Drive like an Egyptian

We started our day with a visit to the Cairo Museum of Antiquities.   Our faithful driver, Abod, was at the hotel exactly at 10am as we had requested.  The ride to the museum was entertainment in and of itself.  We all watched in fascination as the traffic on a super highway started, stopped and shifted before our eyes.  It appears that there are no rules with regard to lanes or blinker usage.  Cars were parked willy-nilly sometimes as many as three deep in what we would consider the right lane of traffic.  At one point in the congestion we were actually passed by a man driving a donkey cart.  We were terrified at the number of people hanging out of bus doors or sitting on top of moving vehicles.  In some places our driver actually drove either up on the shoulder of the road or in the oncoming lane just to avoid a pothole.   We held our breath as cars in front of us weaved in and around one another.  Tailgating is obviously an art form and apparently their horns are used instead of their brakes.  Maybe there is some sort of code in the honking.  One honk for watch your right, two for the left, three to say hello, and one long blast indicating that someone around the vicinity of your car is being an idiot.  The vehicles ran the gamut from huge tour busses to brave motorcyclists riding sometimes as many as three on a bike with not a helmet in site.  In the midst of all this vehicular chaos were pedestrians crossing the road.  These crazy Egyptians just take off through the traffic, literally sauntering the entire way.  We never one time saw someone even pick up their pace much less run across the six lanes of traffic. We even saw a wild dog make its way across six lanes of traffic only to reach the other side and come back across the road again. This chaos was even enough to make even Mom and Dad pop on their seatbelts.  This doesn’t sound like a great feat but they both absolutely refuse to put on a seatbelt.  Mom, because it wrinkles her blouse and Dad, because he never remembers having to use one before.  David is the most motion sensitive person I know.  He had his sea-bands that work on the acupressure points on, plus he had downed a hefty dose of Dramamine as soon as he noticed that this was going to be one wild ride.  One look at the green tint around his gills and I started dumping our prescription bottles out of their little plastic bag into the deep dark abyss that has somehow become the interior of my carry-on bag so David would have something to throw up in.  Since our luggage was MIA and we had no idea when or if we would ever see it again, I thought it prudent to make sure that the pair of pants David had on made it through our journey to the museum unscathed.

We got to the museum without bumping into a single other motorist or hitting any wayward pedestrian that crossed our path.   Slowly David began to return to his original color.  We met our tour guide, Rasha, in the courtyard.  As we started on our private tour, I wanted to make sure that Paul stayed with us.  This is what we brought Mom to Egypt for so I didn’t want her to be distracted while she was enjoying the sites.  Instinctively I reached out and took Paul’s hand.  I was worried at first that he would be insulted that I would want to hold his hand, but the way he grasped my hand and kept hold of it made me realize he was just as comforted as I was.

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