Poorhouse's blog

Exit vocabulary lesson

The Poorhouse is proud(ish) to present here a list of some essential Exit festival vocab. Perhaps you might even be able to work out what we've been up to from the definitions. Comments, clarifications, corrections et al. more than welcome below please.

How to get out of Serbia without a passport

Well now that we have established this is going to the be the world's worst holiday blog, it containing no actual information about what the fearsome foursome have actually done on holiday, it might as well get a bit practical.

From the previous posting, you may have noted that yours truly lost a pile of goodies, including that prehistoric-yet-essential bit of paper, the passport. This causes problems because, believe it or not, even though it's the 21st century, a quick flash of the last page of the little red book that is the passport is apparently essential to move between countries. As well as get into the Exit festival of course. The problem was to some extent exacerbated insomuch as the return flight was supposed to be back via Budapest, which for the geographically challenged is not in the same country as Novi Sad, Serbia. There was little keenness on my part to tackle the fearsome armed border patrol there so one had to do the right thing and acquire a new one. Simple, one might think. Not really so.

Not good

Guess who has had the following items lost/stolen in the hardcore Prodigy violent mob session.

- lots of money
- festival ticket
- visa card
and best of all
- passport.

Yep ladies and gents, I am properly trapped here, and can't get to my flight (it starting in a different country) or pay for much as loads of places over only take VISA.

Panicness!! On the plus side mind, Prodigy rocked it hardcore supergood.

am alive

Big apologies to all for lack of update here. Contrary to likelihood we are actually all still alive, despite a myriad of much entertaining events since the get go. As an example it turned out that with all the massive airport security our party had somehow managed to bring both globally banned substances and explosive materials to check-in. cue some extremely carry-on airport type antics as we run through the airport with cylinders of overtly leaking explosive gas . All part of the fun and games. until security noticed us of course!

Countdown to the European Extravaganza

Welcome to day minus-one of the Slightly Ill-prepared Mostly Eastern Europe adventure.

Here's the theory:

  • Travel, via the methodology of the wonderously abysmal British railway system, to Manchester airport.
  • Acquire massive amounts of free food and drink samples.
  • Try not to get groped more than, say, you do queuing in the men's queue at Club Vibe, during whatever magical enhanced security the airport will no doubt insist on having as a result of (supposedly) Al Qaeda's embarrassing driving a car into a billboard incident the other week. Board plane.
  • Get to Budapest. Enter a cheap hotel. Live life.
  • Go to Novi Sad, Serbia to participate in the it-should-be-awesome State of Exit festival.
  • Return via Budapest to UK. Recover for a few seconds. Go to Copenhagen for a couple of days; 1 work (boo), 1 less so (yay).
  • Return home. Sleep for days.

No more Egypt :-(

All good things come to a usually most displeasing and painful end, and the Egypt adventure was no different. Having now returned to the UK, I was not the most thrilled ever that catching the train involved thunder, lightning, getting wet through as though I had fallen into a swimming pool, and viciously hailed on simultaneously.

Before the return though, we had one particular final adventure - the mission to Banana Island, which even though it doesn't feature so prominently in guidebooks is indeed real. It even has bananas on it.

We were going to get a felucca from Luxor to it, but the weather was apparently too calm to make it in time so we used a motor boat instead. Best yet, us and our two pals were allowed to drive the boat. Who needs a license!? Not adventurers, that's for sure. Based on the random directioning, side to side sway and near collisions it was however perhaps a good thing that we did have a local guide with us to handle the parallel parking.

Wonders of the world

Back to a 4am start for a trip to Cairo. Sleep-denied, and pilled up, we roused early to get a minibus to Luxor airport. There we passed through what was supposed to represent security to get a flight to the current capital of Egypt - previously Egypt has had several capitals not least of which was Luxor.

Upon landing, we travelled down the dangerous lawless roads of Cairo to the glorious Great Mosque of Mohammed Ali, in the Citadel. Our guide gave us some info about Islamic traditions and we explorered the surroundings and respectfully went into the oranately decorated and dramatically lit Ottaman-esque interior of the place of worship, including the final bodily resting place of Mohammed Ali himself.

Mummy attack

We ventured out a couple of days ago in Luxor city for some museum action. You can likely guess what sort of ex-pyramidal or grave-robbed tomb type stuff much of it is. There some spectacular and fascinating carvings and statues and plenty of rather macabre mummy things. The Royal Mummies in Luxor Museum are especially noteworthy; they have gone black over type yet you can still easily see the facial features, bony arms, bandage imprints and clawy fingers of the body from thousands of years ago. It's amazing if disturbing to think you're seeing the preserved corpse of an ancient Egyptian ruler from millenia ago. It is also very easy to see why one might imagine they might jump up and attack you a la The Mummy Returns. Nontheless we escaped alive.

The Sheraton

We excitedly got into the fancy lounge, got our keys and headed upstairs to see our rooms. For some reason, though we hadn't paid for the upgrade, we had a nice fancier-than-otherwise room in the main building so we luxuriated in the space with a seperate toilet and bathroom (a most welcome feature even when used to living in rather close-knit intimate no-room-for-secrets circumstances, say no more) and a place where we could actually both open our cases at the same time.

After a bit of pillow-testing we headed down to find our friends only to find that disaster was brewing. For those people who hadn't got our special free upgrade for no reaason, apparently things were not so sweet, It seems the Sheraton renovations are not finished yet so bits of it are a little like a building site. Still, after a whole lot of arguing, I think everyone is mostly satisfied, it's just a shame it ruined the first day here for many.

Up up and away

Up at silly-o-clock in the morning again to participate in a 'hot air balloon adventure'. Adventure seemed to be the right word as we were sent across the river to be bundled into some too-small vans and driven at high speeds down what were almost roads seemingly desperately searching for a balloon to get into. One of our friends can understand Arabic well which the various guides clearly don't expect so for entertainment he relayed the many arguments they had to us in English.

Eventually we got out and were set off in the direction of a big muddy field. Still half asleep we trudged off falling in pools of nasty mud, avoiding donkeys and trying not to buy the random stone found on the ground that they insistently claimed was from a temple (no really) and we could have for just 10 Egyptian pounds.

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