Written by: Shahenaz Yehia
With the recent painful spike in petrol prices, I think we can all agree that there are some drivers on the streets that add insult to injury when it comes to the entire driving experience in Egypt. Certain drivers stick out compared to others, though.
1- The drivers who have failed to discover the magical wands right behind the steering wheel, which mystically relay information to other drivers about the direction they’re about to take. This makes it easier for us pesky drivers around them, so that we won’t have to consult the crystal balls these guys seem to think we have on our dashboards.
2- The drivers who like to drive at a speed of 30 km/hr on the left side of a highway, even when there are no U-turns in sight. This is especially confusing when they do this at night, with their headlights switched off. I mean if you’re really that intent on someone running into you at full speed, just place a giant bull’s eye on the back of your car and call it a day.
3- The type of drivers who are so caught up in conversation, that they’re wildly gesturing and gesticulating using an arm poking out of the driver’s window. Are you signaling? Are you flagging someone down? Are you in trouble? Are you about to turn? Are you about to stop? What the hell man, give me something I can work with here. I can’t imagine the story being so exciting that your left arm can’t join the other one where it belongs, inside the car.
4- The drivers who are still totally convinced that they can simultaneously operate a vehicle and stick a cellphone to their ear. Now listen to me carefully: don’t. Just don’t. You suck at this balancing act and you cannot pull it off. You may not be able to see it, but everyone around you can. You suddenly slow down and swerve left and right like someone wearing a pair of roller skates rather than driving a car and it’s really just awkward for everyone involved. Get a car-kit or an earpiece or just park whenever appropriate, if it’s really such an important phone call. If not, then again; just don’t.
5- The ‘Death before Dishonor!’ drivers, who seem to take personal offense whenever someone tries to bypass them or cross their lane. They seem to interpret car signals differently. Like, instead of a heads-up that a car has to pass across their lane to take an exit, they see it as a call to arms. I assume their train of thought is something along the lines of, “Are you signaling at me!? You dare cross my lane, in front of me?”, perhaps mentally spoken with an angry Italian-organized-crime sort of accent. And just like that, they speed ahead on your right, just to surprise you by not taking an exit and swerving onto the lane to your left. Also, if I’m speeding up, I’m not trying to race you man. I’m probably just in a hurry and as my luck would have it, you happened to be in the general vicinity.