During my first week in Egypt I went to an area of the city called Coptic Cairo with a couple friends. It is one of the oldest areas in Cairo, if not the oldest (evidence of settlement in the area dates to around 500-600 BC). There are many wonderful, old edifices, including the Hanging Church, the Church and Monastery of Saint George, and the Ben Ezra Synangogue, the oldest synagogue in Cairo.
While there we decided to try and find somewhere to eat. This is quite the task at midday in a predominantly Muslim country during Ramadan. Not to mention that the immediate area seemed fairly devoid of the usual fare. As we were making our way up the road to where we thought an open restaurant may reside, what do we see? A boy on a cart being pulled by a donkey.
Not a big deal, one will encounter this regularly around Cairo. But wait, what’s this? The cart’s empty except for where the boy is seated. Then, tied to the back of the cart is a haggard, old rope, which is in turn tied under the handlebars of an occupied moped.
That is to say, the donkey is hooked up to the cart, where a young boy is sitting, driving the donkey on with light slaps from a stick to its hindquarters, which is in turn towing a teenage boy on his, assumedly, broken-down moped.
This was easily one of the most entertaining sights I’ve seen in my travels. None of us could stop laughing, and by the time a camera was at the ready, they proved to be moving too rapidly and were well out of sight.
Now that’s a tow service!