Driving through the streets of Cairo is becoming more and more of a torturous nightmare every day. We can now expect to reach our destination in at least 4 times the regular trip duration; almost two thirds of our day is sadly wasted in chaotic traffic. Since the 6th of October bridge seems to be the most common road most Egyptians take to go to work, we couldn’t help but notice some emotional changes we all go through during our trips that may last up to 3 hours, the thing that makes it easier to go work in ‘Sa7el’ than use the notorious bridge. These emotional steps usually go as follows:
1. The Waking Up Phase
If we’re heading to work using “Kobry October” early in the morning, it’s a phase that takes almost 15 to 20 minutes before we realize where we are and why are we here. During this phase, we’re usually unable to speak, look anywhere or even have facial expressions. We’re just silent driving robots who don’t usually notice people addressing or even curse them during this phase.
2. The Excitement
“The Excitement” is a phase that either comes after “The Waking up Phase” if you are starting your day, or if you’re just starting your journey on the bridge after work, heading to see your friends. During this phase, you’re technically planning every detail of your afternoon or your weekend in your head (It’s now 6:00 pm, I will reach my friends in Zamalek by 6:45, we will eat till 8:30, go to the movies at 9:00 then go to a party at 11:00) and you can’t wait to put this plan into reality. You may even play music and dance in the car during this phase.
3. The Doubt
Half an hour has passed and you still didn’t move your car an inch on the bridge; you’re still in your same exact spot. By now, the excitement is wearing out and skepticism is starting to sink in. You start doubting everything; you doubt if you will make it in time, if you will make it at all, if going out today was a good idea, if even getting out of bed is a good idea, if you need those friends in your life in the first place, can they even be called friends? Why did they do this to you? Why the bridge? Did you make your mother sad earlier? Did you sin and this is God’s punishment? Many more doubts can cross your mind during this phase…
4. The Anger Phase
This phase usually comes after spending 60 to 90 minutes on the bridge. By now, you’ve already cancelled half of your plans and you’re just trying to save whatever can be saved. During this phase, you start pressing the car horn madly, hitting the steering wheel, banging your head in the side door frame, you try to strangle yourself with the AUX cable, start screaming, crying sometimes, …etc.
5. The Despair
This is the final stage of your journey; it usually ends up with you either reaching your destination or committing suicide. You have now given in to the fact that you are never reaching your destination on time, you bend the seat backwards and try to relax. In most cases, tears will be running down your face while you’re trying to smile and convince yourself that this is not the end of the world (although you know deep inside that it might be). You usually call your mother, tell her that you’re sorry for everything you have ever done, tell her you love her, you may also call your girlfriend, you may even call your ex-girlfriends and apologize to them too…