And so we’ve arrived at post #1,000.
I started blogging some 6 years ago (6 years and 12 days, to be exact), because there was something in the air in Beirut. There was this hint of change; a fresh breath of air was weaving itself through the neighborhoods of the city. The moment felt historical, and I thought, this is it, I am in the middle of an incredible moment, I need to record that. What did they call it? The Beirut Spring? Or the Cedar Spring? I don’t know. It doesn’t matter anyway.
We all know the rest; some 6 years later, and the momentum of change has long gone. We have come to a grinding halt, and not just recently. In some instances we’re even going backwards. I blame all politicians and parties involved.
But it doesn’t really matter, because blogging turned out to be much fun.
In times when I would have rather lounged on the couch and wile my weekends away in front of the TV, I was forced to go out and explore, because my gosh, what on earth was I going to write about? What would people think, that I have nothing better to do than lounge on that couch in front of the TV?
There were times when I would go out on errands without a camera in my pocket, and I’d be worried that I might encounter that quintessential Lebanese scene, like a family of five on the scooter, and miss taking a picture of it for the blog.
And then there were the frustrations, the long line-ups in the supermarket after a nasty political speech, the bureaucracy, and the ignorance, but blogging turned nuisances into blogable moments.
|Two Dutch Babes, growing up in Beirut, eating ice-cream, and complaining how mean their Arabic teachers are (Hamra Hooligans would probably be a more appropriate term).|
Through their comments, I met lots of homesick Lebanese (and other people), all pining for Beirut, but forced to far-away horizons, because Beirut is brutal. Making a decent living in this place is difficult, very very difficult. Those that live here always complain about the chaos, and the traffic, the corruption and the people (me included), but if you’d give all those that live abroad the option to make a decent living here in Beirut or in their adoptive country, they’d all choose here.
There is something about Beirut.
And I can’t put my finger on it. Beirut inspires. She drains your energy, but makes you feel alive. To live in this place, you constantly need to use all your senses. It is a city of incredible tragedy, a perpetual Titanic, always on the verge of sinking, but not quite. It’s a little sleazy. You know that behind this chic and sophisticated façade is a shabby interior, a little run-down, sordid, with a hint of former glory, long gone. Beirut often reminds me of an old Hollywood actress who – way past her prime – still pretends she’s topping the Billboards. And I like her that way.
And so I keep on blogging, because this blog is not about me, but about Beirut (and surrounding areas). I am glad my children grow up in this city. Later in life, where ever they go, they can say, with distinction; “I grew up in Beirut.” For me, that’s a badge of honor.
And that, dear readers, was it for post # 1000. This is as good as it gets.