Monday, August 2, 2010

Thank Allah people don't drink here

Cause if they did, the roads would be veritable death traps. Egyptians drive with, how shall I say, reckless abandon. Speeding is expected. Signaling is unheard of. And headlights, for some odd reason on unlit highways, are optional.

The most difficult part for an American (who diligently studied for her driving test at the tender age of 15 1/2) to wrap her head around is that lane dividers are more of a suggestion than an instruction. Flying down the highway, cars casually drift from one lane to another, forming a flowing sea of speeding sheet metal. I've seen vehicles, traveling at speeds upwards of 100mph, straddle the white line to pass through the trecherous space between two neighboring cars.

Seat belts? Car seats? Nah. They must think Americans are incredibly paranoid drivers. Toddlers usually sit in their parents lap, cruising down the highway at breakneck speeds with absolutely no restraint between them and the windsheild a few feet away. Blows my mind.

I have also not seen a single freeway with an over- or under-pass. If your destination is on the opposite side of traffic, what are you to do? Make a U-turn. On the FREEWAY! No joke. Spot a break in the cement wall that divides the highway, slow down rapidly (in the fast lane), then make a u-turn into oncoming traffic going 90mph. Transport here is not for the faint of heart.

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