Cairo's Bits & Places: Bomb on a Bus

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Written by Yehia O.

20090410-12
You find a lot of people running to get onto the bus or getting off of it, that’s the usual.

Only a few things you can find in common with Egyptian transportation and that of the rest of the world. This morning I found more reasons to believe that we’re a lot more unique than I thought we were. The public buses usually tilt on one side, like they’ll just slam on their side at any second. Surprisingly they never do. You find a lot of people running to get onto the bus or getting off of it, that’s the usual. Today took quite an unexpected turn. I go to Zamalek from Masr El- Gedeeda every Sunday, about 9 am or 10 am and I reach Ramsis within 40 to 50 minutes. I took the 10 am bus today, and I was quite sleepy. I just put on my headphones and slept for a bit till we got there. About 40 minutes later, I woke up because we had to take a lot of detours, since they closed some of the main roads today for security reasons. People were getting off at the nearest points to their destinations. I asked the driver if he’s still heading near Ramsis and he said the he was still going to go there, so I closed my eyes for a bit more.

The streets were extremely crowded and I still had some time to reach my stop. I was kind of half asleep when I opened my eyes, and saw everyone on the bus just looking underneath their chairs for something. I thought to myself “wow, all these people are looking for someone’s phone? Oh that’s so nice of everyone.” However, that thought didn’t last for more than a couple of seconds when I realized that this wasn’t a nice collective gesture. I wasn’t sure what exactly was up so I took off my ear phones. It turned out that there was a suspicious individual, who got on the bus, right before it headed out of the bus station, and left immediately before it did.

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They suspected that that person might have planted a bomb somewhere on the bus.

They suspected that that person might have planted a bomb somewhere on the bus. People started to panic a little and they were all looking everywhere till one older gentleman sort of complained to the driver that he should’ve inspected and searched the bus before he allowed anyone to get on it. So the bus driver did yield to that harsh suggestion and offered that everyone would get off the bus and he would search it himself, which made sense that women and children would leave first. One of the women asked another if the driver would be searching all alone, and the other woman said that probably the men would stay to help out. Sadly to say, only I and the driver were left on the bus. He looked at me and laughed, quite a sad and sarcastic laugh; he is only a bus driver, not on the bomb squad. So we searched the bus, both of us, and thankfully we found nothing. It’s quite an interesting experience I’d have to say, not the best but definitely an insightful one.

What about you? Any interesting experiences you would like to share? Anything explosively fun?

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