I even received one from the Brits this morning. They all basically state the same. ‘Avoid going downtown’, ‘Leave Tripoli’, ‘Do not frequent popular places’, Do not venture near Palestinian camps’, ‘Stay away from manifestations’, ‘Adopt a defensive posture at all times ‘etc etc’. These all add up to previously issued messages about not going down south, and staying clear of the southern suburbs. If this goes on much longer, and I would heed all messages, I’d end up barricaded inside my house.
I am afraid I have sinned in all cases these past ten days, (except for that last one, which came from the Brits). Adopt a defensive posture? What is that supposed to mean? Well, I am the proud owner of an AK 47 now. Nahh, just joking.
But I did have a nice conversation with a ‘boy from the hood’, who gave me some quotes. He advised me to stay away from silly handguns. They’ll make your handbag hang funny. Bigger is better. AK47’s used to go for as little as $50. But ever since the war (last summers war, that is), which did not exactly enhance the relation between the various sects, prices have hiked up. People are in the market again for some fire power.
He could get me a nice one – not brand new of course – for a mere $525. With bullets. I wouldn’t know how to shoot one, and I know of no shooting ranges to practice. This was no problem, he said, he could teach me as well. I politely declined. It is nice to know, however.
Because we are looking at another hot ten days coming. The UN voted a ‘yeah’ for the tribunal. We had candlelit roads (I kid you not) in my part of Beirut in celebration. But now we get an extra 10 days, like a bit of a bonus, to figure out if we are going to run this show ourselves, or whether we’ll let the ‘international community’ do this. It will probably the understatement of this year that these are going to be an interesting ten days.
The Dutch however, are not sending any ‘warden’ messages out yet. They did send us a checklist some years ago - I do not remember the occasion - of things to pack when on the run from danger. We (the Dutch living in Lebanon, which for the most part are ‘old-timers’, who could probably teach the Ministry of Foreign Affairs a trick or two about shelter life and evacuation) made such relentless fun of that list, because the items that were mentioned were beyond the ridiculous. That I think they’ll wait a while before bringing that on themselves again. I don’t even remember what was on the list. Marijke (Dutch friend) will probably know.
We (the Dutch) were evacuated by plane, BTW. Not me though, I happened to be 'out' already. I remember this older Dutch couple, who have been living in Beirut forever, and who decided to stay. Every Dutch newspaper wanted their story, and the man said: “They have excellent medical care here in Beirut, thank you very much.”
It was a false alarm, though. Nothing happened last night.