This morning, J and I were walking to the bus which is about 10 minutes away. J is very pregnant and Cairo is very hot this time of year. Along the route, we decided to catch a cab the rest of the way. A driver stopped. We got in. We rode a very short distance—2 blocks, I think—and asked him to stop. We got out and I reached in my pocket to pay him a few pounds. He smiled and waved me off. He wouldn’t take my money. I thanked him and he drove off, presumably to pick up a paying customer. The way cabs run in Cairo, it is highly unlikely that we will ever see him again, even if we wanted to do so.
Cab drivers in Cairo, as a group, sometimes get a bad rap. Many of them drive old cars in poor condition. Sometimes they press hard for higher fares. Sometimes they are in more of a hurry than you are. But sometimes like this morning, they make small, lovely gestures.