The Day We Didn’t Go to the Museum

8:00 am – woke up. Spent 15 minutes convincing ourselves to climb out of the warm bed into the frigid Cairo winter (50F). Got ready for field trip to Museum.

8:45 am – walked out to main road in AlRehab to catch taxi.

8:50 am – climbed into taxi. Told driver to take us to Tahrir Square and the Egyptian Museum there. We were relieved; this should be easy! Everyone knows the way to Tahrir.

9:15 am – still in New Cairo. Driver has asked for directions 3 times already.

9:30 am – finally out of New Cairo. Meandered the back streets of Nasr City while driver continues to ask directions repeatedly. I made the suggestion that we get a new taxi. I learned that men, like their aversion to asking directions for themselves, are reluctant to change taxis when the driver does not know the way either.

9:45 am – frustrated. Still in Nasr City. More directions. I called my fellow students and tell them that I do not think we will be able to make it to the Museum where we were supposed to meet at 10 am.

9:50 am – told the taxi driver to turn around and return to AlRehab where he had picked us up an hour before.

10:05 am – arrived at the exact spot the taxi driver picked us up. We stand in amazement as he tries to charge us the full price for an hour long trip in circles.

We returned home very frustrated. After an hour of driving, from the spot we told the driver to take us home, it took us 14 minutes precisely. No Museum that day.

You win some, you lose some.


2 thoughts on “The Day We Didn’t Go to the Museum

  1. I’ve never had a problem getting to Tahrir or the museum from el Rehab, but it’s often a problem going from Cairo back to Rehab. I’ve made it a policy never to get into a cab without some assurance that he knows where the destination is. I usually ask at least twice and make sure he repeats it back to me. On a couple occasions I’ve enlisted the help of the security people at Gate 6 to talk to him also. Of course that can turn into a massive conference with much honking of horns, but it has saved me some grief.

  2. Your story is so funny. I was just telling my sister about Egyptian cabs today. I don’t understand why they agree to take you when they don’t know where they are going. We hired one to take us to church in Maadi. He assured us he knew they way. As he headed in the wrong direction my husband said you”re going in the wrong direction. The cab driver turned around and said “where Maadi”?
    My husband use to take a cab home from work in Heliopolis. The guard would make sure the cab driver knew where he was going. When it became obvious they didn’t know where they are going my husband would have to direct them.

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