Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Funkengroovin Wednesday - The Car Souk

Bring your umbrellas, hats, and icy cold drinks (you can buy them there too,) cause we're goin' to the local car souk!

Friday, the Boss Man and I went to two car souks in the Cairo area.

(Left) - the crowd. (Below) - Hats and water for sale, and a drink stand (background - Friday Prayers.)

(Left) - a common scene. This is at the "Taxi Market". In order to drive a taxi in Cairo, you need a license and current law states you buy the license, when you buy the taxi. (In other words, the license comes with the car.)

(Left) - A small lot of cars for sale. Yes, three bugs and a VW Van in this small area.

In order to sell your car, you need to pay an entry fee of 10 Egyptian Pounds, about $1.70. If the spaces are full, you get into a line. When a car is sold, a slot opens, and you wait your turn to get a real parking space.

They pack 'em in like sardines in a tin.

It's a pretty big souk, as you can see. With two tall guys, and Vagabondblogger, we were able to ferret out a few interesting cars, which I will post on later. One, a VW Bus, has got us all stumped - can't find it nowhere, but I'll keep looking for information, or post it with the hopes that someone who reads this will know WTF it is!

Last Thursday night, everyone here (in Egypt) was supposed to turn their clocks back one hour. Yes, I know, for those of us from The U.S. this
is a bit early. I understand this is for Ramadan only, so that the sun sets an hour earlier, and the daily fasts end sooner, as well. Of course, daylight comes earlier also, meaning fasting starts an hour sooner in the morning - hey, I don't make the rules here! I just try to live with them. Then (from what I hear) we will have to face another time change at the end of Ramadan.

Apparently, Egyptians try to live "normal" lives during Ramadan, as opposed to the folks from the U.A.E. who: shut down shops early, open shops late, and operate them until 2 AM in the morning, switch days with nights, forbid even the chewing of fingernails (understand that if you can't chew your fingernails, you can't do much of anything else, either - at least in public. Or you will face a hefty fine.) Needless to say, the Egyptians truly try to persue the virtues of Ramadan, while the folks in the U.A.E. try to find a way to get around it all. Even though westerners / non-Muslims can eat, drink, smoke, etc. in public, here during Ramadan, it's considered - you know - rude!  Kudos to the Egyptians - again!  

Back to the freaking time change here. Well, on Friday, when they have all of these various "markets," such as "Friday Market," Nasr City "Car Market," and all that, we were waiting around for our friend, Ali, to come pick us up. We started stewing, and blaming each other for the the fuck up (actually I made the appointment, so I got the blame - let's pretend things are equal here, though), when about twenty past eleven we figured out we were running one hour earlier than everyone else! (No, the Boss Man does not get credit for that either.) So, the video today is "Waiting On A Friend" (one of Boss Man's faves) in recognition of our waiting for our friend last Friday. Needless to say, Ali thought it was hysterical. He also wants to buy the Borgward - yeah, he's into cars too - he drives by the Borgward every morning to admire it. Who else would take us to a car market? He's from Aswan, and is an encyclopedia of information about cars. He was a totally excellent host for the day.

BTW, the "Funkengroovin Preview" will be posted tomorrow.  (I know - that means it's not a "Preview." - Let's not get technical, okay?)

Waiting On A Friend  


  1. Hi Vi,
    Did you see that ( you got to have one at home. No, you got to have two. hahaha
    I hate to buy from a car auction. I like to see the car moving around for sometime before I buy it. I used to buy what the naighbors sell.. lol. Here in US it is easier. Do you have money then buy brand new if you dont then go for a lease.
    Vi, you got to install some sort of a graphic software so you can tile all the pictures in one or arrange them in a row cause google won't let you have that luxory
    Kol sana we enti tayyeba ya madam Vi , Ramadan Kareem

  2. We heard from our friend that you can find almost any car imaginable at the souk. We weren't there to buy - just walk around, look and get photos. Sort of what you'd do at a car show.

    I'll check your blog for that recommendation.

    Yes, the photo layout poses problems.

  3. he & she: I was wondering if that was a sofa (loveseat) made from a Beetle, but your post didn't say. Cool though.

  4. Ramadan in Egypt is such a wonderfully festive time-especially in comparison to the UAE.

  5. My husband also got caught short when the time change happened - his flight out of Cairo back to Sydney went via Abu Dabi - and of course Egyptian time meant that he got in one hour later than he thought and his connecting flight was supposed to leave as he arrived. Luckily they put the Sydney flight back and hour. He also had a breakfast meeting where he waited and waited... thinking that the person he was meeting was running 45 minutes late he asked at reception... realised HE was infact an hour early. Between the clock changes and the jetlag (cairo and back in 5 days) he is a walking zombie this week.