23
Nov
10

Fast plane to Cairo – reflections on Egypt part 1: Driving

I have just returned from a trip to Egypt working with the High School Youth Committee on training writers and leaders. There is a lot to think about so in between moving house I will take some time to post some thoughts.

The first impression of Egypt as we were transported from the airport was how crazy the driving is. White lines ignored, regular use of the horn and driving very close. On one trip someone in the car said – ‘this is a one way street’ to which the reply was, ‘this is Egypt’. Additionally it seems that to cross the road you set off and just keep walking , staring the driver down who comes towards you. Driving a bus means one hand to steer and one to sound the horn every 5-10 seconds. You need to watch out for the cars driving at high speed flashing their lights and sounding the horn – not police cars just people who won’t stop. Amazingly we saw no accidents – but there are clearly many. A newspaper as we were leaving said that the statistics are 8000 people die and 32,000 are injured every year On the roads of Egypt.

Maybe the driving test – taken on a bare piece of land where you have to show your ability to drive around comes is part of the answer. If you hit them you fail – miss them you pass!

So having arrived home safely I am grateful to those who drove us – Nader, Adel, Lucy & Mary. I wouldn’t even want to try and am grateful that they kept us safe.

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