April 03, 2010

More tourism

Downtown Beirut ("Is that a Rolex clock?" asked one of our friends in surprise.) 

Now that I have to play the tourist for some time, I obviously hang around places where other tourists go as well. I don’t think I’ve ever seen that many foreigners in town. Not just the regular tourists, the Arabs from the Gulf countries, but western tourists! People with shorts and shabby sneakers, white legs, faded T-shirts and fanny packs. Lots of Americans too, young and old, and even a couple of back-packers. Yesterday on Hamra traffic was backing up because a tourist bus was unloading about 60 ‘elderly’ English speaking passengers.
Between lunch and dinner time; the waiters are waiting for customers.

It’s the first time in almost 20 years now, that I see that many foreigners in town. We did get a lot of positive publicity lately in the foreign press (The Guardian, New York TimesTimesNew York Times Magazine ); it seems it has made its mark.
Look, there you have your nuns,” says my Mom.
No Mom, they’re not nuns, they’re khalijis (visitors from the Gulf)

 Now let’s keep our fingers crossed, because you know we are like that Sisyphus guy over here.
‘As a punishment from the gods for his trickery, Sisyphus was made to roll a huge rock up a steep hill, but before he could reach the top of the hill, the rock would always roll back down again, forcing him to begin again.’ (source)
Yep, that’s us.
I know, it’s a bit of a cliché; Lebanon, the country of 16 religions. Or is it 17? But still, makes a cute picture.

Downtown was very pleasant, by the way. I should play the tourist more often.


Anonymous said...

Hoi Sïetske,

Leuke blogs! Bedankt voor de tip trouwens, ik heb hem nog niet gebruikt maar maandag ga ik naar Jbeil en dan zal ik hem zeker nodig hebben!

Hopelijk ontmoeten we elkaar nog eens, ik kan zeker nog een hoop tips gebruiken van iemand die veel meer van Libanon snapt dan ik!

Groetjes Gert Jan

Francine said...

The first time my little daughter saw a "lady totally in black" walking a few steps behind her western cladd husband, she exclaimed: 'look, a black ghost!' ...

Demetrius Caleb said...

This sort of experiences always makes things quite reasonable for us if it all goes ahead, at the same time i would see 2 days tour from new york which is there for us on a note and that is what keeps a way which is always useful for us on such portions.