December 13, 2009



It rained yesterday. When it rains in this town, it pours. To the extent that if you’re stuck in traffic and the downpour begins, you’ll be stuck for the next hour. And did it RAIN on Saturday! 41.4 mm of water fell, according to this web site. I don’t know if that is a lot, but it felt like a lot.

I had to drop off my daughter in Ashrafiya for a birthday party, and I was not driving over the road, but rather in a river. In this weather it is hard to find a parking spot in town, and beggars can’t be choosers, so when I found one, in running water, 10 cm deep, I had no option. Once parked, I debated it for a while, but had no choice but to get out of that car and into the river. Water ran left, right, and under the car. I was soaked up to my knees when I got to the party.
Three (half) Dutch girls under the rain in Beirut

I didn’t take any picture of the rising waters, but +961 did. And what he is showing, is really not that unusual. The situation has improved in my neighborhood, but I remember times when you couldn’t cross the street after a shower, because the water would lap over the sidewalk. And do you guys still remember the times when the Corniche would flood? You’d have water up to your car door, and you’d have to slalom your way around stalled cars (usually service drivers in their Mercedes cars). You had to be really careful, because there were lots of manhole covers missing, and the chances that you’d drive into a big hole were real. And if you drove to fast, your own car would stall too, so the trick was to drive steady, leaving a speedboat trail of waves behind you.

Ah, nostalgia.
Political posters on the wall
I like rain, for reasons that may be related to the fact that I am Dutch. And although one of the reasons to leave Holland was definitely weather-related, rains reminds me of my home. I have a number of Northern European friends/colleagues, and they all seem to perk up (temporarily) when it rains. Of course, after one day of rain we’ve been reminded enough again, and wish it would stop raining. And indeed, the Sunday started out beautifully sunny.

Martyr's Square, under the rain and in Christmas lights

1 comment:

angie nader said...

me and my husband used to say we would fish off the balcony when it rained....
i miss the rivers!