We knew that an 11-hour bus ride would be quite a demanding adventure, but given the choice between jumping on a night bus and skipping the planned trip to Luxor, we chose the former. The train would have been a more convenient option, but a strike erupted in one of the railway towns, and workers would not allow trains to pass until the minister himself came to negotiate with them. So be it, we thought, unpredictability is a part of the charm when traveling Egypt three months after the revolution.
The bus was crowded, and my seat refused to lean back. After the evening prayer, two TV screens started showing Egyptian dramas. Our modest wish to get some sleep at night was too ambitious – earplugs did not shield all the screaming in the movies, which continued until around 1 AM. There was a brief period of silence until the morning prayer at dawn, after which the driver turned the TV on again.