Tuesday, August 11, 2009
The art of crossing the Corniche
Crossing the Corniche is a rite of passage upon moving to Alexandria. The Corniche is the stretch of road along the Mediterranean and there are generally 4 lanes going in each direction. I say generally because from an Egyptian driver's perspective it is more like 7 lanes. Lines on the road are a mere suggestion. More often than not people drive in the middle of the lanes at high speeds dodging other cars and people. You need a good horn as most drivers chronically use it several times a minute. It might sound like I'm embellishing the situation, making it sound larger than life...you really have no idea. It is impossible to capture the true nature of the driving here, words can't describe it, it must be experienced. One of the other new teachers who sat shotgun on the way from the airport to the school was asked by the driver if he had breathing problems...I guess the driver mistook the hyperventilating and grabbing the dashboard for dear life as a medical condition. Well, yesterday we earned our wings, sort of...Ana and I crossed with a little help of a police officer who also wasn't immune from Human Frogger. The trick is to cross side by side when there is only about 20 cars coming at you.