Taxi drivers in Egypt are natural storytellers. A casual conversation with them can reveal a lot of interesting stories; whether they are their background stories, a random situation that is peculiar, or simply a funny, passing-time story.
Here are 4 amazing stories we heard from taxi drivers in Cairo that were hard to miss:
It’s no secret that a decent number of taxi drivers take driving as a second job; however, some of them choose it as their career. Take this driver that we started the ride with him talking about the usual affairs, prices and job opportunities for the youth, until we found out that he was a managerial-level employee in a bank. He quit his job 3 months prior to our conversation.
He simply stated that he grew weary of waiting for his paycheck every month and felt that he reached a dead end and wanted to start his own business; therefore, he quit his job and started working on his own business.
First, he invested in buying 3 cars and turned them into taxis. To stay in touch with the practical aspect of the business, he started driving one of them to be connected to the streets; he even surveyed his customers to see how he can improve his business and possible ventures.
According to him, he never felt any happier in his life. He even offered us a partnership!
And the fun part is that his mini-network of 3 taxis started working in the area of his old branch, driving his former colleagues, who are still on good terms with him.
The Best Cabbie of Honor
Taxi drivers meet all sorts of customers along the day. This driver told us about the day that his customer base included a newlywed couple!
He was stopped in his tracks in the street by a couple in their wedding garments, right next to their broken car. Valiantly, he saved the day by dropping them off to their wedding venue and of course, he refused to take his fare.
As this is Egypt, he, naturally, found himself sitting in one of the tables at the wedding with a smile on his face. People were curious about the man and neither sides of the family recognized him.
Whoever asked him “Are you from the groom’s side or the bride’s side?” heard the response that should be the tagline of the next Transporter movie:
“I am the driver.”
Surprise Gift in the Trunk!
This story began at the end of the ride. When we reached our destination in 6th of October, the driver asked us to check the base of the car before we leave. Needless to say, we got curious, and inquired why is that.
He told us that one day he noticed a flat tire in his usual checkup before starting his daily work. Normally, he headed to the trunk to get his car jack and the spare tire to prep it.
To his surprise, a snake, already coiled in there hissed at him.
At this point, we were back in the taxi to hear the rest of the story; he did the normal thing, nonchalantly closing the trunk until he got help from his friends to get rid of it.
For this gentleman, thank you for adding another item to a long, irrational paranoia list.
The Aspiring Writer
This started out subtly. This driver was operating in Zamalek. During the ride, the topic of books came up and he provided amazing, in-depth insight about various books and classic, international literature.
He told us that he is working on a novel based a very interesting topic: an alternate history novel set in Egypt based on the implications of World War I.
Driving the taxi was already his second job besides his day job. He takes 2 days off per week, dedicating one of them to writing and writing only.
We are looking forward to read this piece in the future.
Whether these stories are true or not, they are surely interesting.