Egypt: A short survival guide

October 10, 2008 § Leave a comment

A few days here has taught me some important lessons:

1. Discard fear as it will be burdensome and useless. I must admit I harboured a lot of it while trying to walk across 8 lanes of traffic. Pedestrian crossings don’t exist, therefore people literally walk in front of speeding cars to get from one side to the other.

2. In view of the above situation, I quickly developed a handy system to assist me. I decided the best way was to walk beside an Egyptian and become his pseudo shadow as he crossed. Tried, tested and proven as I soon found myself easily crossing from Alexandria Library to the Mediterranean Sea on the other side. Laugh if you will, but hey, the system has not failed me. I have not yet been squashed.

3. Still on the topic of traffic, get a honker. You will want it as cars here honk at anything and anyone. There does not seem to be logic to it. I say, honk back.

4. Taxis here also like to honk loudly at any non-Egyptians, which might actually scare some people as they take what they think is a quiet stroll down the road. Get the words ‘I don’t want a taxi’ printed in Arabic somewhere highly visible. Better yet, get the words ‘I don’t want a taxi, horse, camel, or donkey, please just go away’.

5. Accept that garbage is your friend. It is literally everywhere. Embrace its stench and walk amongst it, otherwise you will end up going nowhere. Resistance is futile.

Adhere to the above rules, and good times will be had.

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