Wednesday, November 3, 2010

on the road...

I want you to picture a highway. Now give that highway three lanes, only the disconnected lines on the highway are not identical in size. One is wider than a car, the second is barely fitting the size of one car and the third, well there's no way you can fit any car in.

This highway you just pictured with me is in Cairo/Egypt. One of the many highways that are getting a lot of traffic, since Egyptians starting fleeting the city and settling at the burbs.

Now I want you to envision yourself stuck in a small room filled with a hundred people squeezing side to side and in constant movement, say for a couple of hours. Suddenly a wall falls down, and there's a massive space in front of you and everyone else. What would you (and everyone else) do in such a situation?

Yup, run like mad whilst trying to dodge all the other runners. Trying to capture a breath of fresh air, wailing your limbs everywhere,  unrestricted movement...FREEDOM AT LAST.

And this is exactly how Egyptians drive on highways. In this same exact manner I just described for you.

Now here's a little near death experience, I had oh about three times so far::

(FYI: on Egyptian highways, most cars go about 100 or 120 km/hr. Fast)

I have my two babes strapped in their car seats in the back seat. A teenager whose probably just escaped the congestion of the city streets and just made it on the highway is zooming ahead of cars right and left. I see him approaching, he takes a maneuver that allows him to be right next to my car. And then he does the exact thing I predicted he would do. He moves the front of his car in the tiny space between my car and the car in front of mine. There is no way his whole car would fit in this little room. He's accelerating his speed... he knows.

I start reciting the shehada (the testimony of believing in one God and his final prophet Mohammad, usually what Muslims say before their death) take a glance at the speeding car right behind me in my mirror, then hit the hazards and my breaks at the same time.

and wait to hear a massive crash from behind...


I glance at my mirror, look at the driver behind me in the eye, wave and honk a thank you. He honks back.

Carry on...


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