Tuesday, December 27, 2011


What’s this?

Once more, I am sitting on the front seat in a microbus, beside the driver. This is my favourite seat also in winter, except when the side window cannot be closed – because then, it is simply too cold.

I look unbelievingly at the rear mirror: this is not a rear mirror but a screen of about 20 to 12 centimetres and there are people moving about! A video! In fact, there is a movie on! I can’t refrain from laughing. The other passengers behind me are enjoying themselves and so does the driver.

It must be challenging to drive a microbus, focus on the traffic, stop on demand to let passengers get on and off and watch a video at the same time. However, no problem for Egyptians!

While I am thinking about it and wondering what the police might have to say, the bus passes by an important junction in full speed. Only seconds later, the driver gets aware of it and stops on the roadside. Without any hesitation, he goes into reverse gear, reverses against the traffic into an impasse, turns and drives against the traffic back to the junction that he missed.

That’s no problem at all. Phantasy and creativity are part of Egypt’s daily routine.

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