October 15, 2015

Mountain Life

We don't really get the fall colors in Lebanon, because it's the heat & lack of water that make the leaves fall rather than the cold. But the Virginia creeper makes up for that with beautiful red leaves
 
Hubbie has momentarily had it with Beirut. We’ve got a compressor in action on both sides of our building, the garbage doesn’t get picked up very regularly anymore, business is slow - if not dead, traffic is horrendous, and it’s just too hot and sticky in town. He’s decided to stay up in the mountains until the weather gets cold. . If I want to see him, I’ve got to drive to the mountains. This has some benefits. I do not have to share the remote control.


When I was young, we had wild rose hip jelly. I don't think they make it here, otherwise they would have all been picked.
 
And when hubbie does something, he does it with vigor. He’s all in favor of the mountain life now. He walks through the village twice a day, and chats with all the inhabitants on his daily rounds. He’s either walking his dogs, or looking for them, as they frequently take off.
The other day, one of the dogs had a very deep wound in his side. It almost looked like he’d got stabbed with a knife. Now who would do that to a dog, he was wondering? The mystery was solved when two days later, he walked past a house when suddenly a huge goat came charging out of the driveway, chasing the dog. “Rana!!!! Daher el kharouf!!!!!!” yelled an elderly man (Rana, the sheep took off!). Obviously it was a regular occurrence.   The dog must have underestimated the goat the first time.
 
The light is beautiful now, at this time of the year

He’s studying the behavior of the jackals that roam the house at night, and that try to eat the puppies that were born last month: they got one so far, but the rest has been fenced in for safety now. He’s contemplating growing his own tomatoes, gathers cucumbers from fields which the harvesters have left behind for his salad, has become an expert on what mosquito repellent works best, knows when the electricity “comes and goes” (typical vocabulary you’ll only understand when you live in Lebanon),  is talking with the black smiths on how to build a chicken coop, and has long conversations on the phone with a friend on which chickens are best suited for the cold weather in winter time up in the mountain. The verdict is ‘djesh pharaon’; Egyptian chickens.
 
I love sandy roads with stone walls
 
He’s decided to support the local economy of the village and has bought himself some very, how shall I describe it, ‘interesting foot wear’. He immerges himself in the local culture with a vengeance. Nothing wrong with that, let’s just say that the sandals and slippers worn by the mountain inhabitants of a certain age and/or occupation are not to be found in the shops of Beirut. At least not those where I shop. His enthusiasm has a very endearing quality to it.
 
Trees are losing their leaves
Lately however, he’s been going a step further. He’s upgrading the mountain house, making it more comfortable  than the Beirut house. There’s a plan there; he’s trying to lure me up there, hoping to convince me to move there permanently. That’s not going to happen, as we are bound to Beirut for work, school and social life. And I am not a mountain person. I love the hikes, and the scenery, and nature, however, Beirut is dear to me. Can’t leave her alone. But hubbie’s a long term planner. He’s got his eyes set on the mountains.
 
 
A snake that molted (not sure if that's a fall thing too)
 
Who knows, in ten years from now, I’ll be ‘Sietske bill Jabal’ instead of ‘Sietske in Beirut’.
 
 

1 comment:

Tanya Dernaika said...

Mountain, city or sea, we'll still be following your chronicles avidly.