October 05, 2008


I’m driving on the highway from Beirut to the airport when I see a black Dodge Charger. The Beirut Police Department (BPD) has received a shipment of 97 used Dodge Charger police vehicles.

They are straight out of those TV series, LAPD and the like. Police cars like these give you the impression that we are either a very rich country - which we are not-, or that the Lebanese police force is of an incredible sophistication. You be the judge of that one.
Our Sunset Boulevard; Beirut Corniche at sunset
For a moment you could almost imagine yourself on the LA freeway. It’s a nice feeling. For a while I trail behind him.

Suddenly, he swerves to the right. And as I pass him, I see the officer behind the wheel lighting up a cigarette with his left hand as he holds a small brown plastic cup of coffee (Arabic coffee, or Turkish coffee as some call it, is served in tiny brown cups) in his right.

Yeah, that looks much better. Now it is real.
Beirut Traffic Cop directing traffic while on his cell phone with his boss (the wife, maybe?)


kheireddine said...

We had traffic lights on that crossroads (Corniche Al-Manara-Nagib Ardati)in 1970! From the darkness, I think there is a power outage ;)

Kheireddine said...

Policemen/Policewomen in Montreal are wearing these days guerrilla-style combat pants...At every riot, their cruisers get vandalized. Even here, Police does not inspire much respect.


Simple Answer said...

I know after Ramadan I have certainly enjoyed being able to bring my travel mug of coffee down outside while my kids wait for the bus. And lots of people here are really enjoying their cigarettes again!

Great picture in the mirror!

Marillionlb said...

Maybe you should e-mail a copy of the traffic policeman to our Minister of the interior who is very keen on upholding the traffic code just to see how he would react.

Patrick said...

Vroeger zag ik veel politie op de Harleys rondrijden. Een jaar later rijden ze plots tevoorschijn met die Amerikaanse bakken. Het liefst in combinatie met zwaailichten, niet omdat het nodig is, maar zuiver "voor de show".