September 01, 2013

On Edge Part II

It seems like the situation has diffused, for the time being. Our next door neighbors are in for some bombing, but not just right now. I wonder whether the consumption of Valium is on the rise in Damascus and surroundings. Nothing that frays the nerves more than impending doom.
I say nothing is going to happen. Hubbie says it will. We initially bet $20 on it. That was before the UK and Germany pulled out. I should have raised the bet. Whenever he hears a commercial airliner going over, he says “You hear ‘em? Your hear ‘em?” I hear nothing.
The Dutch embassy sent out a notice yesterday afternoon to be vigilant and heed their travel advice. Lots of places you shouldn’t go to. Basically, it said ‘stay home; do not venture outside if you can possibly help it.’
Here it was still quiet on the road
We had to restock our annual supply of arak however, and so a trip to Zahle was on the program. Zahle is in the Bekaa valley. One of the places my embassy says I should definitely not be going. That would mean however,  traffic would be light, and so we went.
Well, traffic was not as light as expected on the mountain pass to the Beqaa valley. Quite the opposite. It seems entire Damascus was on the move into the direction of Beirut. Two lanes were moving over the Dahr el Baidar pass.
The arak distiller in Zahle
Difficult, if you take into consideration that in many places this is just a one lane road. Even more difficult when you realize that in the opposite direction, there were also two lanes moving into the direction of the Beqaa Valley. One lane was occupied with Syrian ten-ton trucks that are currently supplying Syria with whatever it is they need - and who crawl up the mountain at 10 miles an hour, and crawl down at 5 miles an hour – while the other lane was filled with cars that actually did want to get somewhere, like us. Four lanes of tight traffic on a two lane-highway. You get the picture.
(Not the main) road to Zahle

And yet another wedding, hence the Zaffe guys by the side of the road
So much for the ‘stay at home’ policy. We took a different road and ended up on all kinds of narrow mountain roads. We drove past a marriage (The Zaffeh gang was at it again), apple orchards, ancient mountain wells, and got lost on dirt roads while following signs that said there were historic tombs somewhere. (we never found them).
Sort of lost
It was a lovely day for a road trip. I hope I win my $20. 


Antoine said...

This is extremely immature. I am a Lebanese citizen and I care about your safety.

Did you know they could pressure the EU by kidnapping Europeans? Some are crazy enough to do it.

Anonymous said...

Some Jews in the US have an old bill to settle with Assad, and now is their chance... You're about to loose your 20 US$.

Anonymous said...

Pretty pictures!! Thanks S!!