“Egyptian minibuses are unpredictable. Like Egypt itself, ”warned the Russian woman, who has been living in the country of the pyramids for a long time. She spoke about the features of the popular local mode of transport, which will be surprising for tourists, in her channel on the Zen platform.
Firstly, this type of public transport does not have license plates or other identification marks indicating the direction of travel.
Drivers make “sly hand gestures” to explain the route, and the locals understand them perfectly. Sometimes the destination is simply shouted out the window while driving. Sometimes you can see a sign indicating the route, but this does not guarantee that the driver is driving along it. Sometimes it happens that the minibus suddenly changes course. Signs indicating the route, if any, just hang, so you should definitely not rely on them.
Secondly, minibuses can accommodate about 14 people, but this number is very arbitrary. If everyone needs to go in one direction, everyone will get there.
Thirdly, when boarding, many locals greet all fellow travelers and the driver at once.“The rest of the passengers respond in unison,” the author said. At the same time, if Egyptian passengers say prayers in Arabic, tourists are asked not to panic, because. it's business as usual. Believers ask God for a safe trip for everyone on the minibus.
Fourthly, the locals love to argue.The classic theme is fares. It is not clear who establishes them and on what grounds. Often passengers stretch out their usual two pounds, but drivers demand a surcharge, arguing that the request is due to the rise in the price of gasoline. Passengers are indignant, drivers respond – the discussion continues. Another topic of heated debate on the road is the political views of the driver. Sometimes it seems that he is just bored and he compensates for the silence with discussions.
Fifthly, the fare depends on the direction, not the distance.On any route, the minimum fare is paid for 1-2 stops, unlike in Russia, where the fare does not depend on the number of stops. Recently, the fare in Egypt has been steadily growing, but the author does not know the exact prices, since she has not used public transport for a long time.
Sixthly, sometimes drivers choose a route based on demand, i. e. based on the current situation and your mood. For example, if everyone wants to go to Naama Bay, the driver can announce that they are going to Nabq. Those who wish are disappointed, and the driver waits for those who wish in the direction he needs, but after some time he may change his mind if he sees that the bus remains empty. Then he loudly announces the destination that the majority needs, and people joyfully “stuff” into the minibus.
Seventhly, minibuses in Egypt drive without observing traffic rules, overtake each other and actively use sound signals. The author was also very surprised when she found out that drivers can handle several things at once: drinking tea, smoking, accepting money from passengers, giving change and driving at the same time.
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