Sunday, September 5, 2010

Playing Chicken in the Roads of Cairo

I thought the roads were crazy in Maadi, where I live. Cars everywhere, horns honking, no break in the traffic to cross the road...I was mistaken. They are crazy downtown! I have told you about being in the car commuting places, but not about trying to cross the road! We ventured downtown to visit the US and Canadian Embassies and to see the Nile. As we got closer to the Nile, a large road was between us and the Nile Corniche. We thought we could wait for a break in the 5 lanes of traffic, but not a chance. It turns out you just have to go, and sometimes stand on the dotted lines between the cars. Once you start, you cannot hesitate. The cars will go screaming around you or aim right at you. Its like playing chicken (or Frogger, the Americans say!) with the cars. To get back across that road, we paid off a policeman to help us across…not much help as he nearly got killed and no one stopped for him! After this, we headed to a huge round-about and decided to get to the other side (only after we dodged cars we realised we could have gone underground thru the subway!) Again, we had to just go to get across, or if you can follow the Egyptians. The cars don’t stop for red lights or any crossing guards, so you just have to go and pray that someone will stop before they hit you (my handbag got clipped!) Then, the actual crossing sign is a person RUNNING, not walking!
The Nile
We also took a ride on a felucca, a traditional Egyptian sailboat down the Nile. I felt like Cleopatra…of course she wouldn’t have been surrounded by pollution or honking cars, but it was amazing!

1 comment:

  1. Oh yes, I remember black snot - had it in London too though!