March 15, 2017

Back to Winter

Grey skies over Beirut

  For a moment I thought we had spring coming, but winter is back in town. Last Sunday was like Sundays I remember back in Holland; Gray, windy, wet and gloomy. Not a soul on the street. And when my daughter went to the art supply store, and it turned out it was (quite unusual) closed, the picture was complete. If ever you are prone to depressions, do not spend wintery Sundays in small villages in Holland. And it has been raining ever since. Not just raining, but entire deluges. It is snowing in the Cedars as I speak (writing this, that is).

Some lost tourist; a group of ladies from Iraq
And so I have put off switching wardrobes, an activity that is alien to Dutch people in general. It can be cold in Holland all year around; putting away your winter clothes for the season is useless, but in Beirut you don’t need winter sweaters for about 8 months of the year. Even longer these days, it seems.
Beirut from a different perspective

I was going to say something about global warming, but 1) the weather is obviously behaving as it should, and 2) but that word got me suddenly side tracked by the fact that I have – for reasons unclear to me – somehow ended up on the mailing list of the new White House administration.  I can’t remember, but I doubt that I ever voiced my strong opinion towards any of the American administrations in place, so why they suddenly would have added me – an obscure blogger in Beirut with no cloud, ‘wasta’ or real opinion -  to the White House mailing list is anyone’s guess.  Maybe Donald – or someone in his office - has been secretly a longtime reader of my blog?  Is there anyone in his retinue that is of Lebanese origins? Seems unlikely, but how did I get on that list??? Life’s a mystery.

Fishermen come out as the sun sets

 What I find surprising is that today as I walked home, I noticed our neighbors had a water truck in front of their building, and pumping water into their reservoir. For those readers not aware of the situation in Lebanon, our water supply is rationed.
Simple amenities, such as electricity, water, and internet, do not function properly in this town, but you’d think that - after this incredible amount of water that has come down this winter – the government would be able to at least provide enough water? But a 24/7 water supply is not in the stars anytime soon.  The water authorities blame it partially on the influx of Syrian refugees, but I doubt the accuracy of that. Are we going to blame the pathetic electricity supply of the last 26 years on them as well? And the fact that my phone line stops when it rains? Or my slooooooooooow Internet?


But I am not going to complain. I have completed my #365gratefulness project (not exactly in 365 days, though) and am aware of the power of positive thoughts. So I leave you with some uplifting pictures, Beirut from the water. 
Because when you are out on the water, everything gets a different perspective. It changes the way you look at things. Okay, so we don't have water. But if we cannot have it in our pipes, we can at least float on it.   


Anonymous said...

Ha ha,you probably ended up on the list because you tend to upset the lebanese forces supporters (like me) on your blog. Dr Walid Fares (a Lebanese christian) , is an advisor to the US president on Middle East matters. Very naughty of you. :)

Sietske said...

Hahaha, I wonder. I was not aware that I roast the Lebanese Forces any more than I do all other parties. :)

le pâtissier said...

dear sietske,
first of all: congrats for your fine BEY blog! i just love to read it: the essays, stories and aperçus are always like letters from home.THANKS!
and please allow me one question: in your "back to winter"-story you mention an art supply store in beyrouth. could you please tell me where it is? while in lebanon i've often tried to find a good one.
thank you very much! and good luck!

Sietske said...

Well, there is Diabco (at the end of Hamra, right side, just after the crossing with Sadat Street) as the road is dropping off, (which was closed on Sunday) and there is Fairco on Corniche Mazraa, but that one is more difficult to indicate. After the bridge of Saeb Salaam, n the direction of Barbir, on the right side (somewhere) Enjoy.

le pâtissier said...

THANK YOU VERY MUCH!!! I really appreciate it!

Elie Touma said...

Dear Sietske,
What a fantastic and lovely set of pictures showing the beautiful Beirut, with you in one of the photos.!!!
Many thanks for a wonderful new experience that you are sharing with us.

Sietske said...

@ Thank you Elie :)