Wednesday, February 17, 2010

February 17, 2010

After the initial class meeting yesterday morning, I wandered from Ashrafiyeh, the neighborhood where I have my classes, to the Downtown area, where I saw the Place des Martyrs, an open area where notable national gatherings occur (14 March revolution, 5 year anniversary of Rafiq Hariri’s death), the Nejmeh Square, with Beirut’s famous clock tower, the main mosque, and some mosques, churches, and archaeological sites.

Inside memorial to Rafiq Hariri, slain prime minister.

It was really interesting to see some buildings still in ruins with bullet holes, and compare it to the Parisian, newly-rebuilt and kind of without soul, Downtown. I ran into a kid named Max who was in my class meeting, and we grabbed lunch at a neighborhood, hole-in-the-wall restaurant, which was really good. I got hummus and a Moroccan couscous dish, which wasn’t like any Moroccan couscous dish I’ve ever had, but that’s neither here nor there.

Bullet-riddled building

I finally made it back to my apartment after getting wicked lost (but helped by a hot policeman), studied a bit, and watched W. I’ve noticed there are no legit DVDs in Lebanon; they’re all burned.

Posters of Hariri are everywhere.

I didn’t have class or anything today, so I was a bit lazy. I made a stop at the grocery store for Raid. Last night I saw a ginormous bug, which I’m assuming was a cockroach, in my bathroom. I tried to kill it, but was too scared so just kind of swatted at it with a shoe and then it scurried away. I’ll admit, that was one moment I was wishing I was home, although I think cockroaches are more of an urban then Lebanese problem. I slept with the door to the bathroom closed (it’s always going to be closed now), closed the door to the bedroom, and put a scarf in the crack underneath the door. I feel a bit better now with the bug killer.

The city has some interesting, albeit politically-charged, graffiti.

I met up with some AUB kids I met two days ago, and we got went dinner to Kebab-ji, a good chain right behind my place, and then went to a café to sit around a bit and enjoy the weather.

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