We've all run into them at some point... And if you haven't, you will.
Taxis in Egypt are more than just a ride in a car from point A to point B; it’s usually way more than that. From the congested streets, to the colourful antics of the drivers, getting in a taxi requires balls nowadays. Entering a taxi is like hopping on a suspect roller coaster ride at Dreampark; you're never really sure how it's going to end up. We’ve been riding taxis for a while and so have you, so here’s a little analysis of the 10 types of cab drivers you will almost definitely meet on the streets of Cairo.
The Religious, Judgmental Cabbie
These guys hate you, and let’s face it, for good reason. Whether you’re reeking of alcohol, sporting tattoos, or have long hair, to him you’re a glitch in his reality, and he can’t wait until you burn in hell. He’s usually bearded, frowning, and huffing and puffing a lot, but it’s hard for you to tell because of the blaring cassette playing some religious tape super loud. Don’t you dare tell him to turn it down unless you’re looking for a beheading of some sort.
The One That Never Stops
This type is a rather curious one; he is on the street, he is evidently working, he does slow down to hear what your destination is, only to give you false hope, refuse, and then drive away. The best thing to do is to pray for them, and hope they one day find bliss.
The Horny Exhibitionist
Much like the book Taxi we've all heard the story of this type, who awaits until a lady gets in the car and well, starts to enjoy the ride a little too much, if you get our drift (hands down pants...). We understand sexual frustration, we understand that it exists, but this act is really beyond everything imaginable. For realz EW.
The Political Analyst
This guy totally knows his stuff, and it was once said that an Egyptian taxi driver is the true barometer for what’s happening in Egypt. They interact with so many people on a daily basis that they seem to be inevitably on the pulse and connected to everyday Cairo life. So if you are into politics, and have the blessed opportunity of riding with this man make sure you get the most out of him. Ask questions, take notes, get as many future predictions as you can, as he is truly insightful. But be warned: he may or may not actually know nothing at all.
The One Who Caters To You (only for foreigners)
This guy realises upon your entry that you’re not Egyptian and decides to play the role of DJ Sympathy, by changing whatever he was listening to, and playing Hotel California instead. Because every foreigner in their right mind, love not The Eagles but Hotel California, followed by Mambo NO.5.
This type must be a blood relative or closely affiliated with X to the Z. Because his car is so souped up, so gangster, that we can’t even. From the florescent lights to the pungent air freshener, and multiple mirrors everywhere, there’s not one thing it seems that he didn’t buy at the pimp my ride store. But we’d be a little concerned, because from where we’re sitting we definitely can’t see the road, but can he?
Brace yourself if you’re nursing a hangover, because this guy will not shut up. You can beg and you can plead in as many subtle ways as you can, but he doesn’t take a hint. And what really sucks is that the conversation isn’t an intellectual one like you would have at a Downtown café full of depressed Egyptian communists.
The Well Off Cabbie
We reckon he’s doing it for fun. He’s smoking Marlboro’s like there’s no tomorrow, he’s wearing what seems to be a gold necklace and he’s blasting the AC like he owns a gas station. We’re not complaining.
Everything nostalgia should be banned for real. Egyptians in particular seem to have a big hard one for it. He’s playing something that predates Om Kalthoum or Abdel Moteleb, he has the past on his mind as he looks at the road ahead, causing him to look ahead with a gaze of contemplation and keep turning his head to talk back to you about how shit everything these days is. All he talks about is Egypt used to be this, and the streets used to look like that and the people were all like whatever, and we’re sitting there nodding and smiling thinking dear God if you’re hearing this, one of us must die now.
The One Who Wants To Be Your Friend
It’s endearing yet weird, and you don’t know it yet, but you probably found your next hash dealer. Not to generalise but it has happened - embrace it, and give him your number. Despite being your dealer not being his primary intention, he will roll with the punches and get down and dirty with you.