Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Funkengroovin Wednesday - Road 9

Road 9, Maadi:
We eat, we drink, and we shop there. A trip to Road 9 usually results in a find of some sort. Plumbers, electrical shops, a Radio Shack, grocers (including organic), coffee shops (like four now - Costa, Cilantro, Beano's, and the most recent - The Second Cup,) restaurants, florists, butchers, gift / jewelry/ sheesha shops, and woodworkers who specialize in
mashrabiya, all intermingle. But! Did you know you can also get your car fixed on Road 9? Just below The Golden Dragon's front (Road 9 facing) windows is a shop you may have walked by, without ever noticing. On both sides of the street, cars sit parked, some for weeks on end, some with raised hoods, waiting for the repairman.

A few weeks ago we drove through, and three men were blocking the road repairing a broke down VW Bus. VB had been tempted all week to walk down to see if the Bus was still on Road 9, but resisted. A week later, we went down, for a walk this time, to fetch some needed supplies (vinegar, cable from Radio Shack, and C Cell Alkaline Batteries.) On this day, VB got more than she wished for. All in one afternoon's work!

(Below): As usual, two kids asked to have their photo taken.

(Below): The aforementioned VW Van. VB wonders if that's the repairman.

(Below): Fresh, pencil thin spring asparagus (okay, so some of it looks sketchy. That's the way everything is here - enticing yet...?)

(Below two photos): A parked Bug, not waiting for repair.

(Below): Another Bug parked on Road 9.

(Below): A Bug, looking for a parking space.

(Below): Another Bug parked by Metro Market.

(Below): Orange Juice Delivery.

My First Car
, (More stories and photos at the link.)
"Americans love their cars, and for many, reminiscing about their first set of wheels evokes memories of freedom, fun, fast engines and first-time fender-benders.

When American Profile asked readers to tell us about their first cars, we received hundreds of stories—and photos—of broken-down jalopies rescued from Depression-era chicken coops, second-hand family cars that provided reliable rides to school, and shiny, brand-spanking-new vehicles bought off showroom floors.

Along with detailed descriptions of every make and model imaginable—from a rickety 1920 Model T Ford purchased for $5 to a shiny 1994 Toyota Corolla, bought by a 70-year-old first-time driver—were humorous and heartwarming stories about nerve-wracking drivers’ examinations, unforgettable drive-in movie dates, cheap gasoline and quirky mechanical malfunctions."

“My first car was a 1958 Volkswagen Beetle that only had the driver’s seat because a Wisconsin farmer had used the car to transport his pigs,” says Marcia Koshollek of Green Valley, Ariz. “My father bought the car for me when I was 16 years old and paid $100 cash. I scrubbed and scrubbed but never got rid of the ‘pig smell.’”

Porsche Marks 60th Anniversary
"STUTTGART, Germany — The Porsche and PiĆ«ch families quietly observed a milestone on Thursday: the laying of the cornerstone for the family-controlled sports-car business that today is one of the world's most profitable auto companies."

From Jalopnik, with loads of great photos: 1974 Volkswagen Thing

Mean Streets of Mexico City
(More info and photo at the link)
"In a country with such extremes of wealth and poverty, foreigners are viewed by the criminal fraternity as little more than brogue-wearing cash machines. I've been robbed at gunpoint and chased down the street by a car full of youths intent on abducting me. Three of my friends have been hijacked in taxis. Two others, who went walking in the hills outside Mexico City one Sunday, were robbed by bandits brandishing toothy grins and machetes. Mugging is so common it's now referred to as "gringo tax".

One of the first things that strike you about the traffic in Mexico City is the prevalence of bright green Volkswagen Beetle taxis (nicknamed vochos). "Oh, aren't they cute," coo tourists when they see them. The cars are cute, but I never forget that Hitler loved VW Beetles too.

Vochos have no back passenger doors. This makes it hard for passengers to exit in a hurry, but easy for unwelcome visitors to jump in. This feature is one of the reasons why taxi-hijackings, or express kidnaps, have become so popular."

(Full article and photo at the link)
"They were rarely glamorous, never very adventurous but our big days out were always special... particularly the ones involving Grandad’s Bus.

Another bank holiday having just passed, thoughts of big days out were bound to prompt a touch of nostalgia for a time before main roads to coast and country were turned into go-nowhere-fast car parks. Before trains ground to a halt right on schedule, because holidays now mean repair and cancellation opportunities – not big days out."

Broken van offers good lesson
"I also learned something else about cheap VW vans - you can kick-start them. Nick would wait in the driver's seat while I pushed the van up to speed."

"It was also a great personal lesson in physics."

Is Your VW Camper One in a Hundred?
"The chances of winning the lottery are around one in 14million. If you don't fancy those odds, here's some good news: the chances of winning a full refund on your VW Camper insurance are just one in a hundred, thanks to Just Kampers Insurance Services."

Britain's Got Talent winner's rare disease (Full article at the link)
"George, who busked on the street to get to the show's audition, says he will spend his winnings on paying his mum's mortgage off and an old VW camper van for himself to go busking around the country."

"It's no easy task commemorating the wild abandon of 450,000 people blissfully gyrating in the rain. But the new Museum at Bethel Woods, opening today at the concert site, attempts to do just that.

Psychedelic colors swirl over a life-size hippie bus and a VW Bug, while wall displays discuss everything from civil rights to LSD. In many ways, this ode to the 1960s mirrors the "Summer of Love" exhibition at the Whitney last year.

The museum is within the 2,000-acre Bethel Woods Center for the Arts, a concert venue that this summer will host Steely Dan, Tony Bennett and, of course, Hippiefest 2008. With ongoing performances like these, it's easy to forget that Woodstock itself almost didn't happen."

Dean Martin - On The Street Where You Live


  1. So many coffee shops!! Did you tell me before that Cafe Greco had closed?

  2. Happy birthday Vagabondblogger :) it is never to late to say after 24 hours

  3. auhgal: You're right! I forgot all about Cafe Greco. Plus, Jared's Bagels now has tables outside, but I didn't count them or the Marriott (?) either.

    zeinobia: Thanks!