August 24, 2013

Back in Beirut

Back in Beirut, and it is good to be back. Yes, regardless the latest bombings.
I missed the Hummers and the Ferraris; some 6,000 kilometers on the road through Europe, and I saw a total of 0 (yes, ZERO) Hummers and 2 Ferraris, and I drove right through Geneva, so it is not for lack of venues. I also missed the surgical plasters on noses and the butt-fat-inflated lips. I did not miss the traffic, nor the bombings, but due to yesterday’s bombing, traffic has cleared up quite a bit. This, of course, doesn’t last very long until the next bomb.
We seem to have moved from car bombs that target critical public figures (politicians, journalists, and security people) to car bombs that aim to terrorize a population and incite sectarian violence. There’s not much to say about that, other than that it seems to be working pretty good. I am not easily terrorized, nor do I belong to a sect, and I have tried to raise my children in the belief that they do not belong to a sect either. This, of course, is not helpful to the rest of the population, but it serves us well, until further notice.

A 5K race in Faqra, August 4. First place.
This picture was not taken by me, and isn't mine, a such.
Lots has happened, too much to share it all in one post, but I’d like to leave you with some happy news (as we are in dire need of it), and that is that Aragu, this housekeeper of ours has really gotten the hang of winning. During my absence she has won 2 races: one 5 K and one a mega 40 kilometer race, the “Barracks to Barracks” race, which is a military hiking exercise open to civilian participants, organized by the Rangers Regiment of the Lebanese Army. She wasn’t even supposed to run that one, but apparently another team member couldn’t make it so she filled in.
A 40 K race from Laqlouq to Besharre, August 18. First place
This picture was not taken by me, and isn't mine, a such.
For those not aware of where she comes from, here’s how it all started . She’s amassed since then some 10 medals in a matter of months, and gifts totaling some $1,000.
One fellow runner asked her – a little disgruntled apparently, after Aragu bumped her into second place – when she was planning on going 'back home'. Her team members of the Inter-Lebanon Road Running & Athletics Club came right away to the rescue, and defended her.
You hear a lot of negative news about the way Lebanese treat people of different color and race, but her team members are absolutely supportive. They drive her back and forth from venues, provide her with running equipment and train and encourage her constantly. The ladies at Aishti, one of the poshest stores in town, and where she won a $400 gift voucher, were equally respectful and helpful when she came in to shop.
So, there’s some good news too.  
We’re not totally going to the dogs just yet.


Gray Fox said...

Good to have you back!!

Anonymous said...

Congrats to Aragu.

Sietske …… toi-toi. We volgen het nieuws.

Mieke & Dimphy

visnja said...

Welcome back!

Anonymous said...

Good to your housekeeper has a new hobby... collecting trophies and medals!
Be safe,

Anonymous said...

Welcome back,

I thought your into trees, caves ,mountains and such not hummers.
Maybe you are becoming more Lebanese

Sietske said...

Thank you guys!! Yes, good to be back, even though it seems we're on the verge of yet another big event; will they bomb Syria or not? We'll get through this one, though, just as we got through all the rest. :) Thanks for your lovely wishes!!
(And no, I am not into hummers!)