Hana and her Mom in the car in front of the Amn el-Aam
The Amn el-Aam story of this morning sounded way too enthusiastic, it should have set off alarm bells with any sensible person. Stupid me to think that it would actually be that simple. I got her passport, with a stamp. “Where are her papers?” “What papers?” “Well, her work permit, and her permis de sejour (residency permit)?”. Oh no, we’re just here to give her a visa, so you have the time to start working on her paperwork. You were a week late. So I spend two months work on just getting a visa! And until what time did I get? March 28. “But it is already April 1st!”. Ah, yes, nothing they could do about that. So NOW I can start her paperwork. Not this morning however, because the government doesn’t work after 11 on a Saturday. Next Saturday, I guess. So the saga continues.
And then it started to rain. When it rains in Beirut, it does not just rain; the sky comes down. La deluge, and then some more. It falls and falls and falls, thick like sleet. The sewer system, not too adapted to storm water, overflows, and it just comes spouting out of every hole. Cars in Beirut seem to multiply themselves whenever it rains, so traffic jams up to your ears. I had to run some errands in the southern suburbs with my sister in-law, pices are infinitely lower over there, so we sloshed our way through town to get there.
The supermarket guy, who carried my groceries through the rain as it came falling out of the sky at 10cm/mm2 per minute, was soaking wet. I gave him a big fat tip. Maybe I should have given him rain pants, still got a pair here from Holland.