Wednesday, January 19, 2011

No. 0991 Driving and Surviving

It takes fabulous courage to drive here

There is a reason why drivers in Egypt say a prayer "Bismillah al Rahman al Raheem" (in the name of the Lord, the Most Merciful the Most Compassionate) as they turn the ignition on their cars.

Driving in Egypt is a bit like sitting in those race cars they have in arcades, the ones you are destined to crash in sooner than later.

It's basically an extreme sport par excellence - and one that Egyptians, and lucky expats like myself, are blessed to engage in each and every day, sometimes for hours on end, faced with the brevity of our fragile fleeting existence.

Among these wild and wonderful streets, many a fantastic driver has been born. Indeed, the throng of cars itself, bereft of regulatory control, has its own strangely sublime, organic order.

As they always say of Cairo, if you can drive it here, you'll drive it ANYWHERE….its up to you fabulous Cairo!

p.s. Gladly, in the past 10 years now since I've been traveling/living here, I've seen fantastic improvements to the roads and also driver behavior, including strongly increasing numbers of headlights on at night, people driving in lanes, and even the enforcement of some traffic lights inside Cairo... which was hard to imagine just a few years ago.

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