Another Day in Beirut

Today I was meeting my friend Lara near the HSBC in Hamra. I needed to take my laptop for us to do some work and of course had to carry my purse. So to avoid the abundant stealing incidents, I put all my stuff, including the laptop, in one big bag and walked there.

At the corner, facing HSBC diagonally, the road sign was still red for pedestrians on one side so I crossed the other one. And before I knew it, a pick up truck stopped abruptly near a man on the street and out jumped the middle aged driver. He grabbed the man by his shirt right below the neck. I saw all this happen in a fraction of a second. The two men pushed each other away and the middle aged man lifted his shirt and reached out to his waist, where I could clearly see a black body of a gun. I walked very fast on the street away from them, while the men were still yelling:

“Who the **** are you gonna ring?”

“It is none of your business. I’ll ring whomever I want to.”

Ok, so it was not a gun. It was a mobile phone. Shit. I slowed down and kept going, until I realized… Where is the HSBC building? It was right in front of me. And I found myself gone astray somewhere in Hamra way further from HSBC and my destination.

I cursed Lebanon and the Lebanese and the guns and my cowardice and walked back.

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Well, today I met a dog in Hamra. A real…

Well, today I met a dog in Hamra. A real dog. No, really.
He was walking near HSBC and a man was playing with him. But I noticed that the dog didn’t have a leash and was a bit worried. With an arm sling and a dysfunctional shoulder, I was not looking for embarrassment involving myself and a dog. I noticed that other passers by were avoiding the sidewalk and choosing to walk on the street. It was a tough call. I finally decided to be brave and stay on the sidewalk. I thought the man will definitely keep the dog away.
To my horror, (the horror! the horror!), as soon as I came closer to the dog the man walked away! And I was going to be directly face to face with the – I now realized – STRAY dog. I freaked out, but I remained calm. The dog walked towards me and sniffed. I made way for him to pass, gesturing for him that, “Please, dude”. To my surprise, it didn’t touch my jeans and went on. I hurried up down the street exhaling happily.

Thats All, Folks!