Today I only just made it to the boat in time. Traffic was bad. Ok, so this is a normal occurance in Cairo and one of the biggest annoyances of Cairo so nothing new there. The problem today however was caused by the mile long double lane queue at the petrol station at giza, near the Pharaohs boats.
I saw in the news that petrol shortages were happening in UK too. However, before I knew about them, when I asked about the reason for current situation in Cairo a friend told me that the petrol companies owed the government money, which they were refusing to pay until the electricity company (government owned) which owed them money paid up. The truth of this story i cannot verify but I found the whole thing so typically frustratingly true to many aspects of life in Cairo that part of me believes it. Of course, it could be caused by world increases in prices... that would seem sensible and in fitting with the rest of the world. However, the culture here is when anything goes wrong is blame someone else.
Always someone else.
To the point that the word ‘mallish’ is used when the word ‘asif’ would be the correct response. By that I mean that people shrug off things by saying ‘don’t worry about it’ when they should be taking responsibility and apologising, saying 'sorry', for it instead.
Yes, unfortunately so. Egyptian society seems to have developed, if developed is the right word for it, into a blame the underdogs society. Everyone comes down very heavy on those they consider beneath them. The manager blames his staff, rather than accepting that if they are doing something wrong then his job is to re-educate them. I presume this is caused from having a military dictatorship for so many years which blamed everyone else for any failings and never ever (even when people were protesting in the streets last febuary) accepted that perhaps they could have done things better themselves. A child learns from his parents. The country learns from its government.
I don’t want this blog entry to come across as angry. I have been made angry by the many many times. Now I am like many in Egypt, understanding and passive. It’s not right, but its the way it is. I haven’t a clue how it can be improved. My vote is start at the top. I hope that the new president when he (there is no point in me writing here he/she, as THAT would never happen!) so, when he messes up... which he will. That he can take a little of the blame and show people that it is stronger to admit failure and learn from it than it is to throw the blame on someone else.
Good luck Egypt.