06 January, 2011

Dec 26, 2010

Day 8: ma’a el salama, good-bye

Off to Cairo! Hurghada’s been an interesting unwinding/stressful start to our experience, but it’s time to go from dipping our feet in the pool to jumping full in.

We accidentally haggled a great price (don’t lose heart!) from the airport then I wondered, not for the first time, just who it was we were riding with. Turns out, a very nice man in a very nice car. He considerately tuned the radio to the English language station (for future reference: 104.2 The Nile.) So we listened to Michael Jackson and Shakira while whirring by minarets, tenements and monuments. Had a slight miscommunication where I couldn’t understand if we were seeing the site of Sadat’s assassination memorial, or Mubarak’s current residence. (“the President, the President!” “Yes, but what about the President?”), and so settled in, to take the panorama with the paranoia. 

I don’t know if it was the traffic or the Western bias that floored me more, but what they say about Cairo traffic is true. It’s utter bedlam. But by the time that we got to our hotel I could see that it had a kind of order. I think that congestion limiting speed is their only saving grace, but that proved a curse as we were serenaded by honking horns all night. You’re not in Vasastan anymore now, Toto!

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