Cruise control

Like many other countries, Egypt can’t see why a motorbike or scooter should cope with just one or two people (even if the cost of petrol is, by our standards, incredibly skimpy, at just LE2, or about 22c/litre).

Newborn babies balanced on women’s laps as they ride side-saddle is common, while six is the highest count I’ve seen on a small Vespa, children hanging via the foot pegs and the will of God.

But tonight in Cairo, I saw two guys on a scooter, and the one on the back had his laptop open and was surfing the net as they cruised down the cool night streets. A blend of first-meets-third world, surely it takes geekdom to a whole new level?

About the author

Fear is found on a creaking glacier in the Caucasus mountains and joy is encapsulated in the perfect Shanghai dumpling. And while I love a $500-a-night hotel room (who doesn’t?), sometimes the best stories are found in a $20 guesthouse. With an eye always out for good markets and great street eats, I write the travel news and features for the Sydney Morning Herald and Melbourne’s The Age newspapers, and features for whoever else asks. I have a particular soft spot for the wilds of the Middle East, scarves and carpets. My articles and photographs have been published in a range of consumer magazines and newspapers in Australia and abroad.

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