When I move to a new city, I always put some thought into how I’ll make my morning coffee. Preference usually goes to a moka pot stovetops, which are light and relatively inexpensive. My preferred brand is, of course, Bialetti, although we had a beautifully designed Alessi that served us well for many years in Vancouver and California and which we had to leave behind when we moved. RIP little Alessi moka pot, you were loved and you helped us get through many early mornings.
In Cairo, I had a really hard time finding a decent moka pot. After some searching, we did find a cheap no-brand model in a supermarket, but I’ve had a bad experience with one like that in the past so I was looking for better quality. Everyone always says that everything in Egypt gets done on social media, so finally I decided to contact the Bialetti Egypt Facebook Page by private message. Within a few hours, they had answered my message and given me a call. As it turns out, there was a stock shortage as they were having some import trouble, but they offered to deliver me one of their MokaCrèm, the one model they did have in stock. The next day, as we were cleaning our new apartment, someone knocked on the door. I gave him money and he gave me a new moka pot. The rest is caffeine history.
The point of this post is not, in fact, to address the quality of my morning coffee, but actually to discuss the fact that you can have anything delivered in Cairo. Chaotic street life, incessant traffic, high levels of harassment, and low wages all create a perfect storm that leads Cairenes to rely on others to get them what they need, so they don’t have to leave the comfort of their homes.
If you find this as interesting as I do, check out this hilarious New York Times article from a few years back that discusses everything you can get delivered to your door in Cairo, including a haircut, your birth certificate, and even an X-Ray.
Other than my precious coffee machine, we actually haven’t expanded our ordering skills beyond food—but cheap deliveries have definitely made us progressively lazier as the weeks have passed. We order-in dinner more often than we’d like to admit, and reached new heights recently by having a meal delivered to our apartment from a restaurant located in our building. I could’ve gone in my slippers… but why bother when I can have someone bring it to me for less than a dollar? We also regularly have booze delivered to our door when we run out, and we often order in these little fava bean snacks we like because they can be hard to find in stores. That’s right, we get chips delivered to our flat. No shame.
To avoid feeling too guilty, we tell ourselves that’s just the way the economy here works.