I've traveled on the Nile by boat to a town outside Cairo. When I come back to the river and prepare to get on a boat to return I discover that the last boat has already left. A man standing nearby, who can speak a few words of English, brings me to a bus station on his motorbike, where white microbuses are standing. He tells the bus driver where I have to go. I get in. After twenty minutes the bus stops again and I have to get out. Someone takes me by the arm and brings me to another little bus. I ride in this bus, which is a bit bigger, through the broad, busy streets and past high buildings I've never seen before. The other passengers in the bus think I'm funny and ask where I come from. And we all laugh about my being different. "Welcome, welcome," I hear again. Next to me is a man who points to himself and says "chef restaurant." Using my shoulders and hands I ask what kind of restaurant he works in. "Shawarma," he says proudly. "Shawarma restaurant."
In a weird, wonderful way I feel safe in this bus, which threads its way through the traffic and takes sharp turns at an irresponsibly high speed. The bus stops along the busy road and I have to get out. Once again I��������m grabbed by someone else and pushed into another bus. Following this pattern I change vehicles two more times, and there's always someone else to help me further. One hour later, slightly dizzy, I arrive at a square that looks familiar to me. I'm back home.