Posted on February 9, 2007


So, someone has already stolen our collective idea and written a book compiling conversations he had with taxi drivers in Cairo. Apparently it’s excellent, I will borrow from Amnesiac. But I could still write mine – I’m sure that taxi drivers converse differently with young women of my sort. An illustrative example:

I was in a taxi on the Corniche when the semeet (sort of like soft pretzels) guy crossing the street in front of us stumbled, scattering all the semeet across the centuries-deep filth of the street. To my horror (but not surprise) he nimbly hopped around gathering them all up and re-threading them on their iron posts. The taxi driver waited sympathetically. I informed him that I would never again eat semeet. He sensibly responded that just because this guy dropped his that doesn’t mean they all do, and anyway in this horrifically polluted city it’s all the same. He also presented the clinching argument that he “couldn’t help” dropping the semeet – because everyone knows thinks only get dirty when you drop them in the street on purpose. To this parthian shot he added:
“We ba3den mafeesh a7la min el semeet. Da7na dayman benroo7 ta7t kobry October keda 3and bakheret el Nile City we benaklo ma3, lamo2akhza, beid.” (We eat it with – no offence – eggs. I suppose you surmise what eggs are synonymous with).
With a manful struggle I held back torrential laughter. I can’t decide whether the lamoa2akhza resulted from an excess of civility or from lecherousness. If it was from an excess of civility, haven’t people realized that the lamo2akhza is exactly like adding a giant wink and flashing lights to a word? It exposes the invidual to offence instead of protecting her. It could have passed uneventfully and been perfectly polite – I mean, people eat eggs. Either way, unfortunately these are the sorts of conversations that come my way due to that pesky extra X chromosome.

Posted in: Egypt, gender, humour