Only in Egypt: The Highs and Lows of Driving Through Cairo’s Streets

By Mehar Korayem

Cairo is known for so many very funny and very weird only-in-Cairo things, especially when it comes to her streets. From the way people are willing to help in any situation, to the ways they can annoy you in any situation, here’s a list of some of the crazy things you’ll only find in the streets of Cairo!

1. Changing lanes

It is very common in Cairo for drivers to not only change lanes randomly but to go from far right to far left as if there’s no one else in the street. Oh sorry, in their defense, they had the signal light on!

2. Giving you a heads up before check-points

One of the cool things is when the drivers start flashing their light at you so you can either turn around, slow down or open your window if your fumée windows are not registered!

3. Warning you if there is a radar

This one is really helpful, especially on a road trip. Drivers tend to rapidly slow down and flash their headlights if a Radar has been spotted, so if you spot cars around you suddenly slowing down that usually means you should too!

4. Awesome bumper stickers

The bumper sticker phenomenon is a long-lasting one that is not going anywhere anytime soon; we have the most hilarious bumper stickers, from “I love my wife”, to “No one no cry” on sedans, and when it comes to big transportation trucks and microbuses they take the bumper sticker game to a whole other level, with elaborate designs decorating their beloved ride.

5. Loud exhausts in cars that are older than your grandparents

Old car owners tend to have a thing for installing the loudest car exhausts you can ever hear, you can even know that this is an old Fiat or a 28 Peugeot passing by the sound of its exhaust.

6. Piling things 2 meters high on cars and trucks

One of the most horrifying things that drivers do is to pile things up way too high so that sometimes things fall and block the whole street and cause accidents. Also, transporting things on top of sedans like mattresses and just reaching from the window to hold it, as if that’s gonna prevent it from falling!

7. How traffic lights ruined the streets

Quick question, what happened to the well known fact that traffic lights do not get installed in the middle of a square? In the very first driving lesson we were taught that the priority is always to the ones in the square, so having traffic lights in the middle of the square not only does not make any sense, it makes traffic much worse! And WHYY is there a police officer at every traffic light? Doesn’t that kind of defeat the purpose?

8. Vespa overcapacity

Another horrifying thing that always happens is having what looks like a family picnic on a Vespa, with dad driving, mama in the back and their 5 children squeezed between them. It’s catastrophic and so sad that people do not see how absolutely wrongdoing this is!

9. People helping with traffic

We know that one of the Egyptian known traits is that they are helpful, so it just makes you feel so happy seeing normal citizens standing in the middle of the street and helping with traffic during a traffic jam.

10. Microbuses. Just Microbuses.

Do we need to say more?!

WE SAID THIS: Like everything in life, there are ups and downs…but one thing we can say is that Cairo’s streets NEVER fail to surprise us!

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