Sunday, April 06, 2008

My Death Vision

You already know about my epic journey to get to Cairo but I haven’t told you much about the city itself. Since we were short a full day of our planned long-weekend, Hubby and I were unable to explore the city the way we had planned. That said, we did see enough of it to form a few opinions.

Unlike the lush multi-hued greenness of Nairobi (and even Delhi to an extent), Cairo is rather brown. There are few planned parks – or oases of nature – but they seemed to me to be few and far between. One person we spoke with said that one of his favorite treats was to walk barefoot in grass whenever he had the opportunity. The way he said it, it didn’t seem like a treat he was able to indulge in very frequently.

That said, this city can boast more history in a square mile than all of Canada put together. One of my first whispered comments to Hubby that Friday was that I hoped that Cairo had a Seven Cities-style program so that I could explore all of the amazing history block by block. The gentleman who picked us up from the airport referred to his “grandfather” who built one particular monument. He was talking about a Pharaoh!

But Cairo wasn’t all good news. In fact, some of it was sheer terror.

I have always assumed that I was going to die in some romantic or at least memorable fashion. Most people don’t spend time thinking about this sort of thing – but I do. Earthquake, saving someone’s life, or perishing from a disease I pick up on one of our wanderings would all be acceptable epitaphs. But now I know it isn’t to be - because I’m going to die in a car crash in Cairo, Egypt.

Don’t mock me – driving there is an extreme sport that even the locals look upon with trepidation. Being a passenger watching passively as hundreds of cars proceed to cut each other off in an increasingly dangerous fashion is sure to give anyone nightmares.

Imagine the chaos of Delhi’s roads and then combine it with the unpredictability and aggressiveness of Nairobi’s drivers, then multiply that by a hundred and you may start to understand Cairo’s traffic. Hubby, who loves to drive and has driven in both Delhi and Nairobi – both cities where foreigners are considered rather brave to position themselves behind the wheel – has said that he would NOT be driving in Cairo.

I managed to survive our many taxi rides in Cairo but such was not to be the end of my near death experiences in Cairo. I was in Egypt for three and a half days and I managed to get food poisoning. Oh yeah, I have mad skills!

Egypt’s answer to Delhi Belly is locally referred to as Mummy Tummy and I had a full-on case of it by Sunday evening. The culprit was not, as I had first suspected, bad ice at the bar where I had naught but a can of Diet Coke. No, I came all the way to Egypt and was rendered unto death by a quesadilla from Chili’s.

Ok now you can mock me. *sob*


Anonymous said...

Maybe I could cope with mummytummy--we did survive Norovirus on board ship--but chaotic driving? Oh dear--maybe some change in plans?
Just kidding.

jack said...

Chili's? Kraft Mac & Cheese?

Anyway, welcome to the madness of Cairo.

Oh, and I too have thought about how I would die in Cairo.

It won't be in a car crash, per se.
Dangerous car crashes are few and far between, at least in Cairo proper. The traffic is such that
no one can go fast enough to really hurt anybody.
The roads between cities are different story.

No, the way I will die is stepping in a hole in the street and stumbling and then being hit in the head by a bus mirror.

Ahh, such happy thoughts, eh?

Welcome to the madness.