before you read on.
In downtown Aswan the office was small and two Egyptian men occupied the room.
One looked to be a high ranking officer and the other a plain clothes man with a gun on his hip. The high ranking officer stared us all down and reluctantly said Salaam. Hello!
Us and the bikers sat ourselves down in that small smoke filled office solemnly. Probably just thinking about just seeing someone gunned down in the dirty streets outsdie. Kamal had guided us in and to the left.
He returned a few minutes later and must have gauged the look on the police officers face that he wanted us gone.
He told us to wait outside in the corridor of the dirty smoke filled police station. Kirst saw the begrudging look and when we locked eyes, we both had.
I think it was only then that I realised us whities were behind the counter of a cop shop. On the other side of the most disgustingly filthy perspex screens were the loud smoking general public. We were standing behind the desks of the female paper pushers and bored looking policemen. The area was a complete mess. Cigarette butts on the ground, dirty walls and a mop bucket with what looked like a slimy sludge in it pushed up against the wall. Dusty, crinkled paper work was stacked ceiling high in an adjoining room. One older cop with a cigga, with an inch long piece of ash dangling in his mouth, was playing solitaire on his outdated dusty PC computer. Scores of people waited on the other side to be served. I just could not get over what was going on around me. We looked at each other and raised our eyebrows.
Some time had passed and we were standing by the previously unlocked rear entrance door that we had entered. I was letting people in and out as knocks came to the heavy metal door. What was happening?
The next person through was Kamal. He had some more paperwork. All of a sudden the boss man, high ranking cop man, walked out of his office and began a heated shouting match at one of his female colleagues. He stood there a metre off where we were sheepishly standing and dressed this woman down like he was condemning her to Hell. His deep voice grew louder and louder.
We looked to the ground. I was beginning to think he would start laying into her (physically). She gave a few sprays back to him but he finished her off and she walked away back to her desk looking down at the ground. This was the dressing down of the century. Kamal told us that he was asking why she was late back from lunch and said it would not happen again. Wow! I would not want to see this little man in a real argument. I thought it was utterly disgusting the way he was shouting at her when he knew too well that four white tourists were standing a metre off his side.
Kamal instructed us to leave via the rear heavy metal door. QUICKLY. We were issued some old beaten up number plates and walked back across the dusty street to the Sudanese guy sitting in Kamal’s car which was double parked in the midday sun. Time to go. The only thing to do now was go back to customs, pay Kamal and attach our number plates.
What a day it had been so far. We were all glad to leave that stinky cop shop. We were all glad we were not caught up in the cross fire of those bullets. We were all happy to not be yelled at by an imbecile. We would be leaving that area for the last time.
:: Egyptian Plates secured for Troopy! After 4,5,6,7 hours?
We said our goodbyes to Kamal, paid him his fixed price and headed for the customs gate to exit the port. Glad now to be back in the safe confines our our Troopy.
We were stopped at the gate by a slimy looking cop who came out of his booth with some brown grapes in his hand. He offered us one each and asked us to turn off the engine and open the back doors of the Troopy.
“Yeah right here we go”, I thought. He glanced inside and said ” I gave you a present. I am supposed to be searching your car. But I won’t. That is my present to you. Do you have a present for me?….
:: Kamal and I. Are you spliffing bro? Later, Kamal
:: Troopy speaks Arabic
:: Four very proud, hot, tired and excited peeps right there! Go Jaane’!
I was laughing inside and thinking of saying “Yeah. I will give you this scabby looking brown grape back so you can go back into your booth and pretend to be working while we leave this stinky port quietly” but of course didn’t. We had not paid a bribe yet and were not going to start now. “Sorry we have no present for you Sir… we are very tired and would love to get going… we are SO HAPPY to be in Egypt’.
He said “Oh OK…” I shut the rear doors as quick as I could and we both started back to the front of the car to return to our seats. The slimy cop went over to our German biker mates and said Hello. He then came back to my side and said “Bye. Be careful out there. Be very careful”.
Rack off slime ball.
I planted the accelerator and drove off like a semi trailer on a steep hill. Slow and loud… happy to see him cough on a black cloud of smoke from the filthy diesel the Troopy had been drinking lately but he had already moved away and was back to his brown grapes.
Into Egypt we go.