Late the other night a friend of mine got a taxi from Bab Tuma, where the drivers sleep in their cars hoping for trade. She eventually noticed that it was driving really slowly, doubly unusual as the meter wasn’t running.
‘Hay,’ she said. ‘You drive really slowly.’
‘I know.’ The driver replied, ‘I listen to Umm Kolthum.’
‘Oh,’ said my friend. ‘This isn’t Farouz?’
‘No. Farouz in the morning.’
It might be that this story is only funny if you know Umm Kathoum, Farouz and Damascene Taxi drivers, but if you do its absolutely fucking hilarious.