My days and thoughts....

Blog covering some selected happenings in my life.

Friday, January 20, 2006

Kindness of Egyptian people

All of us know how kind the Egyptian people are and how nice of them to each other and to foreigners. I learnt that from school. I always read about that in the Egyptian media; TV programs, newspapers, silly shows and other forms. Whenever something contrary happens to that, the usual comment is that such incident is an exception and the usual phrase is said "El donia lessa bekheer".

Well this is definitely out of reality. Egyptians are not like that at all. I haven't seen anything of what they are preaching in the media. May be they used to be good-hearted specially the old generation but this does not apply to the new generation at all. Assuming that people were kind in the past, the nature of Egyptians has changed a lot.

Those who make concessions about the change that happened to Egyptians attribute it to the worsening economic conditions. I might agree with them. However, this post is not about the change that happened to Egyptians and the reasons behind it. There is a good book by Egyptian economist professor Galal Amin about titles Iwant to tell some stories that happened in reality lately to a friend of mine and other people.

A friend of mine had a problem with his car and parked it in front of a famous cineplex on the Nile bank in Manial district on the island of Roda on the noon of the New Year's Eve. While he was crossing the street, a speeding vehicle hit him and the driver didn't even stop and continues his/her way. My friend of course suffered great pain and fell on the ground where he fractured his hand and broke his leg. His leg was badly hurt. He had a fracture dislocation in his ankle and his tibia bone, the tough bone between the knee and the foot, was broken. He told me the worst thing other than the pain was the scene of his foot dangling and the bone almost pointing out. He managed to call his mother in the midst of pain and people started to gather around him in a typical Egyptian scene after any accident. He said it was very bothering. The surprise is that his mobile phone got stolen from him!!! This is how good hearted Egyptians are. A helpless guy in the laying down in the middle of a street with a completely damaged foot and bones peaking out and has his mobile phone stolen from him!! Anyways, my friend is paranoid about having his mobile phone stolen and prepared a surprise for the thief. The phone has 2 security codes in addition to the pin code of the sim card which was instantaneously terminated.

Another thing that I have experienced myself are taxi drivers. Here in Egypt, if a taxi driver feels that the client is foreign to the desired destination, he, the driver as we don't have female cab drivers, would take advantage of the client and take longer routes to let the client pay more. They also try to exploit tourists for that. I have tried that myself. To test that, i stopped a cab near my home and asked him to drive me home. I asked him about the area in a way that made him feel that I am not living to the area. He took the longer route in order to make me pay more. At the middle of our way I surprised him with a question asking him why he hadn't taken the other way and he tried to evade that question. In Milan, Italy, I wanted to go to the famous San Siro stadium, the home to famous football rivals Internazionale FC and AC Milan. It was a hot summer afternoon and I didn't know an italian word neither did the Italians know english. I tried to make my way through using the undeground to the nearest station and from which I stopped a cab. The cab driver refused and said in a broken english that it is near and that it's not worth it to take a cab. This is a difference between a person who cares for his country's reputation and another careless one. However, I had to mention that I had an argument with a cab driver in Ottawa, Canada but to my surprise he was Yemeni. He also tried to charge me a hefty sum for a short ride and also had a bad english and we had to argue in arabic. Friends told me after that after all I still paid him more than what he deserved.

One more thing..well I will keep it for a later post.
I have a lot of things to tell but I can't keep it short!!
The fact of Egyptians being kind is a real myth.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

sorry man, all you said is true, and hell yes, taxi drivers annoy us too Egyptians :(

November 19, 2007 5:26 PM  

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