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The Labors of Bucephalus No matter how tedious life at times could become, one look out the window was enough to remind me that not far away, the world-and adventure-were impatiently waiting.-R. Morse

Chaos and Cheops

EGYPT | Saturday, 15 March 2008 | Views [903]

As I have heard from numerous travelers heading north from there, Cairo is not for the faint of heart.  The traffic, the dust, the noise and the smog, plus the inumerable touts, make this a mind-blowing (or numbing) metropolis.  I am still amazed that after three cab rides through the city, I have yet to see an accident.  Lanes are mere options.  Driver move fast, take any inch of roadway they can get, and repeatedly come within inches of pedestrians, horses, goats, camels, donkeys, cats and, of course, other cars.  And yet, it works.  There is a method to the madness, and who can beat a 20km taxi ride for five bucks? However, nothing cheap comes without a struggle.  While haggling over prices can be fun, it is also exhausting.  My visit to the Cairo Museum (which hosts a phenomenal collection by the way) was followed by a non-stop hassle walk through Khan Al-Kalili, the Great Bazaar.  The nice thing about Egyptians though, is their stellar sense of humor and eagerness to help.  The hassling can get old, sure, but thankfully they hardly ever take it too seriously, and jokes, handshakes, and offers of tea and cigarettes inevitably accompany even the most eager touts. 

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