IN CAIRO, EGYPT
Big-engine Prados, Pajeros a rare sight
Egypt’s economy is certainly bigger than Kenya’s. The assumption then is that there is more wealth and prosperity in Egypt. But, interestingly, seeing an expensive sports car, say, a Lamborghini, Porsche or Maserati is extremely rare here. Seeing the expensive, big-engine cars, that the Kenyan media gleefully refer to as “fuel guzzlers” is unusual. On any one given trip you will be hard pressed to spot a Toyota Prado, Mitsubishi Pajero or Nissan Patrol for example, that are common on Kenyan roads, and are so loved by our political and economic class as status symbols.
Missed a turn? Just reverse and get back
Egyptian drivers are in a class of their own. Here they are featuring again.
Can you imagining speeding along Mombasa Road and missing the turn to South C? Well, no problem, just stop, switch on your hazard lights and slowly reverse until you get to the turning and go your way, Cairo-style!
This dangerous manoeuvre to man and machine is so common here it is normal, and other drivers simply give you way without even a honk or flash of headlamps in disapproval. Imagine cars careering past as your driver reverses nonchalantly. Only in Cairo.
Motorcyclists handle accidents way better
Ever witnessed an accident scene involving a motorist and a boda boda in Kenya?
It will be one motorist against a horde of riders because boda boda guys have mob mentality, whether or not one of their own is on the wrong.
Here in Cairo, an accident scene of this nature is was rather undramatic. Rider and motorist calmly assess the situation as other road uses pass by, minding their own business. Boda boda riders operate in Cairo but are not as numerous and - surprising – as reckless and careless as their Kenyan counterparts.
Tournament mascot boy is ‘King Tut’
It is unforgivable that it is 16 days into the tournament, yet the tournament mascot is just getting a mention in this notebook.
Very well, that official tournament mascot, represents a pharaoh child wearing an Egyptian shirt and a Pharaonic outfit, his foot on the official championship ball.
The mascot is called “TUT” which refers to Tutankhamun who was an Egyptian child pharaoh of the 18th dynasty, during the period of Egyptian history known as the New Kingdom or sometimes the New Empire Period. Tutankhamun is also, latterly, commonly referred to as King Tut.