There’s nothing like a ride in a Cairo taxi to renew your wish to stay alive!  Went to visit a friend in Maadi this morning, had a great day – she’s Irish,  lovely woman.  Taxi trip out there went fine, except for the usual nonsense of the taxi driver lying about knowing where I wanted to go.

Four hours later it was the taxi ride home that almost got the better of me.  Our average speed IN FULL FLOWING TRAFFIC until we got to the underground tunnel was 80km p.h. with the frequent peak to 90km  I bet you’re wondering “why didn’t the silly idiot ask him to slow down?”  Well, I did think about it each time I gripped the front passenger seat in fright, but seeing as the rest of the traffic was doing the same speed, I wasn’t sure if it would be more dangerous if my taxi was going slower than the rest!

As the song says “Over hills and dales” we raced, zig-zagging in and out of the traffic lanes, horns honking – in the midst of which (you’re not going to believe this…) the driver was drinking a glass of tea and smoking a cigarette, while holding the steering wheel in his other hand with a piece of tissue (sweaty palms).  After two attempts at conversation and welcoming me to Cairo the driver gave up on the conversation and turned up the radio – I wasn’t being particularly unfriendly – just figured that between the traffic, the tea, the cigarette and the steering wheel he really had enough to concentrate on!  Next time I go to Maadi I’m taking the underground!

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