September 17, 2012


I absolutely LOVE this picture. I didn't make it though. 
This one is made by 
HabibBattah and comes from this website

So the pope was in town. If you expect some real insiders post on the wheeling and dealing of the holy man and his entourage while in town, I will have to disappoint you sorely. Although I am one of his flock, I went to the beach instead. I had to say goodbye to summer. This summer went so fast, and it only started yesterday!! I did get stuck in an immense traffic jam while he was on his way to the airport, though. 
I forgive him. I am of a forgiving nature.

Summer is running on its end . . . (sigh)
The pope did quite well without me, I hear, and made it out alive, which was a worry shared by many people. I mean, imagine they blow the guy up right here in Beirut! Of all places! Our reputation is shot enough as it is. We’d never hear the end of that.

. . . and the beach was nice and quiet. Not too many people. That's when beaches are at its best.

A friend of mine living in Tripoli left Beirut early on Friday because she wanted to make sure not to get stuck in all the ‘pope traffic’.  That was a good one. Instead she got stuck in the ‘Burn the KFC’ traffic, much to her dismay.  The KFC, by the way, was not burnt down because of the pope’s visit. Nor was it burnt down because of the collective anger over some movie. Rather it was burnt down because the level of ignorance is so encridibly high among certain groups of men that they fail to see beyond their bushy beards. 

It will be the end of my tan as well. And flip flops. And flimsy little dresses that cost 12,000 at Eldorado

As you may deduce from this post, I have little respect for men who claim that religion is going to bring us salvation. No, it brings us traffic jams and burnt-down establishments. 
But I forgive them. I am of a forgiving nature.

New traffic jams are on its way, as yet another religious party is calling for some more demonstrations.  Why not? All the other guys get to make a point. And so we’ll have an interesting week ahead. So traffic jams, burnt-down establishments and demonstrations with - I am sure - some good old fashioned tire burning. 
But I forgive him. I am of a forgiving nature.

The beach crew packing and stacking the lounge chairs and umbrellas for another year

But not always. Last Saturday I went out for ice-cream on Hamra. It was evening, traffic was dense, everyone double-parked, taxis took their time to drop off and pick up people in the middle of the road, and I was chilling. I joined the mass, and parked my car in the most unpleasant way right on the corner of the ice-cream shop. I mean, I really made it very difficult for everyone behind me to maneuver around me. In other words; I blended in just perfectly.

Beach crowd (and other people that were not at the pope, not burning burger joints or demonstrating otherwise)

Not according to a lady behind the wheel of a car. And right she was. It was absolutely obnoxious of me. Now had she said: “You’re parking behavior is non-social, “ I would have said: “Sorry mam, you are right. Let me move my car.” Had she said: “You park like a jerk and you are one too,” I would have laughed and replied: “You’re absolutely right. I apoilogize, let me move my car.” Had she said: “Shame on you for parking like an idiot,” I would have told her "You are absolutely right", and would have moved my car. Because she was absolutely right about being upset. 

Chilling . . 

But she didn’t say all that. No, instead she said: “Do you do this in your OWN country too?” And I am thinking, of course I do not do this in my OWN country (no matter that I probably lived longer in Lebanon than she has). Why would I do this in my OWN country? In my OWN country people do not treat each other like this. And if you want to know where I learnt how to park so shitty, well, it was not in my OWN country. So I replied. And I was not of a forgiving nature.

The 'shebab; on their way home too. It was a good weekend (for some)

Message of this post? None. Luckily we do have some normal people in this place as well. We should hear the normal people more often. Such as him, and her, and him, and her as well.


Lalebanessa said...

I think you may have what I call "Civilized World Withdrawal Syndrome" aka CWWS. It occurs for a few weeks upon returning to our beloved country having spent some time in a place with electricity, law and order,and other such modern amenities.

Anonymous said...

Hahahaha one of your best articles. Loved it! You poor foreign lady having to live in our land when most of us don't have to...

Julie said...

The City Daily Photo Blog Theme Day for October is nearly upon us. Have you, as yet, given some thought to your interpretation of our theme, ‘Silhouette’? There are a number of meanings to this word, and there is no need to feel restricted to the meaning in the English language. If you are a member of Face Book, you are welcome to post your contribution to the CDPB group page at If you are not a member of Face Book, you may care to post at
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Anonymous said...

Love your humor specialy answering that annoying lady over the parking. :)

tasteofbeirut said...

I am enjoying your prose and subtle irony.