I love having Greek sista visiting. I see things in a completely different light. Suddenly the buses are fun places to be, not the mode of transport I was threatening to boycott four days ago; Land Rovers are now worth staring at for the hot guys behind the wheel; food looks less 'everyday' and more 'exotic'.
Having visited Lebanon since a little girl, I've grown accustomed to things that people visiting for the first time think are bizarre or totally hysterical. Thanks to Greek sista, I've laughed at some of the most mundane Lebanese occurrences (such as a bus driver using a plastic bottle cap as his gear lever) and stared up in re-ignited awe at buildings I walk past constantly. Here are some of the people and places we came across on our wanderings through the city of Beirut yesterday...
Talk about a job with opportunity to climb the ladder!
Skateboarders at Martyrs' Square in Downtown.
A domestic worker stands on the balcony of one of Gemmayzeh's beautiful old buildings.
Free chocolates from Lebanon's famous chocolatier Patchi.
Working on his phone from his outdoor/ indoor office.
Charbel, the owner of Le Chef where we had a delicious Lebanese cooked lunch, stands in front of the postcards he's received from previous restaurant patrons. 'I place top priority on Irish foreigners - they're the best,' he says, showing off the postcards that come from that country.
Greek sista ordered an Amethyste Sunset Punch with vanilla-infused ice cubes at Amethyste pool lounge at the Phoenicia Hotel. I had an Amethyste Margarita: gold tequila spiked with runny honey, shaken with freshly pressed pineapple and lime juice with a hint of freshly ground black pepper. Saha!
I surprised Greek sista with a visit to Father Elephant after she fell in love with Baby Elephant at Le Gray the night before. These bead-encrusted ellies are the work of Mom's famous artist/ architect cousin Nadim Karam. This one stands in the luxury apartment block opposite Ayyam Gallery where Nadim exhibits.
Caught in the act of shimming el hawa. These guys are enjoying the waters of the glass-cased pool at Le Gray on a gorgeous day in Lebanon with views open to the mountainside.
Introducing Greek sista to Christian Louboutin, we spotted his South African version of these red-soled shoes. I think there are prettier things I could spend with $1 700!