5 Things To Do When Stuck In Cairo Traffic

1 year ago By Ramy Kandil


Let’s not beat around the bush: rich, poor, tall, short, young, old, fat or skinny, we all share a common bane of existence, one we call “Cairo’s traffic”. It unites us in our common hatred and simultaneous fear of its ever-reaching arms of wrath and agony. It spares no one, and we’ve all come to learn it’s as synonymous with life here as is the very concept of death.

That being said, it doesn’t necessarily mean it has to be all negative without any “cup half full” scenarios, does it? Not ones to be optimistic ourselves, but we here at El Konafa like to think of every errant braking movement, every microbus cutting you off and every person crossing the road nonchalantly while on their phone as an opportunity, nay, a blessing in disguise – sent our way so we may better evaluate how we spend our time. Allow us to introduce you to five different things you can do be doing during your stuck-in-Cairo-traffic downtime that could help turn it into “up-time”!


1. Master the Ancient Egyptian Art of Car Horn Expletives

You can go all around the world, but you’d be hard-pressed to find another spot on this godforsaken planet where you can have an entire exchange exclusively in car-honks in a manner that not only allows whomever you are addressing to understand, but to alert all other motorists around the two of you that you both think the other one is a flaming bag of dog poop.

Think about it though, how good are you really at the whole cussing in car honks thing? Would you say you’re proficient enough? Do you know your basics? How quickly can you switch between different cusses? Can you switch mid-cuss? How do you let one specific driver, say the one on your right, not the one in front of you nor the one on your left, know they’re the ones being addressed? Did you know you can create combinations from different honks to make entire new ones and yet they would be fully understood regardless of their novelty? Did you know there are seven different honks by which you can call someone’s mom a… well, you get the idea.

As you can see young Padwan, much to learn, you have left. *Yoda voice*

El Konafa Recommendation: We highly recommend spending four to six hours of your weekly traffic down-time working on your car-honk-cussing skills in order to truly hone them to a level more suited for the likes of Salah Salem or 6th of October Bridge at 5:30 P.M. rather than the pathetic Abou El Feda at 3 A.M. abilities you’re currently pelting us with; it’s hurting no one’s feelings, trust me.


2. Take Up Knitting

This is not a joke. We wish we were kidding, but we’re really not. Statistically speaking, if you live in Heliopolis and work in 6th of October, you average four to six hours of commuting per day which means: a) holy shit bro, you should quit because that sounds like a crap deal, b) you’re spending at least one hour of this entire duration in an idle movement with your vehicle not moving an inch.

This is when spending more time at your grandma’s house as a child would have come in super handy. Nevertheless, we got your back because that’s just the kind of solid people we are, so we’ve found you this handy dandy tutorial video to teach you all about the joys of knitting from the comfort of your driver seat.

El Konafa Recommendation: We highly recommend you follow our advice regarding this suggestion. Have you waltzed by a clothing store lately? Have you read the price tags on the ugliest of winter jackets or coats? It’s time to get thrifty son! It’s time to work on them front loops and your garter stitches baby!


3. Expand Your Linguistic Horizons

I’m not going to even bother with the whole “download Duolingo app on your phone and learn a new language while stuck in traffic” because I’m sure our editor rolled her eyes when she read the section by-line so hard, her eyeballs got stuck to an awkward North-East facing angle and now she’s perpetually staring in that direction.

I am here to tell you however, that you can absolutely learn sign language while sitting idly in your car because YouTube should really be your best friend, and also us, because we’re good to you, we give you free advice, and our name reminds you of great food, we the best.

I digress.

Check out this Arabic sign language channel here for a lanky-looking dude who’s going to take you on a new kind of linguistic tour. Now you’ll notice how I said Arabic up there, which may jolt your brain into realizing that yes, sign language, like all other languages, is not by any means universal and in fact can differ dramatically from one country to another, with different parts of one country even having different “dialects” to them. So if Arabic sign language isn’t what you’re after, I’m sure you’ll find what you’re looking for on YouTube.

El Konafa Recommendation: We highly recommend you do this because mouthing off Italian words to yourself out loud in your car off of some mobile app makes you a) Look like a crazy person, and b) makes you a cliché that has a driver’s license. Happy signing!


4. Become A Professional Radio Station Stalker

We’re just going to go ahead and say it, someone needs to stage a hostage situation for Nile F.M.’s morning show because this aural (meaning related to the ear, you learn something new every day) massacre has gone on for long enough.

What you need to do is take on the task no one wants, you need to be the hero Cairo needs, not the hero it deserves (because it doesn’t deserve one, so it’s a catch 22 type of situation actually). You need to spam their social media channels. You need to flood them with calls. You need to flood them with texts. You need to tell them at every chance you get that you can’t maintain the same exact format for a radio show for more than three months because if we have to listen to one more spelling bee contestant messing up the word stiletto so help us God we will march up to that station and burn it to the ground.

Oh and the morning music kind of sucks, but that’s highly irrelevant.

El Konafa Recommendation: We highly recommend you spend some time familiarizing yourself with the different radio stations, find the one that’s right for you, find the show that you just click with, and then really frame yourself as their number one fan, so much so, that they’ll need to change their phone numbers, get new names and move into witness protection.


5. Wait, We Had Something For This

It’s 10 P.M. and we’re still at the office because editorial deadlines are a very real and very scary thing, and so are word counts.

This one isn’t so much a skill as it is a general advice. Don’t drive. Not in Cairo. Not now, not ever, it’s not worth it. With the advent of Uber and Careem as well as their many copycats, we’ve lost all logical reasons to put our own bodies (and more importantly, minds) behind the wheels of our own vehicles.

El Konafa Recommendation: We highly recommend paying someone else to suffer in lieu of yourself, who knows, you might get to nap, get some work done, take a few calls, eat, focus more on your sign language, or if push comes to shove, get abandoned on the Mehwar by your driver because the screening process is a joke.

Life really is a ride, isn’t it?


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