Monday, August 16, 2010

A typical visit

Mom and I have just returned from a pop-in visit to Dad's talkative cousin. Her name is due to the fact that we didn't have to say much during our 20 minutes in her store, where she sells anything from nail brushes and plastic earrings to tablecloths and pyjamas - and then there are bras hanging from their straps on a coat stand above her head, next to an image of Mar (Saint) Charbel. She's great and I love visiting her and listening to her akhbar.

Some snippets of conversation:

'One of my husband's friends wants me to sell his toys from my shop.' (And I'm thinking where the heck are you going to put them? You already had to move clothes and other for-sale items off the couch so that I could sit in this three-by-three-metre space.)

'My daughter wants to study graphic design or advertising. I suggested law, and I also like the idea of public administration.' (Very different. Are you both on the same

'I've made my daughter work at a new hotel that's opening. She doesn't like it. She says the one room has a Jacuzzi right next to the bed and it's terrible. I told her that's how sophisticated people live.' (This one sounds better in Lebanese, but it's cute nonetheless.)

Rings the bell that rings upstairs in her home and waits 20 seconds before her daughter calls down from the balcony: 'Maaaaaa!' Goes outside to the street and shouts up to her daughter to come down. 'Wake up! Put something on! Come say hi to Clarice and Tracy!' (Yay. Now the entire village knows we're here. We might never get away!)

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