Egyptian Traffic Jam: A Lesson in Being Proactive

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A memorable day at the pyramids gave way to an afternoon of disappointment as I sit here stuck in Cairo rush hour traffic on a road to nowhere. I was supposed to go to the Museum of Antiquities but it will be closed by the time Uber arrives.

It is well-known that Cairo has terrible traffic. Taking this into account, I gave myself 1 hour to get to the museum and 2 hours to explore it. I was working under the assumption that the museum’s website gave accurate information. It said that the hours of operation were till 7pm. They aren’t. It closes at 5pm.

Consequently, my meeting with King Tut will not take place and the only chance I have of visiting the museum before I head home is on a layover on the return from Sharm el-Sheikh. That means leaving the airport, braving the traffic, and returning in time to board.

I don’t make a point of going to museums because I prefer to experience live history. The one time I actually wanted to go I foolishly relied on a dated website not the concierge to tell me the operating hours.

Though I don’t believe in guided tours as winging it on your own almost certainly produces better stories (pyramid story to follow at a later date), I learned a good lesson in being proactive with my vacation plans.

Stuck in Cairo traffic
Stuck in Cairo traffic

Update: The museum actually closes at 4 making the traffic experience even more pointless.

16 COMMENTS

  1. oh Cairo traffic. my driver had been let go from a paint shop in Libya because the paint fumes gave him brain damage. so we drove around Cairo singing Lindsay Lohan songs. True story.

  2. Yes, Cairo traffic…
    I made the mistake to tell the taxi driver to hurry to the airport, I had a plane to catch!
    I don’t know how many cars he hit or scratched, but when he drove off the road and continued on the shoulder, I was getting a little worried.
    We made it with lots of time to spare, he was very proud of his driving and I promised myself to NEVER hurry an Egyptian driver ever, ever again!

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