December 20, 2008

We Buy Our Socks from the Hood of Cars

Not much happening, and so I will share with you a social experience. Poverty is often not obvious here, as the Lebanese are quite the experts on making appearances. I’ve met people who drive fancy cars, sport Rolex watches and wear expensive Armani suits, but when you go to their apartment, they live with their parents, the furniture dates from the late 70’s, the wallpaper is peeling off the wall and only one out of 12 lamps in the chandelier are working. Two Dutch ladies in Ashrafiyah (I'm not in the picture)

And thus, while walking in Ashrafiye, we were accosted by a very nice looking older lady, who asked if we needed socks. Socks? We always need socks. For some mysterious reason, socks seem to lose their partners in the washing machines. It is a well-known phenomenon. I have about 35 single socks on the top of mine. The other 35 have evaporated. And so yes, please, we need socks. And there she displayed her ware, on the hood of a parked car. Socks and shirts and tea-towels and the likes. Turns out she was somewhere in her seventies, living in Furn-el-Chebek (another neighborhood of Beirut) and would take the bus to this more affluent quarter to peddle some items to make money for medications. She was alone, and the state does not, or cannot take adequately care of their elderly people. She could walk, but the moment that she becomes immobile, she will have to rely totally on her children (if she has any, and if she does, if they are here in Lebanon, and not abroad) or on neighbors. And so we bought socks, to get her through December.

3 comments:

Kheireddine said...

I have pity of the old poor people who live in Lebanon. The politician don't care about those people as they are all rich...

Anonymous said...

Yes, horrible the way they treat old people in Beirut. Compare that to Holland, where we lock them up, four in a room, so they don't get lost, don't hurt themselves and still have someone else to talk to... Much much better! Y.

Anonymous said...

very sad post!!! but nice touch with music addition!
L