Egypt, April 14, 2007
Hang on to your hat and your heart rate!
Did you think the Skopje taxi ride tame? That driving in the developing world was easy, and you are skilled enough to master the lack of lanes, stoplights, and road rules of any obvious nature?
Then let me introduce you to the joys of a Cairo taxi ride! This would be a moment of excitement in a thrilling cross-town jaunt I had this morning on my way to gaze at pyramids on the Giza Plateau:Note how pedestrians randomly cross the road as they see fit, regardless of cars or common sense. You should watch them jump off a moving bus, into traffic, and then dodge speeding taxis to the other side of the road. Not even my obsessive/compulsive jaywalking across DC can compare.
You can compare your traffic nightmares to this short vignette from Cairo's Galae Square, a traffic circle in the Giza neighborhood near my hotel:How did you like that bus whipping through the intersection? Was it close enough to the other cars to give you pause? It didn't pause the driver, but surprisingly, I captured the only 19 seconds of Egyptian traffic that didn't involve at least two cars honking repetitively.
Drivers here use car horns as a way to warn others, announce their presence, salute life, acknowledge daylight, and most likely, keep themselves awake.