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Archive for the ‘Typically Lebanese’ Category

How to Spot an Arab in an Airport?

An airport is an international space.  And there is no doubt that every airport has been visited by people coming from all over the world. I recently travelled and it inspired me to write this post. While I was in the airport I saw people from random nationalities but something struck me, Arabs don’t melt in that pot. We are not like a needle in a stack of hay; we stand out. The elements which make an Arab stand out from the crowd are the following.

1- Entrance: we must acknowledge that we have a fear of missing our flight, a fear so deep and strong we show up with our 10 suitcases 3h before our plane takes off and while the pilot is still in his bed dreaming.

2- Check In: while I was standing in line to get my boarding pass and have my luggage weighed there was a Lebanese family in front of me. The allowed weight was 23 Kg however their suitcase was around 28 Kg and like every Lebanese, they want to find their way out of this situation. They opened the suitcase and here are some of the items found (true story):

– 2.5 Kg of Lebanese sweets, because ma fina nrou7 idna fadye 3end el 3alam, 3ayb.
– A bag of charcoal. La2ano barbecue ma3 fa7em baladi atyab.
– A bag filled with all sort of medicines, as if they were hoping to open up a drugstore.
– And of course some gifts for all the family, the friends, the neighbors, the neighbors’ friends, the lifeguard at the water park they want to go to…

3- Security check:
to spot an Arab at an airport look no further than the man suffering a “random” security check along with a full cavity search. At the sight of our Arab passport the airport employees shiver and try relentlessly to keep us out of their country.

4- Boarding time:
when an Arab family travels and they are waiting to board the plane,their kids are the ones running barefoot all over the place screaming and shouting at 6 AM. And to spot the parents, just look for the man running behind them and screaming: “ya Rami ta3a! ra7 trou7 el tiyara balena!!”

On my way back to Lebanon, as the plane landed, there surely was the clapping ceremony. As we left the plane, all passengers rushed to get their passport stamped and go to the luggage claim.

5- Luggage claim:
The Arabs are this group of people who go to the designated belt before even the suitcases start coming in. They all gather over the beginning of the conveyor belt fighting to be in the first row. I wonder if they know they can stand alongside the entire belt and not just the start.  As the first bunch of suitcases comes in, you can always hear a woman tell her husband: “hay2eton dayya3o shenatna, ba3ed ma bayyano”. Later on, all sort of packages with the weird wrappings come along and they all belong to the Arabs. What a surprise!

6- Home sweet Home: I take my luggage and head out, my father and only my father was there to pick me up. However, some Lebanese passengers have the entire neighborhood come along, and they bring them flowers, chocolate, balloons and all sort of festive things.

We Lebanese truly are one of a kind. Nothing more to say.


14 People You Always See At Bars

As a common Lebanese, the bar scene is very important, it is where you HAVE to be to have a social life. It is the ideal place “ta to2tof” (local slang which implies picking up girls) and to get drunk. In Lebanon, bars are localized in certain regions, in Beyrouth for instance you have: Monot (the  dying bar scene), gemmayze ( the local bar scene), hamra ( the growing bar scene). In these bars you see girls who are dressed at their very best; 20 cm heels, short dresses, and freshly done “brushing”… As for the boys they are all extremely ripped with tight muscles (probably because they did about 100 push-ups before they came). These boys and girls come in groups to various bars, but in every bar you can spot these very same sections of people:

1-The WOO Group: (quoting “how I met your mother”) It is the group of persons (mostly girls) who are at that bar since the beginning of the happy hour, order mostly shots and scream an ear drum breaking WOOOOO before they take every shot. They want to be heard, they want to be seen, and that is why they want us to feel their presence.

2-The Loner: It is a guy who spends his entire evening at the corner of the bar with his eyes glued to his iPhone, playing some ridiculous game.

3-The Wannabe Bouncers: It is usually 2 or 3 guys with very muscular bodies who sit at the bar with their beers and just look around as if they have it all under their control, and if there is a “mashkal” they are the first to intervene. They also think that girls will approach them instantly just like the fish approache the bait, but what they are missing is that girls aren’t as dumb as fish (for some females this hypotheses is debatable).

4-The H.R. Person (The Human Resources Person): It is the guy who spends his entire night on his blackberry trying to get more of his friends to join his group, he usually fails miserably.

5-The Bartender’s Friend: he/she is usually with 2 of his/her friends, they get free shots all night long which makes the WOO group jealous, this group of people is always there with the only purpose of making everyone look at them. They are like the WOO group, only they pay less.

6-The Hitter: drunk, alone, tireless, young are the words that describe the hitter. He is someone who is VERY drunk, hits on every girl he sees, always getting rejected, dances alone all night long and tries to blend in a group. He is someone that is constantly laughed at because “manno mwaffa2” or “t2a5ar el mawsam chway “. He attracts the laughter of the wannabe bouncers as his dance moves are anything but good. He ends up the night by going home alone and fantasizing about a girl he saw and dreams of getting.

7-The Bartender Flirter: it is someone who is sitting alone at the bar, but not as pathetic as the loner or the hitter or the wannabe bouncers, he/she is constantly ordering drinks for the only purpose of getting more chance to speak to the bartender. It is a method that has a low to medium chance of working. But when it does, that person is usually making out with the bartender during his working hours and that is making the WOO group jealous because there is a delay in their order. When it doesn’t work, this person usually passes out at the bar.

8-The Birthday Boy/Girl: it is a group of people who come to a bar to celebrate this person’s birthday; they do not hold much interest in this analysis of the Lebanese night life since they are practically transparent except when the cake comes!!

9-The Pick-Upper: just like the loner, this person hits on every girl in the bar but with a much higher success rate, he is the one French kissing every girl in the WOO group. Or when the bartender is a hot girl, he can focus all his mojo on her and so he will be undermining the bartender flirter. This person is being envied by every dude in the bar and so they insult him and his mother and his sister.
Note: A person like this is not present at every bar, he/she is very rare.

10-The First Timers:  It is a group of 15-16 year olds who want to experience the teenage nightlife. They start by ordering the only thing they know; which is beer then they move on to a more serious drink; vodka. They are trying to make an impression, to leave a mark, but the only mark they’ll be leaving is their puke on the ground, and then they will just go to sleep bowing their heads on their vodka covered table and dreaming of a story to tell their parents because they were up late.

11-The High Rollers: A large group of persons (mostly boys) who occupy a huge part of the bar. From the moment they come in, they order “dazinit 2anene vodka” just to get the night started, and then a bottle of the cheapest champagne there is (Ethiopia’s finest).they get the attention of the entire bar since one of them is the screamer ( character who will be developed later). They finish the night drifting with their infinity.

12-The Drunks:
-Boy: it is a dude who belongs to the high rollers, he probably drank a full bottle of vodka by himself ( sec of course) he dances on the bar, creeping everybody out, raising his hands and shaking them as if he wants to fly. He ends up the night falling from the bar and taken home by one of his friends.
-Girl: it is someone who belongs to the WOO group, she dances at the bar as well (p.s. she is not trying to fly) moving her body in every way giving every guy an erection. She then falls into the arms of one of her admirers, and then picks-up the dancing.


14-The Screamer: he belongs to the high rollers, his mouth has been surgically removed and replaced by a megaphone. When the right dose of alcohol is in his system he turns his inhuman machine on and screams from the top of his lungs a very familiar sound to the Lebanese ear; YALLA YALLA OUHH OUHH YALLA YALLA OUHH OUHH …everyone notices his presence somehow annoying, he is the tip of the iceberg of wazwaza, still everyone joins in for an unknown reason.

Finally we can say that the Lebanese nightlife is different from other countries, yet the same. Every bar or pub has these persons, you may not know them, you may be them, or you may hate them, but they are here and there is nothing we can do about it. But you cannot deny their existence.

Have You Noticed How Big It Is?

If you understood the title in a sexual way then you have a dirty mind. In our everyday life there are certain things which grow, or are originally big without us noticing it. They are of a mediocre importance, but once their size is noticed, it is practically impossible to ignore them.

The first example that comes to my mind as an originally large item is the driver’s license. To be honest, as I passed the test and the license was handed to me I thought it was kind of a diploma that came along, to hang on the dining room wall or something.  But the regular size card I was expecting never came, leaving me with this poster and a wallet which seemed narrower than ever.

In order not to jump from one subject to another, I will talk about another item which fits the theme. Who of us hasn’t struggled to fit the LL100,000 paper in our wallet? Who of us hasn’t suffered the curse of having the top of our LL50,000 wrinkled? Why does it have to be that big? Do we have so many trees that we don’t know how to get rid of them?

Recently it has been pointed out to me that the lasting hours of a miscellaneous deodorant seem to grow excessively. They say that it can last for 72 hours, but I don’t know a single person that can go 3 days without showering. Why don’t they make it last 36 hours or 24 hours and make it cheaper? It will be a winning situation for both parties. I foresee a future where this conversation may actually take place:

Mom: Elie !! resh deodorant !! sorna bi kanoun !!!
Elie: bass Mom, rechet bil sayfiye! Ma ba2a me7erze…

(P.S. this paragraph is to remind some people of this marvelous creation called deodorant; for in this hot summer I am seriously doubting the fact that everybody knows about this tremendous breakthrough)

Another growth pattern that is being ignored is the number of singers present on the Lebanese scene. But these increasing numbers create a fierce competition where the voice of the contestant is a major detail.

If you are a woman, you need to have a beautiful body and absolutely no self-dignity (the second one is a must in order to make it in the business). They are ready to suck on every producer’s “microphone” if he can get them on stage.
If you are a man, all you need is a good publicist and a catchy name, such as Amir, or Wael, …

In conclusion, we are living in a small country where the only thing bigger than the items I have stated is the lies we are being fed on a daily basis.

Blend of trends : traffic and shit

What impresses me most about us, Lebanese people is our ability to adapt and cope with all of the events happening around us. In the U.S., people are bound by strict rules and regulations in order to insure and to preserve the rights and freedom of every citizen and yet their crime rates are through the roof. However in Lebanon, despite the lack of authority we somehow manage to live as a community.

It reminds me a bit of a savanna; the lion (the government) is the king and rules all, despite the fact he didn’t do shit to earn this title and all the other animals can do just fine without him. And we, the common Lebanese people are the other animals, a bunch of untamed animals living in “HARMony”. We can truly talk about the survival of the fittest.

The first example which comes to my mind when I say that we can adapt to anything is: giving directions. Despite the existence of the GPS it remains unused in our beloved country and people have a very unique way of giving directions. For instance I do not say that I live in: Ashrafieh, Rue Du Liban, Najat building, because even if I say this to my sister she won’t know where it is. The way we do it in Lebanon is simple: “wa2ta toussal 3al rond point 5od el mafra2 3al yamin 7ad el chajra el kbire (note: there will be 12 trees there) dallak mkammal de8re la 7ad ma toussal 3a dekkeneh, honik bte5od el chmeil w bet fout bel mafra2 7ad telit joura, bineyit shamatly aw el bineye yalle 3ayich fiya el colonel saadeh, kellon bya3rfou.”

When the elections are near, and the government wants to prove that it exists and tries to restrain us and make us follow some rules, they deploy some police officers on the streets to ATTEMPT and control traffic. They will be deployed on intersections telling us to stop when the light is green and to go when the light is red, leaving us in a state of total confusion. They will be deployed on highways telling us to go forward considering the fact that there are no exits whatsoever making the job of the police officer a true brain teaser. At this point in time, we get the chance to use the sentence that every Lebanese will say in his life: “AAAHHH fi bolice !!! michen heik fi 3aj2a !!”

P.S: Even without any cops there will be traffic jams because the streets are fucked up.

But the lack of rules has gone too far and it made way for some “rebellions” to occur. Such as: burning tires, which is the newest trend that is taking place in the Lebanese streets and it is the people’s (in this case I refer to my previous comparison of animals) way to stick it to the government. This habit is discussed in a previous post on this very blog

The real deal of Myriam Klink

Lately there has been a media frenzy about a certain “singer” called Myriam Klink. I am not here to talk about her war with standup comic Nemr Abou Nassar, nor to criticize her sad excuse for a song (I am sorry, this insult slipped out and I couldn’t help myself). What I am here to do, is to tell you a few facts about this young Lebanese gem, and probably some stuff you didn’t even know about her.

That being said, I googled her and her official site is what came up on top: the falling stars reminded me at first of the game Space Invaders, so did the numerous words channeling on the left hand side. The sheer beauty of this site is that it rests your eyes and doesn’t make you tense, AT ALL! Based on the saying “one should not judge a book by its cover” I started reading her bio.
“Myriam Klink is a Lebanese girl from the mountains raised between animals and natures”… I am no English teacher nor am I an accomplished writer, but I really think someone should let her know that Google translate is NOT a good way to go for writing a bio therefore she cannot be taken seriously.

If you have a look at the column on your right hand side; the “all about Myriam“ section, you will notice that this is a really down to earth person and she does not like to talk about herself that much; everyone of us’ favorite person in our life is ourselves, that is just common, Our parents, our great role models who are they to be an inspiration to us? As I scrolled down, more narcissistic comments jumped off the page but I’m not going to comment on all of them since my goal isn’t writing a 200 pages novel.

However a few of her answers in this “interview” (where she clearly played the role of the interrogator as well) cannot go unnoticed. Her answer to the question: where are you right now? Is “on my bed”, the following question is: where would you rather be? Her answer is “hell”. That is understandable since her bed brings out SO many hurtful memories (if you know what I mean). Her favorite movie is “planet of the apes” which is also reasonable since she did NOT follow the evolution and might have missed something somewhere. Her dream job is to be a princess. No further comments, I rest my case.

You can say that Myriam Klink is just a lost sheep in this herd of so called artists, and question why she got that much attention. There is a simple answer to that; her lack of grace and her abusive language made her the star she is today. No “celebrity” should be allowed to talk to the common people that way, to insult personally some of her tweeps or Facebook likers. This is a true outrage. She stated numerously and so bluntly that men are cheating pigs, however in her bio she admitted that she has cheated while in a relationship. She should just shut her mouth, and stop infuriating the people.

To put it in a nutshell, some persons are still alive because it is illegal to shoot them.