Ups & Downs

* This post is in Arabic and English (Arangleezi)

I just returned from a European Embassy to apply for a visit visa. Of course my papers were missing some documents that these people won’t process the visa without, including, bala zoghra, Ikhraj 2eid 3a2ili bil frinsewi. Which you have the freedom to send later, (as in, it doesn’t REALLY matter whether you send the family civil status record in French or not) because they love to be a pain in the ass and exercise their powers.

I chose not to drive to the Embassy because Parking in Beirut is a pain in the ass on its own. And driving is yet another factor to help your blood pressure shoot up, so, no thank you. I said I will take the Service (Collective Cab). Again! Anyway, I hailed a service and said, Hamra. He said no. I hailed another one so I tried Bristol. He said no. I hailed a third one and said Hamra or Bristol. This one said YES! So I rode with him and it was a very smooth drive alhamdulillah. BUT, the service driver has to be a pain in the butt and remind you of where you live. Before he even gets to the Central Bank of Masraf Lobnan he says, “yalla here is Hamra wherever you can get out will be excellent.” ((As in, the sooner you fals3i, the better)). Now I was wearing high heels to impress the embassy (next time I’m going in flip flops), so I didn’t want to walk Hamra street all the way in those shoes. I didn’t say anything.

– Ya ukhti you are very lucky. I never drive this service.

I was thinking, “Oh, great. It is probably his brother’s car or something”.

– I drive it as taxi only. (No offense but it’s an old poor Japanese car)

– “shu ana jbart jiddak ttali3ni mnil balad lahon service?” (In my head of course), out of my head I am only agreeing with a mild nod.

– Sort 7atit benzeen min honeek la hon 10,000 lira. Shu bya3mlo hawdil 2000? (I paid him to try to shut him up)

– “Mfakkarni mastooli shaklak. I drive and it takes 765 LL to get here from there without traffic.” (In my head)

– Allah ykhallisna min hal 3eeshil khara.

– I will get down here, please. (This time I said it out loud)

He was very happy and he let me down. I was still before Costa Coffee but I figured I will walk a bit and smell some Beiruti air with gasoline and pollution than stay with this guy and have to listen to his curses and reminders how shitty his life is. Because he is the only one -I am very sure- who is suffering from this 3eeshi in our civilized country.

What did I do tayyeb to piss you off like that because I paid 2000 LL to get from A to B? Or now I am thinking, maybe he thought I will pay him more because I was wearing high heels. Sniff sniff. I’ll just put on my sneakers now and go down to Younes. Coffee, calm music, and 30 scenes to write will be a great medicine for these dark times. But for now, Chamishi Shalom🙂

Author: Niam

Filmmaker/Digital Nomad/Storyteller

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