|A nice empty beach on a sunny Sunday in February|
I think it’s official now; we’re going to skip winter this year. I’ve packed my skis again (haven’t worn them this year and probably won’t anymore until January 2015) and went to the beach last Sunday. And although I love snow, this everlasting fall/spring weather has my appreciation. It’s February, and we’re hanging out on the beach; what could you possibly want more?
I know that the drawbacks of global warming are incredible, ranging from extreme weather to droughts, floods, economic misery, migrations and others catastrophic events, and friends in Ashrafiye have been complaining they’ve had to buy water for the past four weeks since the government is not delivering water anymore, but to be able to hang out on the beach on a February, that’s nice. Think of all these poor suckers in England, the States, or Japan.
It’s a strange beach we went to, in the sense that it is a beach where a river runs into the sea, the Ibrahim River, and so you can sit on the beach while at the same time you can sit on the river bank. Somehow there must be an underwater outlet as well, because the amount of water that runs into the sea is not representative for the volume the river holds some 500 meters upstream, but where it all goes, I don’t know.
My SIL and I drove our right cars onto the beach, very environmentally unfriendly, I know, and had a beach picnic with the kids. Or what’s left of our kids. The older ones have gotten to an age where they disdainfully decline our weekend invitations to exciting places, and rather lie in their beds and rot.
The beach was empty, save for some Syrian workers who went for a swim nearby, four Sri Lankan men who also came for a picnic and a few Syrian couples with children who took a Sunday stroll along the shore. How do you know if someone is Syrian? The veiled ladies dress slightly different from their Lebanese counterparts. Considering that both SIL and I hold a foreign passport, you could say it was a migrant beach J . We live in a segregated society.
|A girl and her dog|
And while we lounged in the sun for free, the kids made huts from bamboo sticks lying around, built pebble houses and played ‘tribes that trek across the river’, a game I am unfamiliar with.
Which gets me to the second part of this post.
Last week I mistook a Ferrari for a Lamborghini. Okay, this can happen to the best of us. But Sunday’s incident may have given my notion that I know something about cars the final kiss of death.
You see, while driving home from the beach, I noticed a ‘kloink’ in my car every time I used the brakes. A metallic ‘kloink’. I was stuck in the Sunday ‘going-back-home-to-Beirut’ traffic jam in Jounieh, and needed to use the brakes a lot, so I kept hearing that ‘kloink, right behind me on the left side of the car. Something was wrong , I knew that much, but I couldn’t quite figure out how I could have managed to damage the brakes while driving on the beach. I had driven down a steep ramp to get onto the beach, had driven through a thick layer of sand and pebbles, but I couldn’t remember hitting anything.
Back home, I announced that someone was going to have to take my car to the garage because there was ‘something wrong with my brakes’. That someone was to be my hubbie, because in this country, any dealings with handymen, plumbers, carpenters, mechanics and other repairmen is the domain of the men. Remember the segregated society part?
Hubbie was visibly annoyed. How on Earth had I managed to do that? Had I driven through a deep hole (again)? Not stopped at a speed bump? Driven over a metal bar? Not seen that huge boulder? Driven into the sea? Changed from 4Low to 4 High while driving? No, no, no, no and no, I had done nothing to damage the car, it had happened all by itself.
A deep sigh ensued. “I am going to have a look, I find this very annoying,” he said, and took my car for a spin to check out for himself what it was.
His silent demeanor and that nasty smirk on his face, when he came back, should have given me a clue, but I didn’t pay enough attention.
“So you want to know what was wrong with your brakes?” he finally asked,
“What, you figured it out? Can you fix it?” I asked eagerly.
“You remember that fire extinguisher that you have rolling around on the floor of your car?” he said. “That metal one, the one that says ‘kloink’ when it hits something else metallic?”
That's NOT funny.
|Barefoot among the garbage of broken glass and hypodermic needles. I hope her mom is willing to deal with the consequences. Oh, I'm her mom.|