October 20, 2012

The Day After

The day after, is always nice and quiet. Beirut is empty, because everyone stays at home out of fear what might happen. It is nice and quiet, just like on a Sunday morning in summer, or like five minutes into the Iftar in West-Beirut. Very few cars, no honking horns, no voices on the street. The air is all acrid though, from burning rubber. 
I had to run some errands this morning, and those are best done on days like this. No traffic at all. What is a usually an hour long trip through town, is done and over with in a mere 12 minutes!  

Unfortunately quite a few roads were blocked by the army, due to tire burnings, and most businesses had closed their doors as well. And so my ‘running errands’ ended up a futile affair, but I did get around town. The atmosphere is ‘detendu’, as the French word it so well; relaxed. Not completely relaxed, but all things considered, we’re not doing so bad. There’s some tire burning, some road-blocking and the likes, but the keg has not been lit yet, so to speak. The situation in Tripoli is a little more explosive, but they've been on the edge a lot longer than us. Saida is not doing too well either.

Methinks I should get rid of the antenna on my car. 

There is a lot of army presence on the streets, but still, the atmosphere is okay. The prime-minister offered his resignation, and then suspended it, “until the president finalizes his consultations with the National Dialogue Committee,” according to Prime-Minister Mikati. March 14 (the political movement opposing Syria and Iran’s influence in Lebanon) is calling for a demonstration downtown this Sunday. We’ll see. We’ll get over this one (too). 

We’ll do fine. How can we not, when you encounter men like this, driving around together on a little scooter? What d’ you think the flowers are for? His wife just delivered? His Mom’s birthday?  Oh, I just see some black smoke billowing up a block away. Hmmmm. Let’s wait and see. 

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