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在开罗,避孕、脱毛、X光检查都能上门服务

更新时间:2016-8-30 19:11:26 来源:纽约时报中文网 作者:佚名

Coffee, Bikini Waxes, X-Rays: Almost Anything Can Be Sent to Homes in Cairo
在开罗,避孕、脱毛、X光检查都能上门服务

CAIRO — When it comes to home delivery and services, Cairo has most other places beat.

开罗――在快递到家和服务上门方面,没有多少城市能胜过开罗。

Suffering from a hangover and perhaps some regrets? Costa Coffee will send around a single shot of espresso ($2.70), and the neighborhood pharmacy will dispatch one morning-after pill ($2).

为宿醉苦恼?或许为昨晚的事后悔?Costa咖啡可以送来一杯意式浓缩咖啡(2.70美元),附近的药店也能送来一片事后避孕药(2美元)。

Want a Brazilian bikini wax? It can be done in the privacy of your home for $6. Need a birth or death certificate? Just put in a call to the government, which will dispatch it within 72 hours.

想来个巴西式比基尼脱毛?可以在家中私密环境下完成,价格6美元。需要出生或死亡证明?只需给政府打电话,72小时内就会得到解决。

For city dwellers in Egypt, almost anything can be delivered, and for nearly nothing.

对于埃及的城市居民来说,几乎一切都可以快递,而且近乎免费。

Home deliveries started with fast food, but have come to include an array of other goods and services. Upscale restaurants will deliver a salad or a single slice of cake; stationers will send pens to the office; liquor stores will supply alcohol if a party runs dry; bakeries will send fresh bread and pastries straight from the oven — most of it carried on the backs of battered old motorcycles.

快递到家服务始于快餐业,但是渐渐发展到一系列其他货品与服务。高级餐厅可以只送一份沙拉或一小块蛋糕;文具店可以把钢笔送到办公室;如果派对上的酒喝完了,可以要酒类商店送来;蛋糕房可以送来刚出炉的新鲜面包和甜点——多数商品都是用破旧摩托车送来的

Driving the trend is a middle class willing to spend money to avoid hassles, plus large numbers of poorer people willing to zoom around on motorcycles for less than $10 a day. Given Cairo’s bad traffic and long, hot summers, the capital’s dwellers need little encouragement to pick up the phone. (Deliveries spike especially in July and August, when daytime temperatures rarely drop below 90 degrees.)

推动这种趋势的是中产阶级愿意花钱避免麻烦的愿望,此外还有众多比较穷的人愿意骑着摩托车到处穿梭,换来每天不到10美元的报酬。鉴于开罗糟糕的交通状况,以及夏日的漫长酷热,首都的居民不用太多想就会打电话叫快递(快递在7月和8月会达到高峰,那段时间白日的温度很少低于90华氏度)。

The customers pay very little for the convenience — delivery charges are typically less than a dollar.

客户不用付多少钱就可以得到这种便利——快递费一般不到1美元。

“It is too hot for anyone to walk, and no one wants to drive through a traffic jam and then have to look for a parking spot,” said Shady Ahmed, who delivers for Costa Coffee in Zamalek, an affluent Cairo neighborhood. “Why would anyone waste money on a cab coming and going when we can deliver to them for less?”

“天气太热了,大家都不愿意走路,也没人愿意开车遇到拥堵,然后还要找停车位,”在扎马利克为Costa咖啡送货的沙迪·艾哈迈德(Shady Ahmed)说,扎马利克是开罗一个繁华的地带。“既然我们可以廉价送货上门,为什么还要浪费钱打车呢?”

Even the government’s creaky bureaucracy has seized on the trend. In January, the civil registry created a call center for people to renew their national IDs and then get birth, death and marriage certificates delivered to their homes, a service they can also find online.

就连破败的政府官僚体制也赶上了这股潮流。1月,民政注册处开放了一个电话中心,提供上门服务,帮人们更新身份证号,之后又提供了快递出生证、死亡证和结婚证的服务,这些服务也可以上网办理。

“We did this to make life easier,” said Ehab el-Attar, the registry’s head. “Not everyone can use the internet, and this way they don’t waste time coming here and make traffic worse. I don’t think this particular service is a proof of laziness.” But, he added with a laugh, “there is definitely plenty of laziness around.”

“我们这样做都是为了提供方便,”注册处的长官埃哈卜·艾尔-阿塔尔(Ehab el-Attar)说。“不是所有人都能用互联网,这样他们就不用浪费时间跑到这里,让交通进一步恶化。我不觉得这项服务证明人们懒惰。”不过他笑着补充说,“现在确实有不少懒人。”

The home delivery culture is spreading into the service sector as well. Now an ailing runner can have her knees X-rayed in bed for about $55, and while she is at it, get a haircut and a pedicure.

上门文化也发展到了服务行业。现在,如果跑步受伤,可以在家里,躺在床上给膝盖做X光检查,只需55美元,与此同时,还可以理发和美甲。

While businesses have jumped at the opportunities, some of their workers grumble about the customers’ attitudes. “They’ll just sit there with coffee mugs and barely look at you. You just want to tell them, ‘You are not rich, this is just cheap,’” said Nagat Hosny, a body waxer who does home visits.

商家抓住机会的同时,有些员工也在抱怨客户的态度。“他们就是端着咖啡坐在那儿,几乎不看你一眼。你忍不住想告诉他们,‘不是你太有钱,是服务太便宜’,”提供上门服务的身体脱毛师纳加·胡斯尼(Nagat Hosny)说。

Mostafa Mahmoud travels the city taking blood from people at home — he is a phlebotomist, not a vampire — and delivers it to Al Borg, one of the capital’s leading medical labs.

穆斯塔法·马哈茂德(Mostafa Mahmoud)在整个城市四处上门采集血液——他是抽血者,不是吸血者——然后把这些血液提供给开罗最大的医疗实验室之一Al Borg。

“It is often exasperating when you go and find that the person is absolutely fine and just chilling at home,” he said. “Some even have the audacity to scold you if you are 10 minutes late.”

“有时候你上门去,发现那人完全没问题,悠闲自得地待在家里,这经常让人恼怒,”他说。“有些人因为你晚了10分钟,就敢教训你。”

With an increasing number of goods and services finding their way to the doorsteps of customers, it was inevitable that some high-tech solutions would also come along.

愈来愈多的货物和服务被直接送上门,一些高科技的解决办法也就不可避免地随之而来。

Waleed Rashed is the founder of a company that plans to introduce a delivery app called Voo in October. Voo (the name is meant to suggest the sound of speed) aims to do almost any chore for anyone.

瓦利德·拉希德(Waleed Rashed)是一家公司的创始人,该公司计划在10月推出一款名叫Voo的快递手机应用。Voo(这个名字让人联想起飞速移动的声音)旨在为所有人提供几乎所有的跑腿服务。

“There is no incentive to go outside,” Mr. Rashed said. “Just one hour outside is enough to ruin anyone’s day.”

“人们不愿出门,”拉希德说。“出门一小时就能毁掉一整天。”

Voo might, for example, pick up keys you left at a friend’s house and return them to you within an hour for an average of $5, he said.

比如说,Voo可以在一个小时内帮你拿回留在朋友家里的钥匙,再交还给你,平均只需5美元,他说。

Ingez, an Egyptian company whose name translates as “hurry up,” has also latched onto the delivery craze. It offers services such as driving sundry goods — a single cellphone cover, say — from one end of Cairo to another for as little as $2.50, or taking flowers to someone in the hospital on behalf of a busy relative.

埃及公司“因格兹”(Ingez——意思是“赶快”)也跟上了这股快递热潮。它可以把各种货物(比如说,一个手机壳)从开罗的一头送到另一头,只需要2.5美元,或者帮一个忙碌的亲戚给医院里的病人送花。

“Sometimes we find it funny,” said Ahmed Farouk, the company’s manager of operations. “I personally wouldn’t request a delivery for a small order myself, but people generally are never shy about it.”

“有时候,我们觉得这很有趣,”公司的运营经理艾哈迈德·法鲁克(Ahmed Farouk)说。“我自己从来不会为了小额商品叫快递,但是大多数人毫无顾忌。”

Ammar Ali Hassan, a prominent Egyptian novelist and political sociologist, attributes such attitudes to the return of many relatively affluent Egyptians who were guest workers in Saudi Arabia and other countries on the Persian Gulf.

埃及著名的小说家和政治社会学家阿马尔·阿里·哈桑(Ammar Ali Hassan)觉得,这种态度是因为许多相对富裕的埃及人正在回国。他们曾在沙特阿拉伯和波斯湾其他国家打工。

“Many were influenced by the Gulf,” Mr. Hassan said. “They think, ‘Oh I am a big deal and can act like a member of the upper class now. I am too big for queues.’ ”

“很多人受到海湾地区的影响,”哈桑说。“他们想,‘现在我是大人物,可以像上层阶级一样了。我太了不起,不能排队。’”

Home delivery has become so habitual here that Egyptians abroad tend to feel deprived.

接受上门服务成了一种习惯,一些海外的埃及人甚至觉得失去了什么。

Salma Adel, a young Egyptian physician who moved to Ireland more than a year ago, said delivery was one of the things she missed most.

一年多前移居爱尔兰的年轻埃及医生萨尔玛·阿德尔(Salma Adel)说,快递是她最怀念的一件事。

“It has to be up there with family,” she said. “It’s not like it’s just fast food. It’s all food.”

“最好是和家人在一起,”她说。“不仅仅是快餐,而是所有的餐饮都能送达。”

“There’s something beautiful about being able to conjure up a beautiful meal out of thin air when you’re sat at home and can’t be bothered to cook,” she added.

“坐在家里,不用费力做饭,凭空就有好饭好菜变出来,真是太美了,”她说。

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