Not everything is marvellous but this made my stony heart happy

Last week I got a ride with Cairo’s coldest taxi driver, an ancient man who drove his car like nobody else exists and dealt with the consequent verbal assaults with a maddening composure: while the driver next to him flailed about at his steering wheel in rage, Buddha looked straight ahead, issuing gummy maledictions about Egypt, Egyptians and Egypt again.

Near my house, we were forced to stop while a motorist had the temerity to take more than 0.1 seconds to park his car. This prompted the now expected diatribe on the quality of the Egyptian character, the mangled words tumbling out of his denture-less mouth like rubbish being emptied out of a tipper truck. The difference this time was that to his left a bouncing small girl’s head appeared next to his window, effervescent with happiness. She was jumping up and down with delight at the promise of a lollipop, which her father was unwrapping for her. The taxi driver ignored this, too.

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