It's hot. Like hot hot. Like 41-degrees hot! Ice cream turns to milkshake, room-temperature water tastes like it's ready to dip a tea bag into, sunblock drips off the face as soon as you step outside, and the only good a fan does is make a noise loud enough to drain out the sounds of nearby construction works.
Spare a thought for those fasting during Ramadan, not allowing a drop of water to pass their lips during these pavement-steaming days, while I cannot survive without my five-litre gallon; those ladies wrapped up from head to toe, while I sweat through my tank top and consider hiking up my knee-length skirt a little higher.
Spare an even more gasping thought for those people in the building down the road from me who ran out of water yesterday. No ice-cold showers to wash away the day's stickiness. Gosh, I just had a vision of a Muslim living in that building. Now that's a sacrifice! But it's Achrafieh - still a predominantly Christian area of Beirut - so let's hope that vision isn't a reality. Haram!
The reason I know about this out-of-water fiasco is because I just passed the water truck pumping up water to the building's rooftop reservoir. The driver was very proud to show off his colourful truck. I wouldn't mind being a trucker if it meant driving such a groovy vehicle. I love all the colours, and especially the cedar tree, Lebanon's national symbol. Above and below it reads Allah yahmeekeh, which means 'may God protect you' i.e. may God protect Lebanon. This water (which is only for washing) costs $10 per 1 000 litres.
Allah yahmeenah in this heat!
The vertical pipe is the one leading from the truck to the reservoir on top of the building. The horizontal/ diagonal line is just another one of Lebanon's million hazardous electrical wires.