Monday, December 28, 2009

Lebanese Driving

"Self-respecting" governments usually tend to broadcast awareness campaigns in order to keep drivers, both new and old, aware of traffic rules which they may have studied once before the driving exam they took... This keeps traffic laws fresh in their minds...

Now don't get me started on the complexities of laws such as Give way to your left, cause I know that the Lebanese leftists are few, so usually people tend to like right wing more... And I KNOW that all the Lebanese are really important people who cannot just wait at a roundabout in order for all cars to cross for them to get into the round about... Such blasphemy! We must charge directly at cars coming our way and cause a traffic jam inside a round about meant to reduce congestion...

But my issue and the reason behind this post is this: do the Lebanese know and understand what these pretty white dashes on the streets are?! I believe we need an awareness campaign by the Ministry of Censorship, also known as Ministry of Information, in order to explain to our fellow motorists what these lines are.

The Lebanese tend to be a very creative artistic people... I'm sure it's something about being one of the few Arab peoples who have a semi-free life; this allows for a culture of thinking outside the box and hence be able to be creative!! However, there seems to be a window of error somewhere... Lebanese motorists are leading me to believe that they think that the white dashes on the streets are decorations, or are like the trees in the middle of the roads and that they are there for a purely aesthetic value...

Enter Tarek: My dears (with no condescending tone whatsoever:) these pretty white dashes on the roads are a visual separator for cerebrally advanced societies (whom we attempt to copy, dress like, sound like and look like, (because we are not Arabs we are the ever more evolved Phoenicians!)) creating a heavenly path to be followed henceforth called: a LANE!

Wikipedia defines a lane as: "a portion of a paved road which is intended for a single line of vehicles and is marked by white or yellow lines." Allahhhhhh!! Gameel 2awi!! I love the word single... If I could I would have fireworks coming out of it... 

A lane, created by those continuous white dashes, is therefore where I am supposed to drive! YA3NI, when I am driving, I MUST drive within those lanes... I may NOT drive over the white dashes; I may NOT share my lane with another car, even if the pretty blonde lady in the GMC Yukon thinks that we can both fit within this lane; I may not drive my car OVER the white dashes thus render me driving in two lanes... 

I wonder if I could petition to add the above statement into the constitution or something... Life would be good...

I am amazed sometimes by how some roads, like the Ring, (Fouad Shehab (yes with an S not a C) Avenue) can be left laneless... It is a major artery within our road network where I am sure no less than half a million cars drive over daily... How can that bridge have no lanes... 

In contrast, I also find it magical, borderline miraculous, how the Jal el Deeb highway or Dora have 4-5 lanes and yet at rush hour we find double that number of cars side to side!! Why did I need to take physics and mathematics  if their rules do not apply in Lebanon!

In all cases, I hope you all learnt something new today! I know that most readers of this blog DO drive within their lanes, (bravo 3alaykon), but do me a favor, and teach the less fortunate (girl friends, boy friends, mothers, sisters, brothers, bosses, colleagues, fuck buddies, cousins, friends, distant family, people who owe you money, people you owe money) that they too are supposed to drive within their designated lanes, and that the white dashes are not for recreation or decoration!

Sigh... 

P.S: If I sounded condescending or patronizing, then I apologize in advance! It's just that day after day, this problem appears to be getting worse!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Christmas 2009

So thank God Christmas this year is one of no bloodshed (Gaza), riots or civil wars of the sort!! This year we get to celebrate it with less worries on our minds!


In Lebanon (when things are calmed down) Christmas becomes a season when Lebanon's population seriously takes a leap by the return of hundreds of thousands of expats!! Needless to say, Lebanon's already congested road network (especially in the capital and the highways leading to it) takes a huge blow!! 


Traffic jams are apparently what the Lebanese are focusing on this year!! So much so that our beloved Prime Minister (I have a piece of my mind to give him in this blog) declared that the jams will be the first thing he shall tackle... or attempt to anyways!! I find that hard to believe; the only way to fix this ailing problem is to start SERIOUSLY thinking about a metro system!


Now one may take this post as one of complaining but I assure you it's not! I love the season!! I got awesome Christmas presents and gave the same! (I hope I did anyways!! ARE YOU READING THIS BTW?! NO? I didn't think so!) I love the flooding of my friends who live abroad whom I only see this time or during the summer!! (Although it does get a little crowded every now and then with scheduling of things.. and let's not go to the $$$ aspect of it!) 


All in all, this was a good year for me career wise and personally!!! I hope whomever was reading my blog was enjoying it... Wait hold on... This would be new year's post!! Khalass, MERRY CHRISTMAS Y'ALL!!! :)

Friday, December 4, 2009

Flu in Lebanon

So according to our Minister of Health last week, 80% of people who have the flu in Lebanon, actually have the piggy kind...


Now following that lovely announcement last week, my throat started getting scratchy, but I was able to fight back getting sick cause I flew to Amman for the eid, but then when I got back, the symptoms started aggravating... (not sure if the fact that the temperature in Amman was in single digits had anything to do with it!) The day before yesterday I got sicker by the second culminating in the torture I was facing yesterday and today...


Now I'm not sure how regular people get the flu; common, swine, kosher or otherwise... But in my case, I tend to get the flu in installments. Day 1: throat scratchy; Day 2 (yesterday): Fever, incapacity of moving; Day 3: Leaking... And what a day it has been... I used up well over 100 tissues and sneezed no less than 30 times... How many million germs do you spread per sneeze? Oh well, apparently the pandemic started with my colleague MS (no relation to PMS whatsoever) who then gave it to Lara (yes Rabih N, if you're reading this like rumors have it, you'd be glad to know another element^n actually started blogging! (btw I'm flattered)) who in turn gave it to me... Turns out we have our own strain here in the office...


And with the flu come the symptoms of man flu (entry number 3 please!). Apparently my colleagues (both past and present thought I was making things up! Logic would have it, that if I were, I'd fake it on a Friday and enjoy a long weekend...) In retaliation I actually came today to work and hopefully spread enough viruses around to infect the mocking...


And the best part about getting sick is that my parents somehow metamorph. My dad suddenly turns into a druid mixing up all these potions of grass and leaves and probably a couple of mosquitoes he killed off the wall and tells me that this mix will definitely cure me in 5 minutes... Mom on the other hand springs up a pharmacy degree she never had and starts nagging me to take a spoon of that, two pills of this and what may you...


PERSONALLY, I believe once it's in my system, that's it... I'm gonna suffer, but better now than next week when friends should be coming over for Lama's wedding which shall be preceded with my birthday celebrations, which let's hope shall be QUIET this year... Trend is explosion/assassination one year, non the next, explosion/assassination next year, non last year... Let's see how this one goes! :)