Perfume, Aswan Beware! Mosque, Crafts

I knew I was doomed the moment I walked into the perfume palace in Aswan.
There were pretties and they sparkled and my inner magpie thought “ooooooo!”
But the crafter in me took on look at the stairs and thought “Tablerunner!”
Egypt was using glass very early on- way before many other cultures,
 So I shouldn’t have been surprised at the artistry. Hmmm appliques.
Dragonfly made from towels laid in our room when we got back.
I’ve iffed and uffed about whether I should tell it how it is in Egypt or just give you the tourist info, I’ve decided to tell you the events like they happened.
We then had a little tour of Aswan that evening as it got cooler. A good tip is to ask the price in the currency you intend to pay in otherwise the exchange rate from Egyptian LE to either $ ot £ or Euros bears no resemblance to current exchange rates.
It is an odd blend of old and new.
I saw 3 horses which looked well fed and cared for. Sadly so many were thin and stood in the sun for a lot of the day waiting for a tourist to ride in the carriage. Our guide told us horror stories of some tourists taken to the out of the way places and then being forced to pay lots of money to be taken back to their hotels as there is such a down turn in tourism. None of us risked it.
 Mud brick and satillite dishes! There had been unusually heavy rains in Aswan earlier in the year so a lot of the new mud brick houses built on the hill sides started to shift downward.
This mosque was situated on the top of a hill in the centre of Aswan.
 A magnificent building designed to be seen.
Ooo hexagons! The design is a little like the one I made from Dutch blue and white fabrics.
This was my 1st time in a mosque so I was curious. High decorated ceilings. The dome makes the voice of the one calling the others to prayer 5x a day boom and echo.
The ceilings are lower around the edge of the room. Most mosques aren’t carpeted but have prayer mats. Below is a cornered off area for the women to pray in (if they can get someone to look after their children) just near the front door. There is less duty on women to pray the 5 x a day as it is recognised that they have other duties. For men too if their job wont permit it then they too don’t have to come to the mosque 5x but only whenever they can. Anyone else thinking patchwork designs too?
A little lizard enjoying the cool of the mosque, on a pillar.
We were then taken to this shop. I may have bought a few Christmas presents here.
The man in the hat was our guide, and the man on the right was the shop owner. See the blue- indigo dye. I was so tempted but then I thought that knowing me it would spill in my case and I would end up with a whole load of denim clothes I didn’t want. 🙂
 Somewhere between that shop and the main shopping street in Aswan, one of our party has 2 of her 3 bum bag pockets opened. Another lady had her whole purse stolen from her bag including cards. Luckily I got Lovely Husband to text me the stolen credit cards hotlines so she was able to get them cancelled. Sadly all her holiday money was gone. She was walking right beside me and a lady got up close with 2 children carrying a baby. We think she distracted us while a child dipped into her bag. We returned to the indigo shop and asked if she had left her purse there but sadly not. We explained about the woman following us up close and they immediately knew who she was and sent people out looking. We told them that we would be at the cafe around the corner where we were all to meet up for a pre-paid drink.
Once there our guide was professionalism itself. Groups of people brought forward one lady but it wasn’t her, then another whom Daughter did identify. A huge crowd started to gather and Daughter had to identify the lady publicly in front of the crowd so there were witnesses to that. When the police arrived we left on our coach back to the boat. Daughter understandably was very shaken by it all.
The lady went to the police station with 2 guides after dinner that evening and made a statement. The woman was there with her children waiting for a female to come to strip search her. Daughter was allowed to make a statement by phone just saying that that was the woman close to us and that she had seen no other.
It shocked a lot of us. The shopkeepers in Aswan were furious as they are in need of the tourist trade. It is mainly the boats like we were on who bring that trade to the town and if many of these events happen the boats wouldn’t do these tours. They have stopped visiting Esda and Ednu Temple because of safety issues. The cafe shopkeeper who spoke to me was so apologetic and cross.
I was so so glad that I had taken a day to find the most secure bag I could for this trip. It had inner zips, and outer zip which could be tied to the handle D-ring, and then a big decorative (very colourful and easily spotted) flap over the lot. It was the sort you could wear across your body. Daughter and I had one each.
 We went up in the hills after that so we could look down on the 1st cataract. This area will have big houses/hotels.
 This girl came carrying her baby sister- probably to see what mischief her brother had got up to talking to us. A guide translated for me that her name was Lira. I had a pack of felt tips in my bag which I gave to her. I had read online that they are good gifts for children.
 A crocodile awaited us in our room. It was the only Nile crocodile I saw all holiday! Kitchener’s Island, Colosi of Memnon, Valley of the Kings, and Valley of the Queens to follow.
 Ok now to the few bits of crafts I haven’t shown. The Cherry bag got finished. It is in calico with a calico lining shaped the same as the outer. I blanket stitched cherry blossom trees on the front and back.
 It was inspired by the cherry handles I bought from a Japanese store at a fraction of the price it took to buy them via an American one, including the postage to the UK.
 We’ve finally had some sun but it still doesn’t do justice to the tablerunner Anne Marie sent me as a PIF. The greys sparkle like morning dew on the roses.
 It is gorgeous! Thank you Anne Marie. Kigwit, Grethe and Ulla will be getting something from me by the end of the year.
Below a pair of Alan Dart knitted mice which went to Deb as she was having Christmas in July in Christchurch to cheer herself up after the quakes.

For those who want to see the new mwmber of the family visit Bungle’s Diary and he’ll tell you all about the latest goings on.

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