Gone to Cairo, learned to jaywalk

The best thing that I brought back from Egypt wasn’t a chintzy souvenir pyramid, photo in front of the Sphinx or bottle of scented oil. It was experience — or more specifically, experience in properly crossing the street.

This is mostly the result of the traffic situation in Cairo, Egypt’s largest and capital city. Cars swarm through the streets like termites into a mound, filling every square pavement with hard rubber and steel. Traffic lights have no meaning, and even if there was a crosswalk to follow it would always be blocked by vehicles.

In turn, the pedestrians adapt. With a never-ending stream of traffic ready to run any passer-by over, people quickly learn how to dive between cars, ducking between lanes and standing on curbs as death passes a mere inch or two away. It’s Frogger in real life — and to be honest, it’s almost fun. CNN’s Ben Wedeman sums up the experience pretty well below: