Why Cairo traffic and your social life are intertwined

Someone whose opinion I value once pointed out that I write (and talk) about Cairo traffic a lot. I know I should try being more diverse -and I do try- but the cold, hard fact is that Cairo traffic plays a huge role in my life.

See, here’s the thing. I live in Maadi. I work in Heliopolis. Logically speaking, they are about 20 minutes away from each other. In terms of Cairo traffic, they are about an hour apart -on a good day.

On a bad day, it can take more than two hours to reach one from the other.

So I developed an awful, impractical solution. Every single day I go to a cafe near my workplace and stay there until traffic clears up. Okay, that’s a lie; I only leave when there is a risk that my family won’t allow me into the house.

With this method I avoid most of the horrible traffic going home -which is good because I always need some cooling off after getting stuck in the unavoidable morning traffic. However, there are repercussions for this type of behavior; I’m basically broke by the middle of the month and my family keeps forgetting what I look like.

And that’s not the worst thing; my social life is sadder than the Zamalek soccer team.

You might think that by spending all my time in a cafe I should be considered some sort of social butterfly. Wrong.

Since I am too lazy to drive home, I am also too lazy to drive anywhere else. So when friends call me and tell me they’re going out somewhere, I have to decline. If I refuse to drive for two hours to get to my bed, why would I drive for an hour to see a person? Why would I choose someone over my own bed? Has the world gone mad?

So I end up only seeing people who live nearby. No one ever bothers to come see me from far away for the exact same reason I don’t go to see them.

To be fair, there are some energetic people who choose to drive to see their friends; I just don’t know any of these people.

And there are others who know all the good shortcuts. I, however, am not that person. I am the type of person who tries going to Zamalek and accidentally ends up in front of Dream Park in 6th of October city. True story.

I lived for about 17 years in Mohandiseen, so most of my friends live there. I used to see them all the time and we were inseparable. Now? We’re lucky if we run into each other by chance.

I wrote this post sitting alone in my usual cafe because I couldn’t bear the thought of going through traffic. If you would like to avoid being in my situation, you can simply be a bit wiser with your choices. Choose friends who live near your house and get a job as close to your house as possible. This is not at all easy, but assuming you have the option, this is what you should go for. Or you can always face Cairo traffic at your own risk.

PS. If anyone reading this is rich (or craps money), you can do a good deed and buy me a private jet. I am always five minutes away from the airport and I’m pretty sure the roof of my building can serve as a landing strip. I’ll bake you cookies.