Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Funkengroovin Wednesday

Ramadan has ended, and so have the mid-afternoon traffic jams. As a friend said, "it is a sense of urgency." "It is an urgent need to get home."

Here are some scenes from Ramadan.

A beggar girl who refused to let Vagabondblogger take photos unless she was paid to leave. Beggars multiply exponentially during Ramadan, and get obnoxiously rude. They will sit on curbs, blocking parking spaces, refusing to leave unless paid; They will walk up to the car window demanding "alms"; and they will literally follow you around, annoying the hell out of you, unless you pay them to leave. Nice Merc, huh. Now, if she'd just get out of Vagabondblogger's way, we'd have a nice photo. Actually - we do. Thank god The Boss Man was with Vagabondblogger at the time. This group (she, her niqabed mom, galabeyad brother, and the baby) totally wore our patience thin. Vagabondblogger thought The Boss Man was going to lose it.

A totally packed bus.

Traffic jams on the expressway mid-afternoon around 3:30 PM. That's when a lot of people start heading home for iftar. A normal trek of twenty minutes, turns into a stop and go trip taking two and a half hours! Notice the broken vertical bars on the bridge above the VW Bug. Some overpasses actually have full sections missing, where cars have careened off the bridges / exit ramps, onto traffic below.

Broke down cars abound, and make traffic jams even worst. Accidents multiply and litter the roadways regularly, but even more so during the afternoon hours of Ramadan.

Vagabondblogger apologizes for the blurry photos. If she were to stop her car to take pictures, ten million horns would start honking in unison. People are less patient during Ramadan (most drivers in Cairo have no patience to begin with) - Vagabondblogger would be too, if she were fasting all day long. Actually, Vagabondblogger would probably be somewhat violent, much less impatient.

Hollywood Is Terrible With History
But just as old as the historical film is the historical inaccuracy. Almost every movie based on factual events has gotten something wrong, whether it's a minor detail or a major plot point. Here's a list of some of the more egregious flaws that drive historians crazy when they go to the movies.

2) If you watch closely in the famous chariot-race scene in Ben-Hur, you can clearly see that one of the "chariots" is actually a Volkswagen Beetle.

Bonus: Mary Poppins is set in 1910. The scene in which Mary and Bert smoke crystal meth is anachronistic, then, as meth did not become a popular street drug in London until the 1950s.

Carolina Life | Volkswagen veers off the road - (Cool Photo)
Stuck on the front of his storage building is a white Volkswagen Beetle.

Only half of it is visible.

“Looks like it drove into the wall, don’t it?” said Blume.

Colourful Volkswagen Beetles Shine on Sofia Square - (Nice Photo)
In Bulgaria the car is actually called Volkswagen Turtle, but the vehicle has many nicknames around the globe - beetle, ladybug, Kefer, etc.

Motorshow Cebu to showcase old-world cars (Phillipines)
SOME things never change with age. Restored to their prime conditions, old-world cars are out to conquer hearts once more at the 8th Motorshow Cebu International at the Cebu International Convention Center (CICC) on Oct. 16 to 21.

A perfect example is the Volkswagen Beetle. Originally manufactured in the 1930s, the “bug” retains a loyal following to this day.

“Most of the bugs still running now were handed down from one generation to the next,” enthusiast Byron Piramide, a young businessman from Cebu, says.

The president of “VW sa Sugbo,” a car club composed of students, professionals and businessmen, Piramide adds that people usually keep the bugs because these were their first cars.

But apart from sentimental reasons, he believes that people maintain their bettles for practical reasons. “It’s one of the cheapest vehicles to maintain and you wouldn’t have a hard time looking for parts because it’s one of the cars that have the most number of supplies,” he explains.

But the Motorshow Cebu International is a special event they eagerly look forward to.

“Through the motorshow, we would like to encourage people to restore their VWs. The show should prioritize value above all and creativity for participants,” he urges.

And when Piramide and other clubs finally showcase their VWs, Cadillacs and Chevrolets, spectators of the Motorshow Cebu International are guaranteed to find out just why classic and vintage cars are still very much a league of their own.

The Lowest Daily-Driven VW Transporter You Could Possibly Imagine - (Great Photos)
Once again, I'm stymied by the German reluctance to change a vehicle's design (just for the sake of change) when it comes time to tell you the year of this bus; the rear door size tells me it's from the 1956-62 period, but that's as close as I can get without spending the next 10 hours researching turn-signal lens differences. So, VWologists, what year is it?

(Vagabondblogger would like to get a better photo of this truck, but this is a small, busy street, with no available nearby parking. When the weather gets better she may actually get off her ass and walk there. Also, notice the military guys behind the truck? That just makes it even harder to get good photos. Vagabondblogger will make a mental note of this, so she doesn't get arrested.)

Ride of the Week
The Ride: A 1960 Volkswagen Transporter pickup truck.
Gallery: Van-fest: 60 years of the VW Transporter and Camper: part one
The Volkswagen Transporter van - nicknamed 'Bulli' in Germany - has just celebrated 60 years since its inception in 1947. Which was a good excuse for a huge party in Hanover, featuring over 5,000 vans and Camper variants from the more than 10 million built so far.

The celebrations started with a special convoy through Hanover from the Volkswagen factory to the showground hosting the event. A covered stage honoured vehicles nominated for special prizes, and a number of pavilions on the site featured displays of 100 historic and unusual models and exhibits from the Volkswagen museum, including the original design sketch from 1947.

With so many fantastic examples on show, we've had a hard time narrowing them down. So light a joss-stick and enjoy the highlights.

Warren Zevon & Jackson Browne - Mohammed's Radio


  1. OMG that chopped off bus reminds me of an el camino......those guys in egypt are crazy..

  2. zerocool: Actually VW made those. They are just very hard to find now, but I've seen a lot of other vans that have been sawed up and reconfigured. If you check out my last Funkengroovin post with the links to the 60th birthday celebration in Germany, you'll see some pretty awesome vehicles.

  3. I swear to you I know that little girl...road 9 by chance?

    Mary and Burt were smoking crystal meth?!

  4. I have a photo on flickr of a painted girl from Road 9. This girl was hanging around with her family near Miriam Market. I've been looking for the Road 9 girl as I printed a copy of the photo to give to her, but I haven't seen her for months, even though the businessmen say she still comes around.

    Mary and Burt were smoking crystal meth? - huh? I don't understand.

  5. I was absolutely a stone's throw from Mariam market on Road 206...just opposite that corner mosque. #18 Miteen wah sitta.

    "Bonus: Mary Poppins is set in 1910. The scene in which Mary and Bert smoke crystal meth is anachronistic, then, as meth did not become a popular street drug in London until the 1950s."

  6. Duh, stupid me. I edit my Funkengroovin posts a day before I actually post them, and had completely forgotten about that off-the-wall quote. I just thought that was weird, but Mary and Bert were smoking something - I alays thought it might be hash / opium, but I'm no expert.

    I'm still trying to find out how to get a copy of Ben Hur to see if he is really riding in a Beetle.