15.12.10

10 kg Xanax.

Please Excuse my absence but I was in Lebanon for the last two weeks and now that I am back to my other "home" i will tell you about my adventures in crazy land. Sorry the post is a bit long but it's a very personal dilemma i've been facing since i got back and i want to share it with all of you and please feel free to comment.

I went home to surprise my mom on her birthday, after being stuck in traffic from the airport to almost Dbayé, I arrived to Jbeil, 2 hours late well who cares, it's Lebanon everyone's late...
Meeting family and friends is always great, people are wonderful and the atmosphere is so loose and friendly...I was happy...but then it started again, the feeling of being an outsider, a stranger, a bizarre person who wants to teach everyone that they have to STOP AT A RED LIGHT ! Quoting my mom : "chou jeyé trabbé el 3alam ?"

First : In 10 days i felt my life threatened 10 times more than during August war in 2006 !
I almost got killed by a truck on the highway, i almost got killed by a crazy jeep, i almost got killed while trying to walk on the streets, I almost got killed while parking a car, and crossing a Green light, finally I  lost 2 to 3 hours everyday in traffic jams, that means almost one day out of 10. 

Second: In 10 days i was robbed and conned maybe 3 times per day....I love the fact that when you have to pay 58,500 L.L you never get your 500 L.L back.
I love the fact that you get a small "Ghandour" gum instead of your 250 L.L and when trying to give it back to the same person  after 2 days instead of a 250 L.L, she makes a big problem and try to report me to her manager ( but i won, because the customer is always right ;) )  and i love the fact to get the lousiest rental car ( mechanical wise ) ever because i am paying less and not renting a freakin hummer !  People will say : "mech 3a imeton bass anno mabda2", I would say : " 3a imeton w mabda2". because i worked hard for all of this money, and if all of you are losing 250, 500, or 1000 L.L per day just because you don't pay attention imagine it can be 365 L.L per year , it's a month salary for some people, and if :
"mech 3a imeton" , you can still donate them to the Children Cancer Center "

Third: I couldn't post because it rained and connection was cut of course because the wires are made of paper w bi "techho" when it rains !

I will say it bluntly this country is falling apart and in a couple of years it will be a total chaos and it's not because of the politicians or politics, it's because of every Lebanese still voting for the same people, still having the same thoughts as his parents back in 1975, still thinking that they can out smart the radars, still thinking that 250 L.L doesn't have any value, still thinking that bribing the teacher is better than attending the class, still thinking let's shut up and not ask for our rights w bala ma nwaje3 rassna...You want a better country you have to fight for it.

I am so sad to admit that this time i felt like a complete stranger, and home is not home anymore, it's just a place where i can meet my loved ones but nothing more, and I am quite sure that i will not be able to come back and have a normal life in Lebanon again.

Sometimes i think if i haven't left i would not be saying that now but i did leave and see how human beings should actually live and i tried to concentrate on the good and positive things and all i wrote about in "what i miss the most" but this time evil won.

Sad isn't it !?

23 comments:

  1. i am sad u feel like that, but i am hereby to disagree with you.
    all that you mentioned above is soooo true, and yes we re not blind, we see it each day and we know it is wrong, and we admit that it is wrong.

    however, some people, like myself, believe in an organized society and in applying law and we are convinced that criticizing alone wont help. what helps though is finding ourselves a place in this country and trying to make a small difference by being who we are and by modeling civilized behaviors hoping that it can inspire others.

    and meanwhile, we accept the fact that some people cannot change and this as much as they know, as much as they had the chance to be educated, but criticizing and expecting things to change in a day can get you frustrated and unable to see small positive steps towards a change in our Society.

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  2. I am sad, I cannot but agree with you. People vote for the same politicians. Everything is so expensive that it's cheaper to bribe than to pay the actual fee. We are surrounded by chaos.

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  3. Nancy thank you for your comment it's precious, and you are 100 % true, and i know it won't change in one day and I am sure there are a lot of good people out there but they are a minority and they're not being able to change.

    The thing is some people in the other country where i live are farmers, peasants and less educated as well but they are being able to change and they made out of their country a paradise !

    and criticizing alone won't help it's sure but from where i am, all i can do is writing maybe it will help to change.

    @ A bare truth : thank you for the comment, unfortunately this is " a bare truth" !

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  4. welcome to Lebanon!!Imagine eno ne7na hek ayshen kl youm!!KL YOUM :P
    Nice post ;)

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  5. I am sorry :( thank you for reading :)

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  6. RODMAN2ouche w banjisDecember 15, 2010 at 6:42 PM

    1- ra2i3a ta chute in the end, my dear "Tarboun el basilikum".
    2- je suis tout à fait d'accord avec TOUTES les idées de l'article.
    3- Welcome to my world! (kel ma enzal 3a leb :p)
    Tony

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  7. so sad! :(
    u may be right in most of what u've said..
    but isn't supposed to be "us" who can change?
    if u never come back again..
    jst think of ur "little" loved ones who'll have to stay here nd suffer all ur talkin about if "we" all leave this country!

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  8. You're right jess, and it saddens me too, but i chose my path and it's too late for me to come back i think....

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  9. It is a sad thing, I have been out of Lebanon for almost 8 years now, and it does not feel like home anymore, where I am living now (Saudi Arabia) is.

    I even avoid going there for extended vacations. I can travel almost anywhere else in the world, which will cost me around the same amount that I will spend in Lebanon, but I will have more fun, learn new things and go through less hassle.

    It is like time stopped in Lebanon. My friend who stayed there are all stuck in the past and are becoming more and more like their parents. And all the personal unresolved issues (will never be resolved)are there waiting for you to come back to go on with making your stay feels even worse.

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  10. I don't know much about switzerland's history or any other european country for the matter. But I know for a fact, that they didn't become the "civilized" countries that they are overnight and that they sure as hell didn't go through (or still are) as much wars/coldwars/politicalwars nor were they screwed geographically as we are.

    I'm not giving excuses, certainly not to our disappointing generation. All I want to say that the comparison isn't even there. What you are going through is very personal. I get your rage, your helpless impulse to want to change things, some of us don't have to actually live in other countries to feel these same feelings.

    I bet all countries have their flaws, their problems to resolve, their screwed up societies if you really look deep enough. The life I have in Lebanon, in my own opinion, is very satisfying because I choose to look at it that way. It's all bout choice, and yes it's all about the crap of "live and let live" and "be the change you want to see in the world". Constant negativity and always looking for ways to flee the country is never going to help.

    Judgement and criticism is never a weapon of change. Change is constant and it will happen as a result of the smallest efforts and it will take time.

    And in the end, "home" was never about the land and the laws that treated you right, these are only circumstantial and very easily changed. "Lebanon" is not my home. I am my own home and I take my home with me wherever I go. However, seeing that haphazardly I was born here, I will not waste my time focusing on the negatives of where I am. And you having circumstantially changed residence, should not focus on the negatives of your former residence. It will only give you headaches. And will only give us thoughts of "here goes another expat ranting about lebanon from their newly found heaven."

    PS: I hope you'll still welcome me in swissie in a couple of weeks, I just had to get these out :) kisses.

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  11. I left this great farm of our's around 5 years ago and went to the UAE so that i can somehow escape the unnecessary trauma that was caused in 2006. I don't consider myself to be lebanese more than i consider me pursuing salsa as a profession. Now that i'm back in order to continue my education, i'm not sure that whether i'll be able to hang on for an extra year or too. As you said, its not the politicians, its not the external influence... its us, who insist on a daily basis that god broke the rules when HE decided to create the "lebanese creatures". welcome to lebanon where everything means nothing, where our lebanese mentality gives way to mutual disorder. But again i think of it, its clear that we're living in complete denial, its clear that we lie to ourselves and others and tend to ignore the huge elephant in the room; RELIGION... based on this i proudly say: for a better world...RELIGION FREE. may your god go with you my lebanese friends ;)

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  12. Nancy, i'm afraid and sad that i lived what you said when i went to Lebanon 10 days ago, the country is in a mess, and it's not only you who feels like a stranger or intruder when he goes there, all of us, when we go there we don't feel belonging to Lebanon anymore, and at the same time, not belonging to our "Chosen " other homeland, it's strange, but the strangest is the people, and you are right, it's not all because of the politicians, it's the people itself, they still have old way of thinking and same old "BELONGING" and they don't go in parallel with the evolution unless when it comes to partying, or going out half naked, but in contrary we are leaders when it comes to that, but the other good manners and way of thinking we don't follow them and we criticize them w meskeen kelmit " 3AYB" w meshyeen.

    250, 500 is a 3AYB if you take it back cuz " ma3'oul ya zalameh shou bakheel inteh?" they accuse you of being cheep if u take it knowing that it's ur right, you can do whatever with it, u can even throw it, but give it the hell back to me and if i want to give it to you i do, it;s not you who decides.

    sorry for the long comment, and thanks for your story.

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  13. roqoqo, nice, wise and deep.

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  14. Just for comments records, roqoqo and I had a chat about this subject, and she's still the most welcome to visit me next week ! Actually i can't wait !!

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  15. Thank you Anonymous and Zahabi for your comments, I see i am not the only one thinking that way...but please do not think i don't like lebanon, I love Lebanon, the earth, the buildings, the physical country itself, and i am fighting against myself to stop feeling bad about being far and starting to dislike going to lebanon but as roqoqo told me let it go....i will try :)

    thank you all for the comments !!

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  16. The only reason i still go to Lebanon is to see my parents and friends. during that 1week out of 52 per year i feel i am an outsider, i do not understand my friends or it seems they do not understand me.
    Everything is so expensive, i get the feeling i am being robbed everythime i want to buy something.
    I dont feel the same like the people from earlier comments, that we have to try and do something to change the people in Lebanon.... I dont want to inherit problems and waste my time and money trying to make people learn.
    For long i used to think i am the only one feeling like that....its good to know that others share the same feelings.

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  18. Tarboun el Bazilikum I just love u!!!

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  19. thank you samovic i think a lot of people share the same feelings with you...

    Rodmi K. me too :)

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  20. Hi, first i would like to say that i like your article and its 100% true, even though u focused only on the bad side in Lebanon on which people are working to improve it, like what u said about the traffic jam, the thing is that Lebanon is a small country and its over populated, so residents are more than what roads and streets are made for.. they are trying to do there best to solve this issue by making a specific time for trucks and building bridges... and for your safety they installed radars on the highways and streets for your safety, i think people and the government in Lebanon are working seriously and as others said change will not happen in one day!

    What i wanna say for you, is that u live abroad, u come to Lebanon for a visit for 10 days and u just keep criticizing instead of beeing the one following the rules and doing that is for your own good first of all,and for Lebanon's good. u can start from yourself, everyone should start from him/her self to change and help, its not new what u said we all know these problems, we had a lot of wars and u shouldn't expect more from Lebanon after he survived all these wars, u can love it as it is and try to change it to the better, focusing on the positive things, and challenging the negative things...

    some people when they leave Lebanon, after they had the best time ever, they try to focus on negative things so that they convince their selves that "yeah i'm glad that i leaving this country, its a disaster"! i think each country has its own problem, and by escaping and leaving and saying :"its too late for me to come back" your not doing anything but seeking your own good and leaving your country fall apart, so don't even try to change from abroad, the first thing u have to do if u really care about your country and your wanna change is to come back, thats the first step, and don't be delighted by the lights of other countries, because it will never be yours, so think twice.

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  21. I love this post because it is exactly true.
    I honestly couldn't have put it in better words myself. It is driving me crazy.
    The thing is I understand when you say "do not think i don't like lebanon, I love Lebanon" because I feel the same way. Because, if you didn't love Lebanon, it would've been very easy, you would'nt have cared enough to write this. You wouldn't have cared enough to be frustrated. So many people abroad relocate and the world is just an open space for them where they can really very easily make any city their home.
    No matter how much us Lebanese travel, we cannot get completely detached from Lebanon BECAUSE we care.

    What we have is a love/hate relationship with Lebanon. If any foreigner dares say anything good about Lebanon, we will fight back with all its corruption, chaos, and limits. And if anyone dares say anything bad about Lebanon, we will fight back with its great weather, food, and nice people.

    We care. and that's why we hate it. We hate to see it like this and it has just become more realistic to accept that we have lost it than to hold on to the illusion and possibility of change. we are too far behind. It is too late. It is sad.

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  22. PS: I also LOVE that you tried giving a store clerk a Ghandour instead of a 250 LL hahaha!

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  23. This is the only medication that has helped me w/my anxiety/panick disorder. I have been on it continous for 6 years. The only problem occures is when/if I run out...but that rarely happens. this medication has giving me my life back.

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