The Dangers of Delivery

Lebanon is plagued by scooters, and who's driving those scooters? Delivery boys. Everything, and I mean everything, in Lebanon is deliverable. In the US, where delivery is generally reserved strictly for pizza, in Lebanon, anything from shawerma sandwiches at Barbar to a gourmet meal by La Cigale to a water pipe by your local shisha house is delivery-worthy. Craving Chinese food? Chopsticks will deliver. How about a man'ouche pie? The local bakery is at your beck and call. Nah, I'll just zip to the patisserie for a croissant. Don't trouble--Pain d'Or's already dispatched a delivery boy. Even something as trivial as a candy bar or bag of chips from your neighborhood convenience store can be delivered.

If a food outlet doesn't offer delivery, it doesn't stand a fighting chance of surviving among its competitors. Lebanese may as well be synonymous with lazy, because they believe it is their God-given right to be served in-house, literally. And that's the first bane of these deliveries--they foster obesity, which has become quite visible across all cross-sections of the Lebanese public.

Beyond this, scooters are troublesome little demons on the road. They pollute. They weave in and out of traffic. They speed on sidewalks. Once a scooter even ran into the car's passenger door as I was alighting onto the street level. Many of them aren't even licensed or registered, and they're terribly noisy.

So what's the solution? If we slash these delivery boys' jobs, we deny them their livelihoods. But by the same token, we fend off fatness, promote peace on the roads, and decimate noise and air pollution. Maybe Segways are the answer: they're environmentally friendly and a sweet sight to spot. Food outlets might even slap a delivery charge to help offset their cost (and make customers think twice about delivering to the comfort of their own divan).



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