Friday, February 12, 2010
The 42nd Cairo International Book Fair
Every year at the end of January, Cairo hosts a massive book fair that lasts for two weeks. Think of it as an open-air Arabic Barnes and Noble on steroids. There's food, ice cream, videos, electronics, balloons, speakers, and most importantly, books. Tens of thousands of them. The fair grounds are large and they house tents and buildings that are brimming with books. The fair ends tomorrow so I went today to check it out.
I took a microbus there. About a half-mile before the entrance of the fair, traffic came to a stop. The microbus driver, ingeniously and stupidly, decided that the best way to get there was to not wait in traffic. No, the best way was to make a u-turn and then put the bus in reverse and drive backwards for half a mile as cars sped past us. Thankfully, no one hit us. Unfortunately, just as the driver it to the fair (still driving in reverse), he hit a guy. He wasn't going to fast so the man was alright. One of many reasons you don't drive your car in reverse to avoid traffic.
The book fair itself was nice. The weather was gorgeous and made for a very pleasant afternoon. I didn't buy anything but I had a great time browsing.