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Short Episodes

August 2005
A friend calls me up.
Friend: We are doing a get-together at Starbucks, wanna join us? Everyone wants to meet you, it's been such a long time.
Me: Starbucks?
Friend: Yeah, Starbucks in Zalqa.
Me: No, thanks.
Friend: Why not? You have something to do?
Me: Umm not really.
Friend: So?
Me: I do not set foot in Starbucks.
Friend: ???
Me: Long story. But to keep it short, it is the embodiment of evil. Not only does it support the crimes against the Palestinian people it also ...
Friend: ...
Me: Are you there?
Friend: So you are not coming?
Me: Not unless you change the location. And before you say it, no, I don't go to McDonald's either.
Friend: .... ok... sorry to hear it. It was just for a short while, you don't have to get anything.
Me: Akhhhh.... I told you, I don't set foot in Starbucks.
Friend: Ok. Talk to you later.
Click.
Me: Later. Umm, too late. :)

**
December 2006
A conversation with a taxi driver (who had a rather non-Beiruti accent).
Me: Marhaba, kifak? (Hello, how are you?)
Driver: 'eltili nezle `a Riyad el-Solh? (You said you are going down to Riad el-Solh square?)
Me: Eh, ya`ni a'rab shi `al seha iza btrid (Yes, the closest to the square, if you will)
Driver: Lesh nezle tkhayyme honik? (Why, you're going down to camp there?)
Me: la'... (no...).
Driver: Leki benti baddi 'ellik shaghle. Kell za`im w qa'ed bhal balad `ambyerkod wara maslahto wl sha`ab m`attar. Hal balad bi`omro ma rah ytghayyar. (Look my girl, I want to tell you something. Every za'im and leader in this country is running after their own interest and the people are poor. This country will not change in its life).
Me: ...
Driver: Shufi shufi heyda kif `ambisoo'... mtl el haywenet kl wahed ekhid siyyarto w nezel `al ter'at, mdri shu `ambya`mol. Ta'ellik mshkletna. `anna ktir hurriye. Bas heyda ma hurriye hatta, heyda fawda. (Look look how this one is driving... like animals every one has taken his car and has gone down to the roads, I don't know what he is doing. I will tell you what our problem is. We have too much freedom. But this is not even freedom, this is chaos).
Driver: Ani mosh ma` hada. W 'alil fi hek nes hal iyyem. (I am not with anyone, and rarely are there such people these days).
Driver: El hall el wahid enno yejina wahad mtl Saddam. Nehna sha`ab mabyefham illa iza hada fahhamna shi. (The only solution is that someone like Saddam would come. We are a people that does not understand unless someone made us understand something).
Me: ...

**
Tuesday, Feb. 13, 2007
A conversation:
Person X: We should go out for coffee with the other folks some time.
Me: Yes we should. How about tomorrow?
X: !! What??! You are such a troublemaker.
Me: What? Why?
X: What's wrong with you, tomorrow is Feb. 14*!
Me: Ohhh, uh ... ok....

(* the anniversary of Hariri's assassination)

**
Thursday, Feb. 15, 2007
Walking down a street in "Haririland", I notice a very old man sitting on the sidewalk, in traditional Arabic dress and a white headdress. He seemed in need of help and everyone else was just passing by without paying any attention, as if he did not even exist.
He saw me looking at him curiously and said, "se`dini ya binti se`dini" (help me my girl, help me), and gestured with his walking stick. I thought he needed help to get up and walked up to him and extended my hand. At that instant, a man walked past me, muttering a deliberately audible "tsk tsk". I looked up at him; he was wearing a suit and a tie, carrying some documents. He shook his head and said to himself in a deliberately loud voice, "shu hal sha`ab wlo" (what a people... - in a condescending manner). Well, that pissed me off, not because I thought he was referring to me (he wasn't), but because he was referring in a condescending manner to that old man. I called him, "ya estez, `aib `leik, lezem testehe min halak" (o mister, shame on you, you should be ashamed of yourself). He stopped, turned around, gave me a blank look, shook his head, then turned around and continued walking, while muttering something inaudible.
The old man turned out not to be in need of physical help. He was simply a poor man disrupting people's lives trying to survive.

Labels: , , ,

posted by Angry Anarchist @ 2/19/2007 02:23:00 PM,

3 Comments:

At February 19, 2007 at 10:40 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

nice anecdotes.

K

 
At February 19, 2007 at 11:59 PM, Blogger sasa said...

Lovely stories, lovely attitude. Lebanon is sick, give her some medicine, please.

 
At February 21, 2007 at 10:27 PM, Blogger Manar said...

the last story is truly sad, and even more so because it is ubiquitous. the rest are entertaining :)

congrats on the new blog.

 

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