Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Ode on a Dilapidated Cairo Taxicab

Not meant to be terribly profound and literary or otherwise "good," just a few musings whilst riding around Cairo in one of its many (in)famous taxis.

Ode on a Dilapidated Cairo Taxicab

Peugeot 504
freshly painted black and white
only 20 years ago
"Tahrir, Sheikh Rihan"

Squeezing through
rattling along
pot-holed Cairene streets
across the world's longest river
over Qasr el Nil bridge
vigilantly guarded by two great lions
as I balance precariously on your broken seat

reupholstered countless times

the most recent being with the new paint job

Your long disused meter displays the last fare it ever charged
60 piasters
a bygone era
when Garden City lived up to its name
when Masr el Gedida lived up to its name

how much have you seen these streets change

but remain familiar

You would know your way around

even if not expertly steered

by the quiet, sullen man

who dolefully puffs on a Cleopatra

breaking silence only to curse the chaos

and pedestrians

and buses

and pickup trucks

and delivery motorcycles


Contemplating vehicle emissions limits

and seatbelt laws

and manufacturer-recommended maintenance schedules

and roadworthiness standards

I smile

Dilapidated Cairene taxicab


At 9:09 AM, Blogger Forsoothsayer said...

this is good, even if it is on a tired theme.


Post a Comment

<< Home