June 03, 2012

Sunday in Beirut

An sandy beach down south. The men are playing racket ball. You could call it a traditional Lebanese sumer sport, I guess. Wherever there is sand and Lebanses men, there is racket ball. 
It is Sunday morning in Beirut. Government is supplying electricity, and so it is void of the humming of generators. The only sound you hear is the humming of the water pumps, and some birds. For some reason, there is no pressure on our waterlines, and if you want water to come out of your tab, you have to pump it to a tank on your roof (or your building’s roof), and gravity does the rest. Once in the tank, it also requires a pump, or else it will just ‘fall’ out of your shower head, instead of ‘spray’ out. The intricate workings of a society that somehow never regained its pre-war status, even though we are some 30 years further. The poor Syrians next door will be experiencing the same if they do not stop soon.

Beach Bums

A sure sign that summer is in full force is that my children roll into their beds at night with their clothes on, and get up the next morning in the same outfit. They also wear socks with huge holes, and get stringy hair because of salty water.  What will the neighbors say? Who cares? They eat breakfast at 12, and ask “What beach are we going to?”

I love the contrasts in this society. And anything goes. That's how it should be anyway.

Today we went to the south for the beach, south meaning ‘south of Beirut’. Every year there is a ‘favorite’ beach in town. The problem with ‘favorite’ is that the next year, they’ve made massive improvements in the hope of attracted an even bigger crowd, after which the beach loses its initial charm, and this make-over needs to be financed, so the entrance fee and food prices are hiked up quite massively as well.  And so it takes some time before we’ve located the new ‘favorite’ of the summer. I am not sure it is going to be this one. But it was nice. 

On the way home; sandy feet on the dash board.


Tia said...

Hi there!I've been consulting your blog lately to determine the get the situation in Lebanon from a "local's" point of view. I booked a ticket to go to Lebanon in July, but with what's being reported on the news, I'm still unsure of whether I will actually go. Can you give me your impression of the situation in Beirut? I would greatly appreciate it!

Sietske said...

What can I say? All is well in Beirut until it goes wrong, and that is always unpredictable. Right now - if you do not read the papers or watch the news - everyone is getting ready for summer and the place is in full swing. We're watching Dutch soccer outdoors coming Saturday and everyone is making summer plans. I do not sense any changes, so my guess would be, give it a go. Then again, the situation might change in a matter of 24 hours. Sorry, that probably doesn't help you much, but that's Beirut for you.

Tia said...

Thank you Sietske for your response! I am fully aware of the volatile country that is Lebanon! And from I can gather from other blogs, people are just planning their summer and living their day-to-day lives. No one can predict the future, but I sure hope that the situation will remain "stable" long enough so I get a chance to visit!

Anonymous said...

again lava-lamps on your blog? why? it slows it all down sooooo much....

Sietske said...

Okay, lava lamp is gone.