October 18, 2012

Beirut: Big City, Small Town

Beirut is a cosmopolitan city with some 1 million inhabitants, if not more. And people live their lives in the fast lane in this place. What happens to me here, in this place, over the course of one year, is what the general Dutch person would experience in ten years, if not more.

Checking under the hood

Bombs, political assassinations, Israeli bombardments, demonstrations (with or without tire burning), street fights and riots, strikes, kidnappings, government officials that are caught spying for Israel or Syria, closure of schools, visiting popes, political debates that spiral into fantastic insult sessions, talk shows where the host needs to separate guests engaged in fist fights, power cuts, janitors that disappear with the building’s safe and I am sure you can add a whole plethora of events to this list; all in the course of a short period.

But in many ways, this town is really small. Like a village. Everyone knows everyone else. Everybody seems to be  related to each other through a far and distant twice removed cousin from your mother’s side.

Checking under the hood; his cousin teaching him how to check the oil
What is my point? Well, that last one. Beirut is a small village.

My son has acquired a car which I - as I have undoubtfully probably mentioned on numerous occasions - find a nonnecessity to the twentieth degree.  But I have managed to somehow have some say over the matter, and I have deemed it unnecessary that he drives his car to school. His school is only 2.2 kilometers away from the house (yes Adrian, I checked it!), finding a parking over there is near to impossible, so he will have to park in a parking lot which will cost him more in parking fees than the price of a service up and down to school. Add to that fuel costs and loss of value due to heavy duty use (driving in rush hour traffic will inevitably lead to fender-benders, scratches and dents), and you’ll understand that leaving the car at home during school days is a matter of simple home economics.
I have stated my case over and over again, because he keeps arguing his case. Anyway, the decision is made. No car during school days.  

And then today, while at work, I get a text message from a friend. It reads “I think I just saw your son - being very careful and watchful - leaving  the parking lot in his car when I drove by your house. That was quite a reality check; mine (her son) will be doing the same in only 4 years time.”

Come again? He’s driving out of the parking lot in his car? It is a Thursday? A school day? He is so BUSTED! That's Beirut for you. 


Anonymous said...

LOL... Poor A.

Anonymous said...

hahaha adrian you`re toast. And grounded no doubt. I`m proud of my nephew.