Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Egyptian Mysteries

What killed King Tut? Who cares? Here are the real mysteries of Egypt.

1) Why do so many people drive with their lights off at night so that you cannot see them? And yet they honk constantly--day or night--to make sure that you DO see them.

2) Why do drivers stick their windshield wipers up on their parked cars?

3) What's with all the mirrors? Mirrors in homes, offices, restaurants. They are everywhere.

4) How do Cairenes flatten themselves out to squeeze between cars (parked or slowly moving)? See that six-inch space between the Fiat and the bus? Any person from Cairo, no matter how thin or fat, can fit through that space without scraping either vehicle and without getting dirt on themselves.

These are the sorts of questions that have been bothering me since I got here.


Marie Javins said...

I'm going to take a stab at answering some of these with guesswork.

1) Maybe they don't understand alternators and they want to preserve battery power. Or maybe they are trying to be polite and avoid shining lights at people. Or, as my Egyptian co-worker explained to me, these drivers are "stupid."

2) My colleagues tell me that the windshield wipers are a signal that the car has been maintained and cleaned while it was parked. Then the driver is to tip the person who cleaned it.

3) Who knows.

4) Practice makes perfect! Or maybe it's the ancient cat influence.

Evalinn said...

They say every person has a super-power. Maybe most Egyptians has No 4 as their super-power?

Steve Buccellato said...

Maybe they use mirrors to make their rooms look bigger. It's a crowded city, after all.

Or maybe it has something to do with the fact that in Islam, art shouldn't depict human beings (as being in the image of God). Maybe they get tired of looking at patterns and Trees of Life, and they'd rather look at images of themselves!

"Alhamdullah, I am one good lookin' Egyptian!"

Or maybe they just like mirrors.

Marie Javins said...

"Alhamdullah, I am one good lookin' Egyptian!"

That must be what the disgusting taxi driver I had today thought. Too tired to tell the story now. I'll tell it in the morning. Suffice it to say my answer to his inquiry was "NO."