Sweeny Todd, the demon barber of… Luxor.

Avarinne and I went on holiday to Luxor in Egypt last month, and while there we did many cultural things.

I’ll blog about the cultural things soon this post is about something we saw on our third day in Luxor while wondering about in one of the many random alleyways.

Thats right it’s a barber shop called sweeny Todds. I had to take a photograph of it as we were passing by and just after I took the photo the guy inside the shop came out and told us to come in. We were a bit wary not because we thought he was going to kill us (there wasn’t a pie shop in miles so we knew we were safe) but because by our third day in egypt we were sick of people telling us a minute fact about something, or offering to take our photo and then asking for “Bakhshish” which is basically them asking for a tip for having done you whatever service they did.

Never the less we decided to risk it, we wen’t in and had a great chat with the guy who ran the barbers shop, he was a really nice guy called Rafat, to be honest I felt really guilty of my skepticism by the end of it.

The reason the place is called Sweeny Todds is because when Rafat was opening his barber shop he asked a friend who worked in one of the Hotels to ask the guests what a good “Famous” name for a barbers shop would be, and apparently they all said that Sweeny Tod would be a good name, so thats what he called it.

It wasn’t till much later that he found out about the real Sweeny Todd when he had a tourist in with his girlfriend and when Rafat got out the Razor to shave the tourist his girl friend asked jokingly that he not kill her boy friend.

Rafat said that he was really confused by this and asked why they’d think that? And they told him the story of Sweeny Todd. Since then Rafat has managed to aquire a book about Sweeny Todd and a couple of weeks beforehand somone had brought him a copy of the film.

We took some pictures posing with Rafat with a razor to our throats:

Rafat and Avarinne
Rafat and Me with the Sweeny Todd Book

The guy was a really nice guy and I felt guilty about my initial reluctance to speak to him, as I was going out I reached for my wallet to give the guy some spare change, which he refused! This is unheard of in Egypt. He did say that I needs a shave and should come back, I did need a shave, but I never got round to going back.

Here is Rafat’s Business Card in case you want to have a close shave with death while in Luxor:

Note the Arabic Spelling of Obbosite
Note the "Arabic" Spelling of Obbosite

If my memory serves me right this map should tell any wayward tourists how to get there, worst case just call the Guy his number is on the business card.

View Sweeny Todds Luxor in a larger map