Cairo Transport: Buses
Standing on Ahmed Orabi street in the Mohandiseen district of Cairo, I felt lost in the cries of “Giza! Giza!” that issued from the men hanging out of the passing buses. What is for most foreigners the name synonymous with Egypt’s most famous pyramids, is a densely populated place of travail for many of Cairo’s working-class commuters; a city that has virtually been engulfed by the capital’s sprawl.
The buses that serve downtown Cairo are somewhat more infrequent; every morning it was a long wait for the number 91 that would take me into Cairo’s heart. The overcrowded metal carcass of this diesel-fuelled beast meant that my fingertips were often hanging on to the edge of the door, my toes clinging to the bottom step as we weaved through the interminable Cairo traffic. The reward for which was the breeze that relieved the stifling heat, and the views of the Nile as the bus coasted over the 26th of July bridge. And of course, the novelty of not being reprehended by some over-bearing health & safety official. Maximum occupancy means little here; this is Cairo.