History Made - People Power 6th- 11th February

Trip Start Sep 09, 2010
Trip End May 28, 2011

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Flag of Egypt  , Red Sea and Sinai,
Monday, February 7, 2011

Monday 7th February

Had an email from the TEFL people, the course is re-starting this week, but as it is a 4-week intensive course I wouldn't be able to complete it in time, but as I have paid a deposit so the course is still valid for a year and I can also do it at another location world-wide. So it’s good that my options are open but not sure I will end up doing it now. We shall see.
It is 3pm and the power has just gone off. Since we moved into this apartment we have had some problems every night with the water. Around midnight it goes off, but it  is then back on by the morning so doesn’t really affect us that much.  But a few times it gone off during the day for an hour  before we’d had a chance for a shower, part and parcel of living in a third world country I suppose.
Five weeks today and I will be in Bali, can’t quite believe that it has come around so soon, it seems ages ago that Chris and I spoke about his plans and I said I’m coming too!  Really excited about going I know lots of people who have been there and loved it.
We went on the Nile on a Felucca today as it was windy so conditions were good for sailing.  There are hardly any tourists around. The few that I have seen appear to be older travellers…not your typical Thomas Cook package holiday type. They probably haven’t been frightened off by the unrest. I also counted the number of cruise boats moored along the Nile. There are usually a few but today we saw dozens well over 50 and more likely to be nearer 100 lined up with no sign of any passengers. They look like ghosts ships and Luxor is becoming a ghost town…This is the price of the riots in Cairo. Sharma and Hurghada still seem to be open for business, and so is Luxor…there has been no trouble here…but tourists have been warned off and the tourist trade has evaporated.
Tuesday 8th February
We go into Luxor this afternoon, I want to get Alaa a Valentine’s present.  I should have been in Alexandria but really nice to think we’ll be able to spend the day together. He mentioned he really liked this aftershave in Haram 2,  the shop where I get all my makeup from. So I have treated him, difficult to go shopping though when he is with me all the time, anyway told him to stay in the car so hopefully it will be surprise.  I also get some pictures printed at one of the many  digital photo shops and have printed out all the ones that I have taken off little Tyeb to give to Mohamed and Hodda and also ones of Alaa’s family that they can keep.
It’s great being in this new flat, it's just like being at home, it has a nice sized kitchen compared to the last apartment so we are doing much more cooking ourselves. It also has satellite TV with a fab film channel called Top Movies which just shows horror films all day long….thankfully Alaa likes scary movies too watched The Exorcist last night….so much better than the 3 very blurry Egyptian Arabic channels I had to endure for a month.
Wednesday 9th February
Nick’s 40-birthday today - thank god my best friend has finally now joined me in the 40-Club…it’s always torturous for the month and 5 days that I am a year older than him and he delights in making me feel old!  We are off to Hurghada again today as Alaa has some work for a few days, so good to get out of Luxor and a change of scenery. Just seen a guy chopping a cow’s head in half straight down the middle on the side of the street…at least it shows they are not starving but has put me off my dinner! The protests in Tahrir Square are continuing for a 16th day….they are now camping out in tents…it looks more like a festival I wonder when things will get back to normal. But they are not budging until Mubarak steps down and he doesn’t look like he’s going anywhere soon, it’s a stalemate situation.
Thursday 10th February
Breaking news Al Jazeera…..sounds very likely that Mubarak is going to stand down tonight…wow. I didn’t expect this to happen, but in all honestly something had to happen as the momentum on Tahrir Square was not waning and pictures now show the masses euphoric and the atmosphere is electric. Countdown to the end of the regime I think and just shows people power. I hope that significant changes and improvements happen soon.  I really wish I was there oh, to be part of history in the making. I think we should go and celebrate if and when it happens. This will be an amazing time for Egypt.
Mubarak has just spoken live on State TV and he has not stepped down as the news channel would have had us believe hours earlier…he made it clear he is intending to stay until September elections (which we knew already), is he deaf to what the people say- how can he misread the extend of the feeling of the protesters.  I can’t believe it. What was a jubilant crowd thinking they were about to witness a truly historic event, has now turned pretty angry with protesters waving their shoes in the air and chanting he must go. Not surprisingly, crowds in Alexandria which were joyous are now fuming. I can see this getting ugly. The mood has completely changed…tomorrow is going to be an interesting day. I hope no blood is shed.

Friday 11th February

In the internet cafe in Hurghada updating FB and my blog. Checked my junk mail and good job I did as there was an email from EasyJet saying they have cancelled my flight from Luxor to Gatwick on 28th Feb.It said I could transfer or cancel. There doesn't seem to be any flights now to Luxor at but I have managed to get a flight leaving Hurghada on Friday 25th Feb, just hope they don't cancel that one. Oh happy days.History has just been made. Mubarak has finally stepped down after 18 days of protesting. It had just gone 6pm we were having a drink and a bite to eat before popping into a shop on way back to the flat when the shopkeeper told us the news had just been announced on the radio.  Immediately there is a tremendous sound of cars beeping their horns, we join in! People have come out onto the the streets of Hurghada celebrating the news - It’s like they have just won the world cup. People are jubilant and smiling from ear to ear. We joined the cavalcade of cars driving around downtown for a short while - it’s great to be a part of this historical moment in Egyptian history - I think they will be celebrating well into the early hours. 

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