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Non-Fiction

Cairene Taxis

My mom thought it would be funny to take a picture of my frustration at waiting for the driver to get back in the cab.

First, the driving in this country is fantastic. There are literally no traffic stops in Egypt; no speeding tickets, no seatbelt tickets, no reckless driving tickets, nothing. Well  none that I have witnessed, at least.

It matters not if there are only three lanes, you’ll see traffic five abreast, possibly six.

Despite the lack of traffic laws, everyone on the road is far more aware and, thusly, driving safer than drivers are in the states. Not a soul is texting, putting on make-up, or reading. Eh  maybe a little texting. The thing is, nobody can count on the other drivers following non-existent traffic laws, so everybody has to be paying attention and follow the rules of the road. This permits them to drive to their destination as fast as traffic will allow; zipping into open areas, zigging and zagging their way through the smallest openings. Though, at times, traffic can be agonizingly slow and one wonders if they might benefit from just a couple rules, but the sad truth is that it wouldn’t. With roughly 2.2 million cars in the greater metropolitan area, no amount of law enforcement could prevent traffic jams in Cairo.

Next, they actually utilize the horn to assist them in driving safer as opposed to simply expressing frustration when a driver cuts you off or ‘when you see Ricky on the sidewalk.’ (rest in peace, Mitch Hedberg) They use it to warn other drivers that they are merging, that they’re beside them as the other driver is starting to merge, to warn pedestrians and vehicles that they are coming up behind them, to entice people to get out of the way, and last, but certainly not least, taxis use it to let people know that they are there and can give them a ride.

Furthermore, the drivers here, especially cab drivers, have an insanely exact idea of the size of their car. So much so that they never hesitate to throw it into a tight squeeze that, in the states, people would freak out about. The first couple rides are intense, filled with cringing at every near miss, but then you get used to it, lean back, and enjoy the ride.

 

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Discussion

One thought on “Cairene Taxis

  1. What an awesome picture! :) Oh, and great read!

    Posted by Tashi | February 10, 2012, 21:00

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