Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Alexandria traffic

it is very interesting for me to notice the forming of consensus in this place.

we mainly drive in taxis and small busses along the Avenue Corniche, a beautiful promenade along the coastline, which has four lanes in both directions, separated by a small wall that is interrupted at certain spots if one wants to turn around. The style of driving is very adventurous, even in the perception of the locals (and they say it's nothing compared to Cairo...) however it is very possible to cross the street at any place, because all one has to do is wait respectfully for the next opportunity to walk a little further, while cars race along in front and behind oneself and make a way the best they can. not many people do it, so there's not much frustration for the drivers, who constantly toot their horns and give signals to each other, like birds or insects, and that way help each other pass by.

everybody adapts more or less to the prescribed lanes, as a loose kind of orientation. and I get the impression that there are not many car accidents, as everybody sort of feels their way along each other, always alert, multiple. very little seems to go wrong in terms of car damage or casualties.

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it is very easy for people here to help each other out in public space, and everybody is attendant to anyone present, immediately sensing any eye-contact.
taxi drivers consult each other easily if they don't understand where we want to go. speaking English happens in a very similar way, collectively, each complementing the other.

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