Episode 70 – Skit: Taxi or service?

Bouchra and Dima are hanging out at a coffee shop in the popular Hamra neighborhood in Beirut. As they are getting ready to leave, Bouchra mentions she is planning to take a taxi to go home. Dima suggests that Bouchra considers taking a shared taxi, which is referred to locally as a service, as a cheaper alternative.

*Note: The taxi and service rates mentioned in this episode have changed due to the economic crisis in the country and related inflation.

Lebanese Arabic Transcript and English Contextual Translation

بشرى: شكراً عالقهوة ديما. هيدا أحلى كافيه بالحمرا بس صار لازم إرجع عالبيت.

Bouchra: Thank you for the coffee Dima. This is the best coffee shop in Hamra, but I have to go back home.

ديما: ليه وَلَو … خليكي بعد شوي.

Dima: Oh Why … Just stay a bit more.

بشرى: لاء معليش تأخرت. منرجع منعمل قعدة تانية قريباً. رح أطلب تاكسي هلأ.

Bouchra: No it is ok, I am already late. We can do it another time soon. I will call a taxi now.

 ديما: ليش لتطلبي تاكسي؟ المنارة مش بعيدة. وقفي سرفيس أسرعلك وأرخصلك. 

Dima: Why call a taxi? Manara is not far. Stop a service, which is faster and cheaper for you.

بشرى: عنجد؟ شو بيفرق عن التاكسي؟

Bouchra: Really? How is it different from the taxi?

ديما: السرفيس بتوقفيه من وين ما بدك. أصلاً هو بشوفك واقفة بوقّف. معقول يكون في غيرك بالسيارة، ويمكن يوقف لغير ناس كمان، بس كلكن بتكونو رايحين بذات الاتجاه. المفروض تاخديه أسرع، بس عالأرجح  تطوّل الرحلة شوي أكتر إذا بدو ينزّل حدا قبلك.

Dima: You can stop a service from anywhere you want. Basically, when he sees you standing he stops. It is probable that there might be other people in the car, and he might stop for more passengers, but you would all be going in the same direction. You are supposed to take it faster, but the ride would most probably take a bit longer in case he wants to drop off someone before you.

بشرى: طيب ديما، مش غريب شوي إنو نكون 5 أشخاص بذات السيارة؟ بحس الوضع بكون محرج، أو لاء؟ 

Bouchra: But Dima, is it not strange to be 5 people in the same car? I feel the situation would be awkward, or not?

ديما: عادي كتير يا بشرى. اعتبري حالك بالباص. حتى إنو معقول تتعرفي على ناس كتير مثيرين للاهتمام وما تكوني متوقعة. أنا دايماً باخد سرفيس.

Dima: It is very normal Bouchra. Consider yourself in a bus. It is even possible that you meet very interesting people without expecting. I always take a service.

بشرى: أوف.. طمنتيني، وبوصلني عالبيت؟

Bouchra: Woof, you have reassured me, and he will drop me home?

ديما: يمكن ما يوصلك عالبيت، بس بتنزلي قريب عالطريق العام لإنو هو بكفي مشوارو ليوصل الباقيين.

Dima: He might not drop you home, but you will get down close enough on the main road because he will continue his ride to drop off the rest.

بشرى: وأديش بتكلف الرحلة بالسرفيس؟

Bouchra: How much does a service ride cost?

 ديما: كلا 2,000 ليرة، إنت أديش بتدفعي للتاكسي لتروحي من الحمرا عالمنارة؟

Dima: It is only for 2000 L.L. How much do you pay for a taxi to go from Hamra to Manara?

بشرى: 10,000 ليرة.

Bouchra: 10,000 L.L.

ديما: شفتي أديش أرخص؟ بتوفري 8,000 ليرة، بس بتكوني تشاركتي الرحلة مع غير أشخاص، وما بتنزلي بالضبط عبيتك. 

Dima: See how cheaper? You would save 8,000 L.L; only you will be sharing the ride with other people, and you will not get down exactly at your house.

 بشرى: طيب السرفيس بيشتغل بكل المناطق؟

Bouchra: Does the service operate in all regions?

ديما: هو موجود أكتر شي بالمدن. بينتقل بقلب المدينة ذاتا، مش من مدينة للتانية.

Dima: It is mainly found in cities. It commutes within the same city and not from one city to another.

بشرى: مش معقول! فيني وفر كتير مصاري بالمواصلات بقلب بيروت. شكراً كتير عالمعلومة.

Bouchra: Incredible! I can save a lot of money in transportation within Beirut. Thank you very much for this piece of information.

ديما: أهلاً وسهلاً.

Dima: You are welcome.

 بشرى: يلا صار لازم امشي. عنجد شكراً عكل شي! منشوف بعض قريباً، مع السلامة.

Bouchra: I have to leave now. Thanks a lot for everything really. We will see each other soon. Goodbye.

ديما: انبسطت فيك كتير. أكيد منشوف بعض قريباً. انتبهي عحالك!

Dima: I was very happy to see you. We will surely see each other soon, take care!


Comprehension Questions (try to answer the questions while speaking out loud to yourself and using full sentences in Lebanese-Arabic)

  • How was Bouchra planning to return home from Hamra?
  • What transportation option Dima suggest to Bouchra?
  • How does Dima describe the difference between a taxi and a service?
  • What was Bouchra’s concern regarding taking a service instead of a taxi?
  • Which would you prefer to take, a taxi or a service? Why?

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