Back from Beirut...
What a trip. I'm exhausted not only because of my visit, but also because my flight from Beirut to Frankfurt left at 3:20am this morning. Anyway, Beirut was fascinating on a lot of different levels:
- I'm not sure what's more amazing: the rebuilding they've done since the war ended, or the remaining buildings that are still gutted and pock-marked with holes from bullets and mortars.
- One night I was sitting in an outdoor cafe (where just about everyone was smoking nargileh, or hookahs), and a woman came in with a conservative Muslim head scarf and a t-shirt that said "2 HOT".
- Speaking of odd juxtapositions, I wasn't quite prepared to see gigantic Golden Arches from the highway with "McDonalds" written in Arabic instead of English.
- The sheer number of soldiers everywhere was disconcerting at first, but after a while it seemed totally normal.
- We must have lost power in the hotel at least 6 times a day, and that was only when I was actually in the room.
- When I was in Spain, I ate so much ham that I commented (too many times, Gretchen would say) that I felt like I should just be on a ham IV drip. Similarly, in Beirut I felt like I should be on a hommos IV drip. By the end of my stay I felt like I was sweating chickpeas. As Homer Simpson might say: "mmmmmmmmm, hommos."