Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Funkengroovin Wednesday - Covered

During the summer months, in Cairo, you will see many cars covered to protect them from the minute bits of sand that accumulate daily. VB is posting from Maine today. (The last photo is not a VW. It's just cool looking.)


Not so much about VWs this week, but apparently the international community has picked up interest in Egypt's new traffic laws.

'“So now they will confiscate our licenses and we’ll have to pay baksheesh (a bribe) to get the license back. It’s no use, we Egyptians will never change our ways,” Hussein said."'

"Analysts say the law was not well thought-out, and tries to apply foreign rules without considering needs and challenges peculiar to Egypt.

The law shows a “complete disassociation from reality,” political analyst Amr Choubaki wrote in the independent daily Al-Masry Al-Youm.

“The issue here is a breakdown of public performance and of the crumbling and corrupt administration,” he said. “We don’t need a new law, we needed the old one to be implemented.”

Egyptian roads are among the most dangerous in the world. Around 6,000 people die each year in accidents and 30,000 are injured, according to transport ministry figures."

"I feel as if I am in a circus all the time"
"That’s what one tourist said about Cairo traffic. But as of late there’s some new laws on the book aimed to calming the country’s famously manic traffic. Readers of the book will know of my interest in corruption and how that trickles down to traffic, and it’s no exception here. The question is: When laws are made stronger (ostensibly with a reformist goal) in a place plagued by corruption, does it improve things or simply raise the rent-seeking abilities of corrupt officials?"


New Traffic Laws Frustrate Taxi Drivers In Egypt

Egypt starts drive to remove antiquated taxis from its roads
"Thousands of state workers supplement their meagre salaries by driving a cab in a country where about a fifth of the population lives on less than $1 (R7.80) a day.

The number of taxi drivers ballooned in the 1990s, when government decrees allowed any car to be converted into a taxi and permitted banks to give car loans, according to Khaled el-Khamissi, author of Taxi, a book about Cairo cabbies."

Egypt wants antiquated taxis off its roads

Egypt: What's Beyond Traffic?!
"Several groups have been created on Facebook in opposition to the new law. “We are in Egypt, bribes will be paid, connections will be used, and tributes will be imposed. The children of ministers and members of parliament will be exempt of this law,” read a comment on the social networking website, Facebook."

The World's Most Dangerous Roads
"Also on their list: The link between Egypt's scuba diving resorts along the Red Sea and the ancient southern city of Luxor. By any measure, the Luxor-Hurghada Road (photo) is a death trap. At night, drivers speed across the dusty desert with their headlights off, setting the stage for head-on collisions.

Ironically, the only thing more dangerous than driving on the Luxor-Hurghada Road at night with your headlights off is driving at night with them on. Bandits, brigands and even terrorists patrol the road in the darkness in search of easy prey."

Australian classic auto hoard discovered
"As might be expected given the location, the bulk of the cars are of British or Australian origin, ranging from well-known brands such as ...

... Jaguar and Rolls-Royce to names less familiar to Americans."

Flying along in a great big, er, box
"A VW Caddy Maxi van was delivered to my front door. Cute, appealing, practical, a wonderful workhorse, really. And with a superb 1.9-litre diesel engine that surprised many highway drivers.

But heck, it took me right back to those bad old days. The Caddy, you see, has a great big box behind it (albeit pretty stylish) and no rear-view mirror in the cab because there is no rear view."

Lovin' Spoonful - Summer In The City


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