31.8.11

Dear readers, friends, bloggers, tweeps & enthusiasts ...

Dear readers, friends, bloggers, tweeps & enthusiasts.
we need your help in this very simple task:
could you just write down in 3 words maximum what is Toom-Extra to you?

23.8.11

Little know it all

We all have in our circle of friends someone who “believes” to know everything about everything… Someone who gives his/her opinion about anything you’re talking about… even (and especially) when you don’t ask him/her… This person is usually an expert in politics, art, business, anthropology, astrophysics, finance, fashion, zodiac, poetry and even entomology (science that studies insects)… He/she even knows you parents better than you…

And it is funny how those people usually base their general knowledge on what they read on facebook or what they heard from other people … and what they heard becomes the truth, only the truth, nothing but the truth… without any references or any scientific proof…

I have the chance to be circled by many illuminated “friends”… so let me share with you the type of quotes I hear everyday:

- In Politics: ana 3am 2ellak jtama3o bi bériz, bas ma 7adan 3érif… wel “Cheikh El Me7ché” tara2o sa7sou7 lal “Captain America”, w2allo 7arfiyyan: “men boukra ana bsir ra2is el le3bé”… 2allo l Captain America: “khalas singouf”.
Question: if “ma 7adan 3erif” how do you know? And how do you know exactly what have been said?

- In art: Come on ma3roufé inno Mona Lisa kenit bento la DaVinci… ma houwwé Léonardo keno yghannjou “Mona” bi italia…. W Lisa ye3ne “bento la” bel telyéné l adim. Walaw chou 3am bet 3allemné? Ma ana artiste w ba3rif kif bi fakkro l artists… w aslan law byefhamo bi lebnen, kenet ana 3am bi3 aktar men Picasso….
Question: one mystery solved!... inno keno yghannjou Mona? Kifa Mona?

- Finance: Ana 3am 2ellak, europa badda tofrout wel euro baddo ysir arkhas mnel lira ekhir el séné… chouf chou 3am bi sir bel younen bta3rif… kella le3bit amerca
Question: inta bta3rif chou sar bel younen bel asses?


Anyways, yalla khallaset tonzir for today… let me end my post with a dedication to all my illuminated friends… a classic poetry verse by Abou Nawas: 


فقل لمن يدعي في العلم فلسفة حفظت شيئا وغابت عنك أشياء

11.8.11

Tourist Tips - Part 2 - Lebanon Summer 2011



Dear tourists,
I hope that this sequel will be more helpful for the rest of the summer season in Lebanon.

We still have seriously no clue how our country is still going,
while we're still sure it's a great place, to be in.

The following tips are practical -most of the time- and will help you understand even more this cuckoos' nest you've come to spend your vacation in.



Tips

1. When you're in a car on the highway and there's a man trying to "sneak" from one side to the other while waving at you, please wave back while you're shouting/screaming or else you will be breaking the most basic of Lebanese courtesy rules.

2. "Barbar" isn't the inventor of "Shawarma" (both chicken & meat).

3.
If you happen to be discovering Jbeil's old souks and craved for a man'ouché, it's better to ask some Lebanese guy to buy it for you otherwise you'll pay 10,000L.L. for it.

4. No, we don't eat tabbouleh at breakfast.

5.
Chicha-Arguileh-Nargileh-Hookah -or whatever you call it- will be there in most restaurants, clubs, cafés and even swimming pools: love it or leave it.

6. "Zicco House", "Saifi Village" or "Beirut Art Center" are not really references for our national contemporary artistic scene/heritage.

7. Whether you're a blond girl from Scandinavia or a brown guy from Brazil: people are going to hit on you big time, so deal with it and don't you nag.
If you want a quiet, nice holiday go to Tibet.

8. If you happen to find a bus stop, take a picture and continue walking: it is a rare artifact of our cultural heritage and most of us haven't even seen one.

9. Most people are friendly in Lebanon and helpful, they'd be more than happy to give you directions, a ride, a light and even some love if the situation permits it.

10. If you want to thank someone, never use "choukran", he/she probably won't understand; use "merci" instead.
 
11. Security check points are meant to keep you safe -even if your passport is upside down when they check it- be worried the day security officers or army vehicles are no where to be found on the roads.

12. "Ahlan Wa Sahlan" means: You're welcome as relatives/parents & consider our valleys/properties as your own". [ Yes, really :) ]

MERCI!

2.8.11

Fattouch Tips - نصايح فتّوش

 
 
 
This special post is our first bilingual one, since we first wrote it in Arabic then noticed that many of you
"might have forgotten Arabic" (refer to point 5 in the list) so we translated it into English.
We hope our non-Arabic readers will take the chance and enjoy it!


هالـ"بوست" الجديد فريد من نوعو بما إنّو هوّي الأوّل " ثنائي اللّغة". أوّل شي كتبناه بالعربي بعدات انتبهنا إنّو في كتير منّكن "معقول يكونو نسيو العربي" (روحو عالرقم ٥) بقا ترجمناه عالإنكليزي، منتمنّى قرّاءنا الأجانب يستفيدو من هالفرصة ويتلذّذوا!
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أعزّائي المهاجرين اللّبنانيّي، نحنا كتير مبسوطين إنّو نشوفكن عنّا بوطننا الحبيب مرّة جديدة. كتبنالكن شويّة نصايح مفيدة رح تساعدكن تقطّعوا هالصيفية على خير:

1- ما تخطّطوا لمشروعين بمدينتين مختلفتين بذات النهار:
مثلاً إذا نزلتو تقضّوا النهار بِبيروت ما تعملوا أيّ مشروع عشاء بِجبيل على الـ8، بالعكس، استفيدوا من إنّكن قدرتوا توصلوا على بيروت وفرِشوا وقضّوا الليلة هونيك!

2- إذا معكن ميزانية 3000 ل.ل. وفكركن تاكلو منقوشة طيّبة وقنينة كازوزا عند زيتون وزنجبيل، إنسوا البنسى!
النوعيّة والطعمة ما تغيّرو، بسّ الأرقام تغيّرت منيح.

3-أ- إذا رحتوا على جبيل وهدفكن تلاقوا الـ"طم-طم بيتش" لنهار رواق بالبلاش عالبحر، وقّفوا تفتيش وتحضّرو تدفعو 20$ (أو أكتر، حسب الطقس) دخوليّة على "جدّي ساندز" المشهور كونيّاً.

3- ب- فرضاً دفعتوا الـ20$ ومفكّرين إنّو صار فيكن تروّقوا راسكن وترتاحوا، منأسف نقلّكن إنّكن غلطانين لأنّو تحوّل نهار-البحر وصار نهار-العهر، الدّارج على مدّ الشطّ اللّبناني هوّي تفرجي كلّ "مواهبك".

4- أوعا تفتكروا إنّو فيكن تصفّوا سيّارتكن على رواق وتتمشّوا لمطعمكن المفضّل.
هلّق "الفاليه-باركينغ" بيتوكّلوا بالموضوع: بيهجموا عليكن لياخدوها وبيرجعوا بيطلبوا 5000 ل.ل. أو أكتر (حسب السيّارة والمحلّ وتيابكن) ليردّوها!

5- ما تجرّبوا تحكوا عربي وكأنّوا ناسيين اللّغة، كونوا طبيعيّي، لبنانيّي، وإلّا كلّ تاجر وسايق تاكسي رح يجرّب ينهبكن، هيدي غيرنا نحنا اللّي رح نستلمكُن.

6- عبارة "طالع عالسطح" ما عادت تعني "طالع شوف إذا في ميّ بالخزّان". لذلك إذا انعزمتوا تطلعوا على سطح/سطيحة، ما تروحوا لابسين شورت النوم والـ"فانيلّا" لأنّو سهرتكن يمكن تنتهي بتفتيح عدّة قناني شمبانيا.

مع كلّ هالتغيّرات، الأسماء اللّي هشّلتكن من هالبلاد بالـ80 والـ90 بعدها موجودة، صامدة وما تغيّر شي فيها إلّا الإسم الصغير ببعض الحالات النادرة!

إلى حنّا من اللّقلوق اللّي راجع جان دو باريس،
إلى سُعاد من الأشرفيّة اللّي راجعة "سو" من سيدني،
إلى محمّد من المصيطبة اللّي راجع"مو" من بوسطن،
إلى جميع اللّي رجعوا، عالقليلة هالصيفيّة منقول:
أهلاً وسهلاً في وطنكم لبنان!

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Dear Lebanese immigrants, we are so happy to see you again in our beloved country.
Here are a few tips on how to survive Lebanon this summer:

1-  Do not plan two different programs on a same day in different cities:
for instance if you’re spending the day in Beirut, do not plan a dinner in Jbeil at 8 p.m, on the contrary profit from the fact that you got to Beirut and spend the night there!

2-  If you have a 3.000 L.P. budget to eat a quick delicious man2ouché with a kazouza at zaytoun w zanjabil, forget it!
The quality and taste didn’t change, the numbers did.

3-a- If you go to Jbeil and search for Tam Tam beach, to have a stress-free-day at the beach, stop looking right now and prepare yourself to pay a 20$ (or more, depending on the weather) entrance to the famous Jeddé Sands.

3-b-
If you pay the 20$ entrance and think that now you can relax and swim, again, you’re wrong. We turned beach-day into bitch-day, now Lebanese beaches are all about dancing and showing off the "best" in/on you.

4- If you think you will have the pleasure to park your car yourself and enjoy the walk to the bar/restaurant, sorry to tell you, you don’t have that privilege anymore.
Now you can hand your car to the "valet-parking": they will attack you to take it, then ask for 5000 L.L or more (depends on the car, the place & your clothes) to give it back!

5-
Do not try to speak Arabic as if you forgot it, just be natural, Lebanese, or else every trader and taxi driver will want to rip you off, while will surely laugh at you, in your face.

6-
The expression “tale3 3al sate7” has now a totally different meaning, it’s not to check if there’s enough water in the tank anymore.
If you get invited to a rooftop/sate7/stay7a, don’t think you can go wearing your pajama shorts and “fanella”, just take a moment to consider that your night might end up opening several bottles of champagne.

Note that with all these changes, the same names who pushed you to leave the country in the 80’s and 90’s, are still here and their surnames didn’t change at all, except for some first names in rare cases!

To Hanna from Laklouk coming back as Jean de Paris,
to Souad from Achrafeh coming back as Sue from Sydney,
Mohamed from Msaytbé coming back as Moe from Boston, we say:
Ahlan Wa Sahlan in your country Lebanon!