I wrote once about how Syria is very much a "do-it-yourself" country. If that's an accurate description of Syria, then Egypt is the "pay-someone-to-do-it" country. Since living here, I've paid people to drive me around town (taxis, of course), deliver food to my door, deliver groceries to my door, and wash my clothes, and then deliver them to my door.
The food and grocery delivery really are something. There's this magical thing called Otlob.com here where you go online, click through dozens and dozens of restaurants, make your selections, and place your order. It shows up at your door within 45 minutes. MAGIC, I tell you. It makes so much sense that I can't believe America hasn't jumped on board yet. Why should delivery be limited only to pizza? Here in Cairo, there are motorcycles with logo-ed cargo boxes strapped on the back zipping in and out of traffic all day.
Speaking of food coming to my door, you can also get groceries delivered (for free). Sometimes we go to the actual store and pick out our purchases and then have it delivered (up five flights of stairs, mwahahahahahaha). Other times, we just call them and ask them to bring a few things up. Again, MAGIC.
Now, about that laundry. We don't have a washer (let alone a dryer) (unless you count the hot, dusty air that is constantly blasting through Cairo) here in our apartment. It's really not that big of a deal since we didn't have one in Ithaca, either. The difference is that in Cairo, they don't have laundromats.
I am totally on board with doing laundry in the bathtub, but when we moved into this place after three weeks straight of traveling, we had a big pile of really dirty clothes already waiting to be washed. So I decided to pay someone to wash them just this once so I could begin my bathtub laundry routine with a clean slate. I handed over the clothes early on a Thursday afternoon and asked if he could return them later that night because we needed a few of the items to wear to church on Friday. He said it would be difficult, but that he'd have them back at 8.30 or 9pm, God willing.
Well, that time came and went and no clothes. Magdalena was upset that the "guy" had taken her favorite blankies away, apparently forever - she kept going to the door and whining, "blankies. guy! buh-bye. wash" over and over again. We put the girls to bed and figured we'd see our clothes again someday, hopefully Saturday.
Fast forward to 11.52 at night. We were in bed, juuuuust about to go to sleep when the doorbell rang. Yep, it was the laundry guy, delivering the entire batch of freshly cleaned clothes. We sifted through the stacks of nicely folded shirts and pants to find Magdalena's blankies. They smelled like laundry soap, cigarette smoke, and they were ever so slightly damp, testifying of the rush the laundry guy had been in to get them to us. I snuck them in her crib and she snuggled right up to them.
And I never will again since it's bathtub wash + air dry on laundry rack from here on out. Sigh.