January 16, 2012

Beirut on Ice

Well, a building came crashing down in Beirut last night, (here is a face to the building, much more interesting than any newspaper article, and it's got a powerful quote: "So in simple terms: the rental law in Lebanon is hurtful for both the tenant and the landlord.") and Lebanese designers dominated the Golden Globe Awards .
And all I can come up with is some skating rink in downtown Beirut. Methinks I should get back into journalism really soon.

I used to laugh at those Arabs on skis in the Dubai mall. I mean, really, what were they thinking, creating a ski slope in a shopping mall in the middle of a hot desert?
Well, Saturday I went to that skating rink in downtown Beirut, and I think some westerners who were passing by must have thought; “Really, what are these Arabs thinking, creating a ski rink in the middle of downtown Beirut?”

They’re probably right.
The rink is about an eight of the size of any home-made-neighborhood skating rink in Northern Europe. The ice was way too hard, with a layer of water on top of it, ensuring that if you fall - which is quite inevitable, considering that you stick a bunch of non-skaters on dull ice skates on a slab of non-natural ice – you’ll be wet from top to bottom, and the price is probably out of reach for most Lebanese, especially of you have a family of 3 kids or more. I don’t understand why they ask so much. If you go for 5,000 for an hour, you get 5 times the amount of kids, and a full rink always looks better than a rink with just 15 suckers on skates. (Here’s home economics speaking) .

But what the heck, you’ve got four kids running around in your house, it’s been raining all week now, and cabin fever is all abound.

In retrospect, it was quite fun. And who liked it the most of all? The Ethiopian housekeeper! Never seen ice before, let alone skate on it.  I have respect for this lady.


Anonymous said...

I don't think it's silly at all! Very downtown-at-the-holidays type of thing to do. All cities have them! (And of course by "holidays" I mean month after the holidays are over, ahem.)

Style Cafe Beirut said...

Thank you for citing my blog post on Lebanese designers!!!i couldn't stop laughing while reading this post!!i loved reading about this through your point of view and kept imagining the Dutch tourists walking by and trying to contain their laughter..I'm not a fan of anything artificial..so I too think this is ridiculous..lebanon has natural snow and it's only an hour away from the city ...nevertheless,nothing beats the artificial skating rink I saw in a mall in saudi once..please try to picture a saudi kid in a thob (the white traditional dress they wear) attempting to "skate" ...
The comment about the Ethiopian housemaid..also hilarious

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