Total Pageviews

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Taxi Cab

I had dinner in Maadi last night with my friend Renee and then took a taxi home to Rehab where I live.  It was a surprisingly uneventful cab ride, in fact I was so busy playing on my iPhone that I barely even noticed the drive at all.  I can't even tell you how strange that experience was.  It really made me think about all the crazy cab rides I've experience in Cairo and what this cab ride was missing.

1.  The driver was not smoking, usually they fill the cab with a cloud of smoke and offer you a cigarette to do the same.

2.  The backseat had seat belts.  First time I've experienced that!

3.  The music on the radio was in English and at a normal volume.  We actually jammed to Adele for a few minutes.  I'm used to hearing techno undulations of Arabic with the word "hebibi" (baby) interspersed every 10 words.  And of course the normal volume is just short of making your ears bleed.

4.  He drove at a reasonable speed.  Meaning I didn't see light waves streaking across the windows as he turned on the hyper drive and sped down the road dodging and weaving through traffic.

5.  He actually knew where he was going.  I didn't have to give him any directions till we were outside the gates of Rehab.  Usually they say they know where it is and then after stopping 12 times to ask someone for directions I end up calling Mary Girgis to explain things in Arabic.

6.  The meter was on and moving at a fair pace.  It read 43Le when I arrived at my door and he was happy with the 50 I handed him.  Most of the time there's no meter or it has been messed with to increase the price.  We're left having to haggle because our white skin obviously means that we should be charged 3x the normal price, even though we live here and know how much it should cost to get from place to place.

You would think I would be thrilled about this uneventful, perfectly safe cab.  But oddly enough I found the experience very anticlimactic.  I've gotten used to the noise and speed and drama.  Now I'm not saying I missed it, peace is hard to find in Cairo and I'll take it whenever it's offered.  But it made me realize how living here has changed me.  I've definitely been pulled from my comfort zone, and now I'm finding that means the zone is bigger and has a lot more flexibility.  I think that's probably a good thing.  Thanks Cairo, and the next time I'm in taxi cab chaos I'll be more thankful for this special experience.

1 comment:

  1. Life is full of unexpected events. This one qualifys as one.