From Boston to Cairo (21-22 Oct 2007)

Volume 10, Issue 120; 20 Nov 2007; last modified 08 Oct 2010

The car to the plane to the plane to the car to the hotel.

[These essays are reconstructed from paper notes and memory. So, while we've been back in the country for a couple of weeks, they read like they were written on the day. Because they were, sort of. -ed]

I've just travelled 5,430 miles (8,738km for my friends from nations with more rational units of measure) at an average speed in excess of 300 miles an hour. Yes, it's exhausting. No, Lufthansa Airbus 330's are not configured for people of my stature, at least not in coach. But it's still a little magical, right? I had breakfast in Boston, dinner in Cairo. Egypt. Africa.

I have also seen the Great Pyramids with my own eyes, from the air and from the ground. They're across the street from our hotel. The Great Pyramids of Giza are across the street from our hotel. That also scores on the magical scale.

And I have learned something about the traffic laws in Cairo. It is tempting to say, “there aren't any”, but of course that would be untrue. The traffic laws in Cairo are the laws of physics, most especially, that it is impossible for two different objects to occupy the same space at the same time. Drivers seem to proceed by playing chicken. But politely and it does seem to mostly work.

Dinner next. And bed.

Comments

Don't forget the honking...it appear to me to be an absolutely essential and incessant part of the driving protocol.

—Posted by Mark Mascolino on 21 Nov 2007 @ 01:28 UTC #

Right you are, Mark. From my observation, I hypothesize the following protocol. Driver A honks at driver B to say "hey, you, nudge over a bit, I'm coming through." Driver B hears driver A and concludes "oh, good, you saw me, you probably won't hit me, I don't have to pay any attention to you."

But it seems to work, mostly.

—Posted by Norman Walsh on 21 Nov 2007 @ 03:37 UTC #