Tuesday, April 13, 2010

The good, the bad and the ugly

Lebanese life is treating me better than good - it's walla-walla great! Besides having received even more work from Aishti today (including interviewing one of the members of the FENDI family when she visits her FENDI store in Downtown Beirut in May. What will I wear?!?!?!), I found an apartment in a very bustling street about 10 minutes away from Centre Ville (centre of town). I'm moving in on Sunday and will be living with a French/ Lebanese Masters student and part-time journalist, and another girl who will be moving in in May. One way to improve my French!

The Aishi fashion store in Centre Ville (on the left).

My soon-to-be lounge/ living area. The door on the left opens to a balcony looking down to the street from the fourth floor.

Luckily I'm not a first-time visitor to Lebanon, else today's scene would have rattled me rather wildly. Check out this video and note the Muslim prayers in the background, coming from the mosque behind me, and the soldiers moving around. There were so many soldiers in Centre Ville today, and when I dared to ask one why there were so many of them lining the pedestrianised streets, he said, 'I cannot tell you this.' I later asked a taxi driver and he said it was because of some parliamentary thing taking place nearby.
(Maybe the politicians were having a team talk before their soccer match this evening. Some of the country's top politicians from all the different parties and religious groups joined together for a friendly game of soccer, allowing the country to see a softer side to them all, while showing that they actually can work together to 'reach goals'. It was cool to see even the prime minister running around on the field. I recommend the whole Middle East play a friendly match soon.)

Unfortunately not all of Lebanon is as spotlessly clean as Centre Ville (above). In fact, Centre Ville might be the only clean, inhabitted place in the country. Litter is a sad truth. Sorry, but I had to show you a bit of reality this time; it can't be all about food and fun.

Litter lines the streets (note how the rubbish bins are just across the road).

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