The Middle East @ Work

Asking for Directions

Richard Core Mar 3, 2008

As far as I can tell, very few people use maps in Egypt. Point to the Ace Club in Ma’adi on a map, and you’ll get a blank stare from your cab driver. Asking for directions however, is a way of life. A driver going to an unfamiliar address will pull over as many as a dozen times to ask where such and such a street is. Unimaginable in the States, where self-sufficiency is a badge of honor. You get a sense in Cairo that there’s a communal interest in getting people where they want to go. Locals tell me all the asking is partly insurance. You’re bound to get at least a few wrong answers, so the more people you ask, the likelier you are to find the place.
— Amy Scott

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