Kaddee’s Cairo Chronicles

November 17, 2008

Things piled in trucks

Filed under: What the...? — Kaddee @ 8:21 pm

Today’s commute had an unusual number of unusual items piled in trucks.

Things piled in trucks is not unusual in Egypt. The piles are often WELL BEYOND what most (read: Western) would consider prudent. Still, life goes on and most of it doesn’t fall out of the truck.

Today’s list of “Things Piled in Trucks” includes some of the usual:

  • Garbage – in bags, lashed to the truck, and piled more than 100% of the height of the truck itself!
  • Eggs – more flats of eggs than you can imagine or count. They FILL a pick-up truck and are piled well above the sides of the bed. All flats lashed down to the truck, going over some of the worst roads in Cairo (Giza). I’d be amazed if half of the eggs make it to their destination
  • Vegetables – onions, turnips, tomatoes, all literally overflowing the truck bed.
  • Furniture – entire households worth on ONE truck frequently with the residents and family.
  • People – workers on their way home from work. There are frequently so many men in the back of a truck that they are all standing up, holding onto each other, hoping that the guys at the front are actually holding on to the top of the cab. It is not unusual to see 15 to 20 men and boys in the back of a truck on the highway!

Today added a few new items:

  • Sheep – filling the bed of a pick-up AND tied to a platform on top of the cab of the truck – with a boy standing in the back, tending to the sheep. (I WISH I could have gotten a picture – it was unbelievable)
  • Sod – probably a hundred rolls of sod in the back of a flatbed. Being from Seattle this didn’t strike me as too odd, at first. Then I realized, Cairo is a DESERT! Sod isn’t farmed here, nor does it last very long here. Where the HECK is that sod from? going?
  • Aluminum stock pots – I know this doesn’t sound odd, but imagine, if you will, pots large enough to render down small children. Now imagine them stacked in the back of a pickup – 3 high by 3 wide by 4 deep! All careening down the ring road at relatively high speeds.

Welcome in Egypt.


  1. “…large enough to render down small children.” Is *that* what happens at the Fish Fry? I have often wondered.

    How about 4-5 atop a motorcycle. That is pretty cool too.

    You are going to be sooooo bored when you return to pedestrian old Seattle…..grin!


    Comment by evil twin — November 18, 2008 @ 8:45 am

  2. Funny you should mention this. Today I glanced out the bus window and I saw a pickup truck completely FILLED with heads of lettuce. They were stacked at least 6 feet above the level of the cab. It was amazing. And on top of the cab – carrots. Lots and lots of carrots. Wish I’d gotten a picture!

    Comment by Tiffany — November 18, 2008 @ 5:30 pm

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