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November 9, 2007

Gridlock on Qasr Al-Aini—زحمة موصلات في شارع قصر العيني

Filed under: Masr —مصر — Tags: , , , — admin @ 5:54 pm

Qasr Al-Aini in Gridlock

A couple days ago I had a horrible time getting to school on Qasr Al-Aini St., my usual route to school. The road was completely gridlocked for many blocks, and I had rather a hard time getting through the tightly packed cars. I had originally thought that it had something to do with overall traffic chaos as a result of football fans rushing to buy up tickets to the final match of the African Champions League (taking place today), but I learned later that it was because of the inaugural session of Egypt’s Parliament, located off of Qasr Al-Aini. Al-Masry Al-Youm had an article about the impact of such sessions on the local traffic, traffic which I’ve discussed here extensively. It turns out they halt traffic to allow representatives to cross the street, but for long stretches of time. I don’t generally pay much mind to the traffic cops since, unlike drivers, they have no particular leverage over me, but the article mentions the impact on pedestrians as well. I generally take my cues from other cyclists, most of whom, like pedestrians, will cross roads where there is space to do so, no matter what the traffic police are telling the cars to do. I wonder if perhaps I’m not being a bit too cavalier when it comes to government representatives.

October 20, 2007

Biking in Cairo—ركوب الدراجة في القاهرة

Filed under: Masr —مصر — Tags: , , , , , , — admin @ 3:58 pm


Despite not hanging out much with people, i seem to have made something of a name for myself. And it didn’t even require carrying a doll around. I’m apparently now well-known as the guy who rides his bike to school. (more…)

October 18, 2007

An uneventful Eid Al-Fitr—عيد الفطر الممل

Filed under: Masr —مصر — Tags: , , , — admin @ 11:20 am

Last weekend was Eid Al-Fitr, which was pretty interesting. Unfortunately, Adrienne had a 40-page chapter to write and i wasn’t feeling motivated enough to go out much, so we were in the apartment most of the day. We did finally go out on the last evening of the Eid. We walked from Garden City to Zamalek along the Corniche and over the Qasr Al-Nil bridge. It was packed, as you might imagine. Packed with guys in their glittery, long-sleeved black hooded t-shirts and women in their sheer veils, struggling with the blisters that were developing on their heels from the new shoes. We ate at a Thai restaurant with one of Adrienne’s colleagues. On the way back, we took a cab, which was probably a mistake, or at least the route we took was a mistake. The Corniche was completely jammed. It would have been faster to walk. We were full and tired, though, and it made for more relaxing people watching. We were amused by all the cars that had pulled up onto the sidewalk of the corniche to park. The drivers put up the hoods feigning mechanical problems as if anyone would be fooled. That was our big Eid excitement.

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