More advice – Dave’s favourite topic: Driving in Egypt

egypt702Driving in Egypt is something everyone should experience once in their life. But ONLY ONCE

Continued driving in Egypt can be hazardous for your mental health.

First rule in driving is;  There are no rules! Oh you may see signs indicating a road is one way, or think that those white lines on the highway designate traffic lanes. Speed limits? Right!!!  No one pays attention to these – except maybe expats. And even then we sometimes ignore these and other ‘rules’ as well just to get ahead.

Got the picture?  Now let’s go through some hints in driving here.

First – you must be a Defensive / Offensive driver

Defensive meaning: watch out for everyone and everything on the road – cars, truck, mini buses, and now the new hazard on the road – the tuk tuk.  They are all out to get ahead of you, pass you on the right or left and to get wherever they are going FIRST.

Then there are the non automotive ‘things’.

Pedestrians walking down the street two or three abreast – crossing without looking or looking and assuming you are going to stop. Donkey carts, various animals, children, the occasional donkey walking down the street by itself. They are all out there and sooner or later you will come across them in your driving.

Offensive meaning: if you want to get ahead you have to inch your way forward in traffic jams. You have to “stick to your guns” in highway traffic and ignore the honks and flashing lights (except of course that BIG TRUCK barreling down the road behind you).

Be aware – that mini bus in front of you (or two or three cars in front) will stop suddenly in the middle of traffic to pick up passengers as will that taxi (and even private cars).

That car coming up from a side road will pull into traffic in front of you – knowing full well that you will slow down or stop.

And being an expat – you are at a disadvantage since all the drivers out there will figure you drive safely and will try to avoid accidents. And they are right –

Second rule in driving is expect the unexpected.

3318369477_5c19bb537b_oLook both ways when entering a road. There will be a car in the left hand lane of a major highway stopped to change a tire. There will be a truck, mini bus or other vehicle coming down your lane of traffic since it is probably quicker. And knowing that he is driving the wrong way – he automatically speeds down the road. Just be aware of everything around you – 360 degrees.

And third rule in driving – Patience.

One of the things that keeps me going after all after all these years in driving here is to try and find some humor in the situation. Remember –you will get where you are going eventually and no one expects you to be on time since we all know about traffic in Egypt.

Coming up – common car problems, how to “feel” if your car has a problem, government rules and regulations and what to do if you are in an accident.

Now – here is your chance to share your experiences in driving – and I am sure you all of some really good ones – so send them back to me so I can share them with everyone.

I can be reached on 01001456439 and/or if you need any assistance.

Dave The Mechanic

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