In Egypt it takes two men to drive any motor vehicle

Sunday, March 17th, 2019

Dunlap talks about going into Alexandria:

Going in was simple — all British drivers had orders to pick up any man in uniform going their way and plenty of trucks moved in both directions up until about 10 P.M. After that, it was usually a taxi trip back. First you found a taxi which under inspection appeared able to last out the journey, then you persuaded the driver to go. He was usually reluctant, not liking driving out of the city with a load of soldiers who might pay him and might not. After a good bit of mangled English and Arabic he would decide to take a chance and collect his assistant; in Egypt it takes two men to drive any motor vehicle — one to operate and one to act as helper in repairing the inevitable breakdown, messenger if necessary, squeeze the rubber-bulb horn and of course, company, for the trip back. In case the driver had not been working long enough to pick up a smattering of the various languages spoken, the pal had to act as interpreter. Often the “assistant” would be just a boy.


The better restaurants printed their menus in four languages— English, French, Greek and Arabic.


However, when Mussolini decided England had lost the war and jumped in, all the Italians in Egypt disappeared and an equal number of “Frenchmen” instantly appeared. They fooled no one, but the British did not care to make an issue of it and contented themselves with taking over official Italian offices and property.

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