To begin with, our home in Cairo is very close to the airport.
It takes, at most, 15 minutes to get there by taxi. 20, if the traffic is horrible. 30 if your taxi explodes and you have to fetch a new one. Never 75 minutes. Never. Not unless you went by bicycle, and even then, you’d have time to have a picnic on the road-side without missing your flight. Unless you had an allergic reaction to something in your picnic and your legs swelled up so you could not push the petals anymore. Even then, you could probably waddle the rest of the way without being late for take-off. People would point and laugh at you, but if you could squeeze your inflated self into your seat on the plane, you would get where you intended to go.
This brings me back to the point I started from; our home is very close to the airport. This must be made quite clear, or the story I am going to relate will not seem as magnificently unfortunate as it should. And once I have finished imitating the start of Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol,” I will begin to impart my unlikely story, detail by excruciating detail.
My wife and I had for some time been excited about our trip to Aswan, in the south of Egypt, to see tombs, museums, and temples. When the day of our departure arrived, we hailed a taxi and headed to the airport an hour and a half early.
A few minutes into the drive, all the cars in the road inexplicably just stopped. This wasn’t slow traffic, or even crawling traffic. This was a mile of cars parked in the street for fifteen minutes. And then, just as suddenly as it had started, it ended, and everyone carried on their merry way. As we drove, we could see no sign of construction or car accidents. It was, in a word, bizarreevenforEgypt.
As we drove into the airport, the driver insisted that our flight to Aswan would leave from Terminal 1. He was very sure of himself, so we went along. 30 minutes later, we learned that he had no reason to be so sure of himself, and that we actually needed Terminal 3. 30 minutes after that, we learned that Terminal 1 is really really far from Terminal 3, especially when giant u-turning buses block the road and your driver takes two or three wrong turns.
Now, if you have been doing the math, 15 minutes in stopped traffic + 30 minutes going to the wrong terminal + 30 minutes going to the right terminal = late. We rushed through security and up to the ticket counter at exactly too late. The woman at the counter (who was very nice) told us we had missed our flight, and we stared at her in disbelief. We had missed our flight from an airport mere minutes from our home.
to be continued…