An Egyptian Anecdote
This little anecdote was told to me by my co-worker W. today and i thought i would share it with y'all. Make of it what you please: After work Yesterday W. had to hail a cab to go home, because his car is currently at the car shop getting fixed. After a couple of unsuccessful attempts to get a cab to stop and take him to El Mohandeseen neighborhood- Egyptian cab drivers are snobbier then NYC cabdrivers if you can imagine such a thing- where he lives, one finally agreed to stop for him. The following is what happened: W. (opening the cardoor and attempting to get in to sit- car door not shut yet mind you): “El Sallam Alleikom!” CD: “Why did you close the car door by slamming it?” W. ( looks at still the open door confused): “Ehh.. The door is still open; I still haven’t even shut it! What are you talking about?” CD (indignantly): “Well, it seemed like you are the kind who slams other people’s car doors. You seemed like you wanted to slam it. What am I supposed to do, wait till you slam my door?” W. ( realizing that the man is a litle cooco): “Nope. No one can fault you there! Here ( closes the car door very slowly), is that ok?” CD (huffily): “That’s ok. It’s just that people coming in and out of my cab keep slamming my door, slam slam slam. It’s messing the door up and it is gonna cost me money to fix it. And the country’s economic condition sucks. No one has money! What am I supposed to do? Wait till you people break it I have to fix it? Huh?” W. (sinking in his chair and cursing the day his a/c broke down): “Ooookk!” After an undisclosed period of uncomfortable silence, the Cab driver starts to yell again... CD (in anger): “Ohh, that’s great. That’s just terrific!” W. ( kinda bored): “What is it now? What’s wrong?” CD (still angry): “Look at the road, it’s empty. There is very little traffic!” W. (confused): “and that’s a bad thing because..???” CD (annoyed and irritated): “Cause it probably means that Habib El Aadly ( Minister of Interior, the big police and security Honcho) is going to pass by soon. If the streets are empty here it’s because they are emptying it for him. Those Goddamn police bastards. May god have mercy on us and take ( i.e. kill) them!” W. stays silent and doesn’t say a thing! CD: “Anyway. So, where exactly do you want to get off?” W.: “You know Habib El Aadly’s house?” CD (bitterly): “Of Course! Who doesn’t know where his highness resides?” W. (very matter-of-fact-ly): “Right there!” CD (now looking a little worried and nervous): “Well, I hope you didn’t get me wrong about him! Besides what those people who work under him do to please him, He is a great man and a great minister of interior. ( he starts talking a little faster now) The man provides us all with great security and safety. I wish all the ministers were like Habib El Aadly. A man of great integrity and honor. And all the people love him. Especially me! I really really love that man and I wish that he never ever gets replaced!” W. stays silent and only nods his head. Within a minute the cab had stopped next to the El Aadly residence and W. got out and proceeded to give the man the fare, when the man started refusing to take it. CD (in a slightly loud voice): “No way sir. There is no way I am taking this cab fare from you. You are a great man and you honored me by riding in my cab. It’s not everyday that I get a customer like yourself. This time it’s on me.( His tone suddenly turns desperate) I can’t take your money. I just want you to know that I love Mr. Habib, and I love President Mubarak, may he keep on living. May them both lead long prosperous life. I have 3 kids and I need to raise them. They have no one in this world to take care of them but me. ( He then goes back to being slightly loud) And this is a great country and we live in the best ages of democracy and prosperity. Long Live Egypt and long live Mubarak!” And then the cab driver drives off quickly without taking his fare, and before W. gets the chance to tell him that he lives in the building on the opposite side of El Aaadly residence.