Scotsabroad's Weblog

January 18, 2008


Filed under: Mercedes — scotsabroad @ 8:41 pm

Think I should write about my day. Woke before sunrise this morning for run in Wadi Degla with a couple of ‘sound’ colleagues from school. Disturbed a desert fox and a couple of unusual birds that I’ve had difficulty identifying from our book.  Is it sad (or an age thing?) that you are texting your mates on a Friday offering suggestions such as a ‘Desert Wheatear’  as to the identity of a bird spotted on a morning run? The recipient too busy to reply as he is doing ‘photo-shoot’ of his baby’s new buggy at Al Azhar Park. Great blokes and a great run. Returned home and then cycled to club for some fresh bread for lunch. Shona bought me a i-pod shuffle recently and it was marvellous peddling like mad across New Cairo with music.

Took the boys off after lunch to search for party things needed for tomorrow when Lucas has his 5th birthday party with his nursery friends at Villa 19. Pushed for time as we had to make it back to Katamaya for Cairo’s first golf lesson at 4pm. Mercedes making strange noises today. Prelude to the exhaust falling off as we drove into Katamaya. This, I assume, is a bit like getting a puncture in a posh bit of Beverley Hills. Waved at a couple of times from parents of children at the school. I forgot to get the antique hazard triangle out of Mercedes boot. Luckily I had the straps for the bike rack in the boot and was able to lift the exhaust off the tarmac. We proceeded to Cairo’s golf lessons. He did alright. Then we went off in search of a garage to fix the car.

Drove slowly to our local petrol/oil change garage where it was finally established that they couldn’t fix it. However, Muhammad (the gem) flagged down a passing truck and told them to take me to a place that could fix the car. Muhammad is a pump attendant at the garage and I felt useless when he tried to explain where I could go.  I also felt ashamed when he refused my ‘thank-you’ in Egyptian money. I disgraced myself. I proceeded to follow a pick-up into the backstreets. Finally we stopped at a roadside where car wrecks and welding sparks were flying. Pick up driver talked with ‘mechanic’ and then said I should pay 40LE (£4:00) for the work to be finished. Finished sounded good. I agreed. In Scotland if your exhaust falls off we are talking credit card abuse – especially in January. Made the mistake again of offering money to pick-up driver who adamantly refused. Think he was delighted that we followed (trusted) him into jungleland. I have met nothing but kindness and help since we have arrived in this city. However Cairo was getting a bit nervous and wanted back in the car. We were quickly surrounded by youths, children and the local population curious as to why we were in this part of town. Mechanic delighted that he had a ‘whole’ car to work on – and a Mercedes to boot. Street drums beating message.  

Half an hour later we are driving out of there with the job done, a shared cup of tea I don’t want to think  too much about inside me, and a personal mechanic to call on when things go wrong with the car. He gave me his (only?) card. We found our way back across the tracks. I love this place but I now need to go to sleep.



  1. Great story, Andy. Please tell Cairo I’m hoping he gets good at golf so we can play when we visitt, hopefully in June.

    Comment by Alistair — January 23, 2008 @ 10:18 am | Reply

  2. You would have had no chance of getting up the ‘Ryebank hill’ in that car yesterday, in the snow!!

    Comment by Nicola — February 3, 2008 @ 3:22 pm | Reply

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