Sunday, October 16, 2005

Driving in Egypt

After driving in Cairo for almost a year, I've realised it's a punishment.

From the moment I enter the car, till the second I exit it I am on my nerves.
My five senses are working 110%, I'm sweating like a pig and every swearword I learned, heard or made up is racing on my tongue.

I'm not a nice person while driving.

But here's what funny. I actually like the sensation of driving. Of being in an almost empty street, shifting gear from first... to second... to third..., hearing the car engine roar and feel the wind in my hair...

That almost never happens in Cairo.
What usually happens is this:
Huge buses acting like a motorcicle, the drivers think they are riding a very gracefull machine that could take sudden sharp curves and move from left to right without causing any problems to the other drivers...

Taxis who believe they can stop at any place any time wheather they are actually being hailed or they spot someone standing on the side of the road and psychicly they can tell that he needs a cab....

Cool kids who think they own the streets, they manover through cars at very hight speeds and almost gave me several heart attacks. And of course if one of them is behind me and can't get past me then I'm "a girl" who can't drive...

So now I have a policy. I don't drive unless I have no other option. If a fried who lives nearby is going to my same appointment I just ride with him/her.
I like this new plan, it saves my poor nerves from being destroyed.


Blogger masrman said...

To me driving in Cairo was a tough experience! After driving in US for almost 18 years, I could say that Egyptians don't know how to drive. I am serious, they just don't know how to drive! If an egyptian is given the chance to shift up to the fourth gear, expect an accident. In Cairo, all they do is just crawl. But when it comes to driving on a highway, just make sure you carry your will with you. For some reason, egyptians assume that nobody else is sharing the road with them! They drive over two lanes! duh! They drive at night with head lights off! duh! They don't realize what turn signals are made for! duh! And what's more interesting is that they drive with bad brakes, like many other things that don't work! If you have to slow down, make sure you turn on your flashers, or else someone comming from behind will just hit you with full speed! You will find someone driving the wrong direction just to save himself a few kilometers or skip a blocked road. Microbuses are made to control the population increase more than transport them. Well, actually transport them to heavens!
I am an egyptian, but I admit that egyptians need to learn that driving a car is more than just moving it.

6:28 AM  

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