Monday, August 06, 2007

How to Cross the Street in Cairo

When I arrived in Cairo I quickly learned the intricacies of how to cross the street. Cairo probably has the worst traffic of any city I've seen and there is no respect for pedestrians. Furthermore, there are almost no traffic signals, and in the few places they exist they are ignored.

Taxi drivers fly through the city chain smoking in small stick-shift four door Fiats barely paying attention to the road, Buses go 40mph and zip across two lanes of traffic to pass a slow commuter (on the right) only to make a whip-lash inducing stop half a block later to let off passengers (Was standing in a bus waiting to get off and almost fell through the driver's window at one of these stops, only thing that stopped me was almost knocking some poor woman over, was quite a scene). Thankfully, there aren't many motorbikes or walking might be impossible.

So crossing the street is always a small adventure. There is a similar situation in China, but there at least when they see someone trying to cross they tend to slow down and give you a chance. In Cairo they don't slow down...half the cars seem to speed up and try to get by me, usually barely missing me by half a foot or less. Most times I would try and walk alongside an Egyptian and try to walk like an Egyptian (o I crack myself up). It's a little unnerving to stand alone in the middle of intense speeding traffic waiting for an opening to run across. And run I any opening, shamelessly sprinting across the road, there was no other way.

Posted a couple good videos to illustrate what I mean...this is an intersection right by the hostel I stayed at and I crossed it several times a day.


Jin said...

Crack it up & live a little :).

-cartwheel expert

August 13, 2007 11:07 AM  

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