Monday, June 28, 2010

When you have no state you'd better have a mind!

Under the rubble of a bridge that is being demolished in Beirut, in very small characters, on an A4 torn page, in Times New Roman 12, the State of Lebanon warned its people from the danger of walking under the bridge for their own safety. What about the tourists that you so cherish and who do not read Arabic? What about the blinds, the illiterates, the myopics, the kids, you name it? If you are so keen on the lives of the people, why don't you just seal off the area? but still, whenever I pass by the place, I see people passing under the half bridge light headed. I mean, the safe passage is only 10 steps away, and sometimes shortcuts take you faster to the end, the ultimate end that is.


Someone (that same one) had the other day a spark of wisdom: "No one is funny in the afternoon," he said. It was a funny thing to say on an afternoon.


If you want to know the personal secrets of rich women, ask their hairdressers.


I discovered that rich people always have change. They know that they might need to tip people at any moment as part of the rich people behavior but they also need to send off the street kids who stick on their expensive car windows. Most of the times I find myself with one bill only and all I can give away is a huge embarrassed smile.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Of pain and rain

There is something magical in crying in the rain. It is nature experiencing sympathy pain.


"Lesson learned" is a phrase I hate when it comes to mistakes I make in life. It is supposed to make anyone feel good about themselves and move on instead of feeling remorse. But, maybe "lesson" is not the right word here, because as opposed to a lesson, 1) you didn't ask for it, 2) you didn't negotiate the price you paid, and 3) it is postpaid. Woody Allen has a very nice saying that goes "experience is the name everyone gives to their mistakes." Some of the mistakes are indeed experience but when they cost you more than you can afford, they should be called "kick in the nuts".

Blog in Arabic Day 26 June

Maybe it is a black mark for this blog that it isn't in Arabic. I am a fierce supporter of the Arabic Language which I adore. One of the reasons I blog in English is that my laptop is not yet Arabic supported and I still use Yamli to help me out although I type more than 60 words per minute in Arabic. Another reason is that I am not an opponent of the English language or any other language and it is a fact that with English you reach out to a wider readership although you would be missing on a another fraction not only the non-English speakers but also some anti-Arabic Lebanese. The third reason is that I prefer if my family doesn't read any of this material because I am still leading a double life.

Night rain

Last night it rained while I was sleeping and that doesn't count. It was even sunny in my dreams, not one drop!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Tom and Jerry

When I was a kid, I used to like and sympathize with Jerry in the famous Tom and Jerry Cartoon series because I thought that Tom was evil and that he tries to mess up with the peaceful life of little Jerry. "Just because he is bigger, doesn't mean he is stronger" was the main thing I learned from that at the time. Surprisingly, it wasn't until very recently that I discovered that in fact Tom is the nice one and that it was Jerry who often instigated the fight. Jerry is not bad either, and to be fair, sometimes it was Tom who provoked Jerry out of mere boredom, but those were exceptional. It was weird for me to watch Tom and Jerry again now and just discover that I actually Sympathize with Tom and that Jerry can be equally unfair. How many times, was Tom lying back enjoying his milk, when Jerry pops out of his hole to steal some of his food, or when Jerry would drive Tom to make stupid mistakes right when the landlady (the one we never see except for her legs and night shoes) enters the room, Jerry easily hiding, leaving Tom alone under the merciless broom beatings. I wasn't a stupid kid, but maybe it isn't for granted that we are born good or fair. I guess that I loved Jerry because he made me laugh at the misery of Tom and that's evil. I have turned into a better person now.

New Design

Let me know what you think of the new design. I must say that I was reluctant to change the layout. I got used to the old template. Although I am not the kind of person who would resist or take time to accept change (especially when it comes to social norms) but I feel more comfortable, or my eyes at least, opening the page and not getting the first impression of "that's not my blog!".

Monday, June 21, 2010

Female condoms with 'teeth' to fight rape

I don't know if this is a good or bad device. I cannot stop thinking of what the rapist would do when he is trapped down there. This could be more traumatizing than the rape itself and it is still rape even if he is trapped. But still come to think of it, it is something after all. "If only I had teeth down there", said a rape survivor.

Sexist fever hits advertisement sector in Lebanon

among others...

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Jose Saramago

I am bad at writing obituaries but I have to say that one of the reasons I like the author of "Blindness" is that he started writing novels in his 50's which makes me feel good about myself and gives me hope in accomplishing my ever delayed novel plan. Those authors who start writing at a very early age, some as early as 15, truly annoy me, for pure self delusional reasons.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

The revenge

I think I am paying my neighbors- those same neighbors- a visit now with some champagne. France just lost.

My neighbors

I hate my neighbors. I hate them for they have a French flag on their balcony; for they throw raw meat from the balcony to the cats and I hate cats too who greet me first thing every morning; for they don't pay for the elevator's maintenance and pretend that they take the stairs; for they answer with "Bonjour" every time I say "Marhaba"; for when they met my friend Ahmad, they said "ah.. le plombier!." My only relief is that I know that they hate me too. I will make sure that they hate me more.

On the road...

A man called a radio station and was mad at a driver who passed by his car and threw a can from the window. The program host asked him: are you calling us while driving? The guy said: euh... euh...

If your house is made of glass

Some Lebanese are circulating this spoof video that makes fun of North Korea (reporting to their people that they beat Brazil 1-0). If Lebanon had scored a goal in the Brazilian net, the Council of Ministers would have called the next day a national holiday. The president would have given the scorer the highest medal of honor. I mean watch this video and imagine what they would do.

Female anger

For me, I don't know if this is common for women in general, anger is a burn in the womb. I guess I have mentioned this before somewhere on this blog.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

World Cup?

I had planned to write about the World Cup Euphoria in Lebanon but I had no time to breathe these past days. The news I had has become outdated, but I have to post this photo. Do I have to assume that the owner of this car is a fan of the "American football team"?

Halal and Haram

A female friend of mine who got married recently told me that the first time she had sex with her husband after marriage (first time after marriage that is), she had a feeling that she couldn't explain but that is close to guilt; she felt as if she was doing something wrong. "I am used to making love to you in haram," she told him "that having sex in Halal feels weird."

The Lebanese language

The guy who wrote these words below on a garage door in Hamra was so confused about where to put the "hamzeh", so he decides to write it in two different ways. Both are wrong.
I know people who make fun of other Lebanese when they speak English with a Lebanese accent. They "Zazouzi", they say, referring to their pronunciation of the "The" as "Za, or Ze" with a strong Z. I must say that while I find "zazouzying" totally fine, and while I believe that I respect people who speak a foreign language with their own accent, even when they can very well hide it (on the other hand we find it funny or even sexy when foreigners speak Arabic with a French or English or Russian or Japanese, etc. accent), it annoys me a lot that those same people most often ignore the basic grammar rules of the Arabic language. They would correct your pronunciation of the word "dictionary" but they wouldn't be offended if you tell them that their Arabic sucks. Lebanon is the only country I know of where the native language is taught at schools as a second language. This funny website is advising to master what they call the "Lebanese language" and "then study Arabic if they choose to add another language to their vocabulary." And yes, although he wrote in fluent Arabic, Said Akl despised the Arabic script and he called for using Latin Alphabets instead. The Guardians of the Cedar seriously called for making the Said Akl's "Lebanese dialect" as the official language of Lebanon. Unfortunately, although their political plan failed, most Lebanese people are Guardians of the Cedar is this sense. Facebook is making things worse.