Saturday, January 30, 2010

Whirlwind Cairo

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I arrived in Cairo at 4pm in a sleep-deprived daze. After insisting to the taxi drivers awaiting outside that I did indeed have a ride to my apartment, I found myself helplessly searching for my roommate to come whisk me away. After 30 minutes of confusion, borrowing a phone for desperate calls, and negotiating the terms of my wifi usage with airport staff, my roommates finally found me. We made several attempts to catch white taxi cabs outside only to have a police officer come by each time and demand that the cab driver leave.
At this point, I was beyond confused when a cabbie jumped out of his waiting cab hidden strategically in front of a larger bus and told us to hurry inside. We ran to his cab, threw my luggage atop and hopped in as if we were on the run! I was already daydreaming about the blessed sleep I'd get at our apartment! The cabbie shifts the car into gear and we looked up only to find the police officer glaring at us from the driver side window...My heart stopped, thoughts of Egyptian police's lack of regard for minor things like due process and human rights are already running through my head. My roommates try to defuse the situation in broken Arabic... So what does the driver do, he offers the cop a bribe...Without hesitation, The cop takes the money, words are exchanged, and suddenly the mood has lightened and he is waving us on our way with a smile...Oh Egypt...finally I can exhale :)

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