I thought I knew what traffic in Cairo could be like. I did, but never really had to experience it constantly. I guess it's like a tattoo, once you're getting it you wonder why you would ever subject yourself to such torture, but when it's finished you look at the final product and think "hey, not so bad, what shall I get next?!" Unfortunately for me, my working hours correlate to what seems to be everyone else's in downtown [I know, I know - round of applause for Suz finally getting a "real" office job. :D] leaving me with no window to avoid the congestion. You know it's a grimy day when you're looking out across the Nile, and cannot see the buildings on the other side. Now THAT'S smog for you
So, now I have a good, oh, an hour and a half in a car on a daily basis. Thankfully I am not the one driving, I'm sure driving this stretch everyday takes years off your life - and leaves you with no fingernails having bitten all of them off. I have to admit, despite my years of living here, I have had some hair raising taxi rides that cannot compare to any others in the past few weeks. Cars in Egypt should be renamed, into "my so-called indestructible vroom vroom machine, that will fit into that space smaller than the size of a matchbox." (On second thought, that name is perhaps a little too long. Lets stick with cars :p).
While anywhere else in the world you would look at the two inches between two trucks and think "hey, I'll stay behind these trucks and patiently drive along," people in Egypt in their "cars" will literally shove their vehicle forward, essentially mounting the car/truck in front, the whole time blowing their horn like there is no tomorrow. Then, should you dare to question them or their driving (as insane as it is), look at you as though ready to rip your tongue out and feed it to the stray cats on the street. (I wish I was joking lol :p) Other times you may be "lucky" enough to find an antique taxi circa 1804, held together by pieces of metal and ropes and God knows what else, with a man behind the wheel who could have been best friends with Caesar, squinting over his steering wheel as he putt-putts along. Times like these you hope your taxi even lasts the journey, let alone any "kisses" from other cars. Only the other day my antique taxi broke down in the middle of crossing Nile street (for those who don't know - four lanes of non-stop traffic), leaving me the pawn in the back praying for enough "putt-putt" to get us to the other side of the street.
So yes, ultimate tale of this story. Traffic downtown. is. nuts. Maybe after a few months of navigating quietly from the back of my taxis (or on days when I'm lucky from the front seat of moby's car lol), I shall try my hand at driving down here. Road Rage...move over....Suz is behind the wheel now!