Dec 27, 2011

Happy 2012!

It’s THAT time of year (again) when we sit to write down the New-Year’s resolutions.  A few days before the beginning of the New-Year, we should all have our list ready (and we’ll follow it, as usual, for one week or 12 after “les 12 coups de minuit”).

Me? I’m no different! But my list, I’ll follow it for the full year of 2012. Yes, I will!
Me? I just want to make a difference…

This New-Year, I will not start it with a diet!
You see, since I want to make a difference and succeed in all my resolutions, I need to be realistic! With all the festivities and my Birthday coming up in the first week of February (save the date people!), I do not want to bluff myself (and everyone around me) and resolve to start a diet (that I will end up failing); therefore, w min el ekhir, I will not start my New-Year with a diet!

In 2012, I will not register at the new Gym…
Just like the (always failed) diet plan, I realize now (it’s mature that I realize, no?) that the money I spend at the beginning of every year on gym registration is lost money; I would rather spend these amount on winter sales shopping; it starts with the New-Year after all, no?

I’m making peace with my old enemy… chocolate!
There is a famous saying that goes: “There is more to life than chocolate, but not right now”.  And I kind of like it.  Therefore, I won’t complicate my life, I’ll simply not give up on chocolate and indulge myself with its bits and pieces anytime and anywhere.  I’ll publicly enjoy my resolution instead of claiming to be on a diet and eat chocolate, in the kitchen, while no one is watching.

In 2012, I am staying away from my family.
The quality time I need is with my son, mom, dad and friends. Why bluff and say I miss my aunt and uncle and can’t stand living without them? I love them, yes. We’re blood related after all.  But the real quality time I need is definitely not with them. So for everyone who fits into that category: so long guys, I’ll see you at weddings and funerals (may they not be many) and for coffee in 2013 perhaps. I might be missing you by then!

I will stop being lazy on my days off!
Instead of sending the full day in bed (when my son is not home of course), I will start doing an effort to move out of bed, with my blanket, to the TV room and watch a full movie without falling asleep! Who can top such energy?

I will start to be creative at work…
You know, handling a newly launched blog and launching my book writing have been such an exhaustion to me in the past few months that I am highly failing to keep it up and be creative at work. And my boss? Oh well, I’m noticing he’s starting to get bored from the same old excuse.  For this, and in order to keep my position at the office, I will make an effort to be more creative with my absence excuses at work; so long to the flat tire and migraine! (for my co-workers who are reading, chill guys… it’s just a joke for the sake of the blog).

I’ll focus on 1 chatting operator when talking to my friends
Seriously now, I, myself, sometimes wonder why I need to message the same person on MSN, BBM, Whatsapp, FB inbox, FB chat and e-mail him/her at the same time to say the same thing! And if helshe doesn’t reply, I would text to make a missed call (to both phone numbers… all Lebanese carry around 2 phone numbers) to grab his/her attention!  This year, all of this will stop, I’ll learn to stick to one and only medium and make the most out of it. Okay, maybe 2 or 3!
In 2012, I won’t worry much.
I’ll read more.
I’ll write more.
I’ll blog more.
I’ll finish my book (yeah right! *whispers my corrector*).
I won’t be moody –no wait, I’ll still be a girl, I got to be moody!-.
I’ll cut my hair.
I’ll grow my hair.
I’ll take-up a new habit.

Okay, I just chose my new habit!
I will, for once, stick to my New-Year resolutions!

Dec 24, 2011

Dear Santa

Dear Santa,

It’s this time of year again where I ask about you and send you a list of the gifts I expect to find under my Christmas tree. So I sit down to write to you, once again, my wish list.

Over the past few years, I realized how bad of a person I can be! I never ask about you or mail you unless it’s Christmas time.  The rest of the year, I forget your existence… well almost! In November I start being a “good girl” to reach Christmas all pure and angelic and receive what I ask for.

But it seems that your definition of “good” and mine do not match, not a little bit… not even at all!

The last thing I received from you, according to my list, was that huge Barbie doll house when I was 10. 

After it you missed the magic make-up kit, the prince charming, the prince charming with a Porsche car, the perfect man, the eternal beauty, the car, the perfect girl-friends, the perfect boy-friend, the million dollars bank account, the winning lottery ticket, the dream job that starts at 12pm and ends at 3pm, the fancy wardrobe, the unlimited shoes collection, etc…

This year, I address you with a very special request: Can you please send me the definition of “good” according to which you, Santa Claus, judge, us humans, yearly?

For all that I know: I respect my parents even if we argue daily, but it’s through arguments that better relationships are built, no? I do not kill, humans nor reputations. I do not hurt, enemies nor friends. I do not talk behind anyone’s back. I believe in Karma, yes; but I do not work on making it happen. When someone hurts me, I do not react. I sit and pray for him to recognize his mistake. When a boy breaks my heart, I wish him all the good of the world. When a girl backstabs me, I just take my distances without breaking our friendship. When people talk about me behind my back, I just think they are jealous and think by babbling they will ruin the reputation I have. When someone who hurt me asks for my friendship back, I welcome him with open arms. When I am having a bad day at work, I do not wish my boss dies in a car crash. When I am wrong I admit it because I expect people to forgive me, like I forgive them. When I love I love deeply. When I break-up, it takes me almost as long as a “facelift” to get over the relationship. I don’t desire what is not mine. I don’t lie (funny yes but I can’t fall asleep at night if I lie).

So Santa, I ask you… If the above is not the definition of being “good”, then what is?

Dec 22, 2011

Haki Neswein...

Tu connais la fille de Mounir, Notre voisin d'en bas? Yiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii ya haram ! Elle s'est évadée la nuit avec hayda jarna el souri de l'immeuble d'en face. ahla mich 3arfin chou baddoun y'oulo ! Elle leur a mit la tête dans la boue ! Même s'il a doctorat en économie le type, bass il est d'ailleurs et en plus il est d'une différente religion ! 

Yiiiiiiiiii ma khabbartik ? hayde Rasha sahabit rfi2na Rabih ! bass mich leb'in wlo, mich la ila houwe ! Ana déjà chifto ma3 baneit gheir. il les traite autrement. Ils paraissent contents bass ana je suis sure qu'ils ne le sont pas. darouré nse3ida, c'est notre amie wlo ! 

Khalil 3am byedhar 3a marto hoda ! Oh mon Dieu! Hoda, marto la Khalil, msahbé Fihmein el dikkanje d'en bas! W Fihmein bidallo yitkhena' ma3 sa fiancée Maha. je parie que bientôt ils vont annuler le mariage ! Ya haram ya Maha. 

Hayda killo ? 
Haki niswein ! 

C'est dans les grands salons de Beyrouth que petits et grands décident d'échanger les dernières nouvelles. 
Rien du monde de la mode, de la culture, du tourisme. Pas un gramme de politique ou de sociologie. Pas une conversation à propos des derniers changements climatiques, ni des problèmes écologiques qui affectent l'ozone.  à Beyrouth, nos sujets « in » ce sont les voisins, les amis, la fille d'en-bas, le garçon d'en-face.  Nos sujets « in » c'est nous même. Une méthode de drame personnel, d'auto destruction je dis. pourtant chez nous, c'est « in ». 

Parfois je me demande si les auteurs de « Dynasty » ou « The Bold and the Beautiful » n'avaient pas de gènes libanais ! Mais voila, notre Nisa' fil assifa (pour ceux qui regardent encore Télé Liban) n'est pas assez différent ! 

L'horreur !

Dec 11, 2011

The friend of my friend is my friend, etc.

I stand in the middle of a fight between two friends and I wonder, whom side shall I take?
When one is wrong, it’s easy. You point his mistakes and support the other.
But when it’s personal, what do you do? Whom do you support?
Worst… when the fight is between them two and concerns them two only… where do you stand?

Someone once told me that there are two kinds of people: those who judge everyone according to their previous acts and people’s talks and those who think everyone is good until proven otherwise.

I belong to the second kind; for me, everyone is good until proven otherwise.

But aren’t we all half angels and half demons? Don’t we all have our positives as well as our negatives?

If two of your friends (a boy and a girl) are dating (one another!), and they break-up. Whatever the reason is, you’ll still be friends with both, right? If he cheated or she hurt him, it’s their problem. They did not match. They hurt one another. You might take sides or give your opinion. But your friendship is not affected with neither. Because you know that, deep inside, separated from one another, each of them is good in a way or another. And if they can’t tolerate one another’s presence and want to act childish after their break-up? Oh well… you see them in separate places, at separate times… sometimes without even telling the girl you saw her ex-boyfriends or vice versa.

Then why does it have to be complicated when two decide to break their friendship? Why do you have to take sides in the friendship decision itself, not just the fight?

I stand in the middle of a fight between two friends and I wonder whom side shall I take?

In the absolute middle, I say.
Not a step to the right, not a step to the left.

The friend of my friend is my friend. The ex-friend of my friend can be my friend.

But the enemy of my friend? Well he can never be a friend.

That theory, the one about not judging people for being bad until they have proven otherwise to us, is true… the one about everyone having an angel and a demon inside of him too… so is the theory of friendships being a match, like couples.

But we can’t forget the famous old saying: Learn (or at least try to learn) from other’s mistakes.

Dec 2, 2011

Not all my blogs are for you!

“Mr. Luck, can you be my friend for a while?”

I’m addicted to social media; I keep my BlackBerry with me at all times, update my picture and personal message according to my mood, state of mind or thoughts; I do the same on msn and Facebook; I blog; I’m thinking of starting to tweet… I even believe Linkedin is the only network that I tend to keep private and professional (Though many of my contacts surprisingly don’t!).

While all of social media addicts act this way, they tend to forget that sometimes we set a picture or a status just because we like it, we share a blog or an article just because it is objective and good to read.  And while most of the time we want to deliver a certain message to someone, some rare times we want to deliver no message to anyone.

From a psychological point of view, when someone feels offended or concerned, it is because he relates himself to the subject.

Let’s take an example:
Post a display about missing someone, the message will be delivered to this person probably because he/she will feel concern (if you feel a status or a display is addressed to you, then it probably is). 
But it doesn’t stop here!
It’s now your chance to uncover all the nosey people on your list (who didn’t talk to you for the past 2 months) and will ask you now, “who do you miss”?

And another example:
Post a display about disappointment and find out who’s nosey enough to ask what happened, who’s caring enough to ask for help, and then above all, who feels he disappointed you.
Oh well, he’ll simply feel concern and show worrying in your display more than anyone else!

I won’t lie and say I’m an angel here! I often use my displays and personal messages to deliver a certain idea, feeling or message… not because I’m too weak to say it directly, but because some things are better left unsaid (to avoid arguing with people we love, but who still upset us). 

But if things are better left unsaid, it doesn’t mean the messages shouldn’t be delivered at all!
They should be delivered, just not said!
And those who feel concerned? 
They will understand them…

When I blog for instance, I accept subjects and ideas from many of my friends: I debate it with them, reach a conclusion, and write it down.  Sometimes I write down what they cannot write (for a reason or another).  Sometimes I blog for them, not for me; some of the subjects I wouldn’t even debate or put down in public myself.  But even when I do so, I keep a touch of myself in them.  Because my blogs are personal.  And the conclusions?  Well they always hold a piece of my heart.

While I make sure my blog contains no names or public content (and never will unless with the consent of the second party), I cannot deny that my blog is about myself. 
And myself means my life.
And my life contains my friends (present or past).
And my present and my past make my experience.
And my experience gives me life lessons.
And valuable life lessons make good writing material.
And good writing material is blog material!

Today I blog.
I blog for myself.  Because in writing I express my deepest thoughts.
I blog for my friends who enjoy reading what I write.
I blog to deliver my way of thinking. One that might be different than others. But just as good as others!
I blog to share my experience with others, interact with friends and readers, share opinions…

When I change a display picture, set a personal message or a status? It’s just like when I blog…

I’m not here to tell you how to read or what to think. 
When you feel targeted? You probably are (whether I know you personally or not).
When you don’t, read between the lines because you probably are.

You know…
Opinions don’t have to be the same, we can debate.
I love debates! (as long as I win at the end).

So my social media update, they are for you, him and her. 

But at the end, none of us is the center of the universe.
And my updates, not all of them are for you!

Nov 29, 2011

Sorority Drama... I quit!

While I sit to write about the girls sororities, I must admit I drafted over 10 versions of this blog. I shared and re-shared with many to take advice before publishing. After all, just like every girl, I take part of a close group of girlfriends that I do not aim to offend in any way. However, my blog remains about me, my thoughts and my way of thinking.

Drafts later. I publish.

This blog is dedicated to every girl out there because I know, every one of you, will identify herself (or someone she knows) in a story somewhere. 

Let's start by the beginning...

When I was 3, my best friend was my doll.
When I was 4, an imaginary girl (mom says I called her Pamela).
When I was 5, my best friend was my neighbor.
When I was 7, a classmate of mine.
When I was 12, we became a group of girls.
When I was 16, I believed that everyone was a friend.
When I was 18, I thought "the more the merrier".
At 22, I started to realize I was lonely. I started "recruiting "real friends.
At 28, I am blessed with girls who support me in good and bad times. 

The drama?
I left it at 18... All my friends did (hamdilla). But we all carry a little bit of our past with us, don't we? And as we grow old, we do let our infantile habits affect us in a way or another.

At 16, I had a friend of mine comment about the way I look (though I was pretty slim at that time), so I went on a diet and ended-up fainting in the kitchen. At that time, I did not realize a simple "I'm fine with my body" would be enough.
Around the same age, I started doubting my boyfriend because one of the girls (with the quantity of "best-friends" I had at that age, it was a different girl), told me he was too handsome to be faithful and too good to be true.

At 18, I noticed that by boyfriend refused to go out with my girlfriends. Devastated, I picked a fight with him trying to understand the reason behind such acts. Going out with our common friends was fun and nice. Going out with his friends was smooth. Spending time with my friends -who were boys- was more than pleasant to him. But the girls? Never! (I can't deny he tried to explain it all to me smoothly, but I refused to read the seriousness between his words... At 18, we can't really read between the lines!)

Few years later, after a break-up and years of silence, we got back in contact again (thanks to Facebook) and joked about our years of youth. By then, I had realized that the girlfriends I had around back then (who again were too many!) Used to act too childish (of course at 18 I didn't see childishness in their acts). From asking him about the wedding date, to bugging him about our argument the night before, without forgetting to debate why he would accept me doing this, does not accept me doing that. In resume, they used to act like any man hates his girlfriend's friends to act. And looking back at it today? I wouldn't even date me!

And today?

At 28 I still blog about drama, because a friend of mine asked me to. Because if I am blessed with my friends, she might be blessed to have me as a friend (humbly; niyyeil elli bibous 'id halo)... but still suffers from such drama from other girls in her entourage (who obviously are stuck somewhere in the past)m

The whole Sorority Drama?

That I quit...

Nov 25, 2011

Are we safe... yet?

Local news, a good movie and hop! I’m off to bed.  I pray, hug my pillow and close my eyes to sleep… Sleep?  Let’s say count the sheep!  I’m suffering from insomnia lately and sleeping is becoming a very old friend of mine.
Tonight I’m blessed. I’m safe in my bed. Tomorrow I’m catching up with the girls over dinner, will I reach the house safe and sound? Will I be counting the sheep at a time like this or will I be hit and raped to death by a stranger that will, as usual in my country, get away with his acts?

It all started when I watched the news few nights back. Devastated by the story of a girl, just my age, who was tortured and raped to death when she went to church for prayer, I sat in bed counting the sheep.  That night, I could not pray.  Whom would I address my prayers too?  God?  She was going to visit him, at his place.  How could he let all this happen to her?  Isn’t He supposed to protect her?  She was a believer, aren’t true believers the most protected?  Or maybe he wanted her with Him, between the angels, in Heaven?  But why did he have to take her so brutally?  Why make her suffer?  And her family?  Her friends? 

I counted the sheep wondering whom to blame that night… I still count the sheep till I sleep tonight, days after the tragic news.  But now, I pray.  I pray because I understand it is not God’s fault that humans are acting like without humanity nowadays.  It is not God’s fault that criminals and assassins are everywhere around us, that theft and rapes make the headlines of our news on weekly, if not daily, basis!  I count the sheep till I sleep tonight because I understand that I live in a country where stealing is not punished by more than few years of prison, at its best. Raping by 5, perhaps 10… and killing by what? 15?  Would a criminal even care about the 15 years he might spend behind the bars?  Really?  Do you think a person who’s sick enough to torture, rape and kill a soul, young or old, is stable enough to think about what might await him?  Would a person who is stable enough reach that criminal mind anyway?

One sheep, two sheep, 3 sheep… 120 sheep.  One white sheep, two white sheep, one green sheep, 10 red sheep… I now get it! I know who to blame… I blame my government! I blame my government for allowing my country to become one of the less safe countries in the world.  A killing and rape tragedy inside a church?  Who else to blame?  Criminals are out there, running, with no fear.  They know they can attack anywhere and everywhere, people of all ages.

What I remember from the news, in the past 15 days (and I rarely watch the news): an 80 year old lady raped in her house (seriously, why would anyone rape a woman who is my grandmother’s age?!), two boys kidnapped in a well renowned mall in the capital and a 2 years old kidnapped from his mother in the suburbs.  And not only I rarely watch the news, I have a fish memory too!

What a shame! What a shame being Lebanese and not being able to cheer for my country on independence week.  What a shame accusing, publicly, society and moreover my government for the lack of security we face today.

I point fingers, not because I don’t love my country, but because I love it to an extend it hurts. It hurts not to be safe.  It hurts not to have a valid SOS number (those who think we do can check this:  It hurts to go to bed tonight, not knowing if it’s safe to go out for an early dinner between girls the next day…

I close my eyes and I pray, again… In the end, maybe I won’t be here to pray tomorrow!

Oct 25, 2011

BlackBerry Etiquette!

Years after BlackBerry use, it's about time we set the BlackBerry Etiquette manual:    

1- Girls will have boys on they BlackBerry messenger list. Boys will have girls on their BlackBerry messenger list. And guess what! They chat, oh yes. They talk together! The girls, with the boys... So for all of the couples or couples to be, cut those jealousy crises! You got over your partner having people from the opposite sex on Facebook and msn? BlackBerry is not any different!

2- If you change your display picture 300 times a second, people will not notice you more. However, if you change it to prove a mood or show how pretty you are, it's ok. (Please stop digging into the "ugly photos" gallery! We all have cute pictures where we look good!)

3- Now for the cranky ones who complain about picture changes, status messages updates and name edits; cut your negative vibes. Those options are built-in with the BlackBerry phone, therefore they are made to be used... and abused! Bothered? Disable the "Recent Updates"!
Please note that guys who over update those, however, might reflect a wrong image. Such options were created to be used by guys, abused by girls.

4- If you want to play "hide and seek" or "hard to get", play it smartly! Try not to make any public moves (ie updates) while you're in the middle of the game. People might catch you on action and you might lose your game!

5- Moving to the "invisible" mode... When you're not in the mood, I advise you not to put a status such as "Do Not Disturb" or "Crappy Mood". Apparently such statuses make your "I talk to you once a year" friend become your "next" BFF! As if people with crappy mood have enough patience to "talk about it" with the 101 psychiatrist contacts they have!

6- BlackBerry messenger is cursed to show an "R" once the message is "read"... Just like the "read receipt" in the Outlook e-mail. Only difference here: you can not disable it! Consider it a gift, or a curse... But the important is to use it smartly!

7- Is it sleeping time for you? Cool! It's not for others. Now put your phone on silent because people do not have to stick to your schedule! If your phone rings and someone wakes you up, you don't rant because YOU forgot to activate the silent mode. It's not different for BlackBerry messenger users! People will send messages anytime because they have something to say and they might forget it during your 8 hours of sleep! Basically they all expect you to be smart enough to put your phone on silent and read it when you wake up. You didn't? Oh well, pay the price!

8- Broadcasts oh broadcasts! Though I agree that broadcasting the game scores of the "LIVE" soccer game is annoying, broadcasts are fun!  Some can't live with them, others can't live without them... Yet again: they also are part of the BlackBerry messenger package... You are free to read them, delete them and ignore them! But people will still send them anytime, anywhere! It really doesn't matter if you're in a bad mood, at a wedding, at a funeral or simply sleeping. A broadcast is sent randomly to all. Live with it!
The only broadcasts not allowed actually are the "false" news ones. Such as: "The President of the USA is dead". Seriously? Are you sure? Please double check such info before broadcasting!

9- If you can't control the broadcasts, you can however control your reactions to the broadcasts:
- When you receive a broadcast about someone who needs blood, do not message back asking nosey questions such as: "who, what, when, why"?! Someone who needs blood for a loved one is probably eager for a positive reply and has no time for chit-chats!
    - When you receive a funny broadcast, no need for a "lol" and a "hehe" as a reply. We know you read it (don't we all read our messages after all?), we know it's funny (we sent it). A reply with a funnier joke or comment is the best in such cases!

10- Let's not forget the addiction symptom: Blackberry users are addicts. It's a fact, live with it... Now when people are talking to you, you check your messages, giggle, broadcast jokes and tell them: proceed, I'm used to this and I can focus on my phone and you. And you do focus on your phone, and them. Right? Now take a note: ALL BlackBerry users are multi-talented. I, for instance, remove my BlackBerry from hands only when I'm with my son or driving (or maybe on a fantastic date). I shop, spend time with my friends, watch TV, cook, have a drink, work, write, etc... with my BlackBerry in hand! I even wrote this blog on my BlackBerry device!

The list is still long...
    - Don’t start a conversation you have no time to continue
    - Don’t shout at people if they greet you and you’re too busy to reply (simply ignore the message or reply later!)
    - Don’t take every status update as addressed to you; the world does NOT revolve around you
    - Don’t steal people’s fun displays and use them at the same time (without permission), wait at least a day or two!

And in the middle of all this chaos and these basic etiquette rules… don’t forget to enjoy the BlackBerry messenger for the fun it brings into your lives and the way it lets you stay intouch with your loved ones!

Sep 23, 2011

I hate the rain… in Beirut!

I hate the rain…

Though I dream of living in Switzerland, visiting New-York in winter and enjoying the view of a Parisian night with its streets covered in a white snow coat, I can’t help but hate rain in Beirut!

Just by hearing the “bad news” on the weather reports last night, I started feeling cramps in my stomach! I looked in the mirror over 10 times repeating to myself everything is going to be just fine, last year’s incidents won’t happen all over again… after all, those were last year… (for those wondering which incidents, please be patient!)

And so, with a large smile on my face, I did my manicure, my pedicure, showered, brushed my hair and got ready to face an amazing Friday morning…

Fridays usually denote the beginning of a week-end in Beirut, and often enough I am excited to wake-up early in the morning and greet everyone with a happy (almost singing) voice: Gooood morning sunshine!

Sun? That is one thing not on the agenda for today…

Though I love the rain, the snow and the storms; Though I love cuddling in bed, watching a good DVD with a bowl of pop-corn while it is raining outside; Though the storms can be exciting and scary at once… Something has happened to me the past few years… “Beirut in the rain” has happened to me!

I hate the rain… more specifically... I hate the rain in Beirut.

I hate the fact that my Blackberry service goes down every other day as long as it’s raining. I hate the fact that my mobile service goes down 3 or 4 times a week too!

I hate that I have to live by the candle because electricity and rain are not best friends!

I hate the fact that the Lebanese roads are not properly equipped with a sewage system, which leaves us with plenty of water ponds all around. I hate the fact that the asphalt on the roads is not adequate for rainy weather, which increases the accidents rates… starting by myself (those who know me well are probably laughing now…).
I hate it when people start panicking and lose their driving skills (not that many have them anyway!).  It’s like they are broadcasting a message saying: Hey, it’s raining… let’s drive stupid!

I hate rain in Beirut because people become so dull… everyone wants to stay in because it’s raining! Some lose their logic too and start wearing long sleeves, boots and drinking red wine to keep warm while it’s still warm outside, and if it wasn’t of the rain, they would be partying in their “all matchy” outfit on the beach somewhere!

I hate rain in Beirut for some “blondy” reasons too…

I hate rain in Beirut because I can’t wear my heels anymore… who can run in heels to escape the rain on the non-equipped roads of the town?

I hate rain in Beirut because my make-up will not stop falling apart (no, wearing waterproof make-up won’t help here!) and because my hair will keep on freezing and losing its style and shape.

I hate rain in Beirut because with rain comes snow and cold, and not all of the country, not even all of the shopping malls, are equipped with properly heated systems and I have to over-dress (in quantity not style) in order to stay warm!

I hate rain in Beirut because even though I love Beirut… nothing is equipped to let me enjoy this amazing weather!

Sep 8, 2011

The top-10 must have for a perfect Lebanese Beach day…

Once upon a time, going to the beach was all about sun-tanning, relaxing, swimming and spending some quality time with friends and family member… maybe also play a little bit of Tennis or Basket Ball, walk on the sea side… mmmm it was all about what it isn’t now!

Now that the new era is here, a new guide must be set in order to help you all change the vision you had, once upon a time, of a perfect beach day!

1- The Crowd
Girls, boys, singles, engaged or married… everyone is allowed at the Lebanese beaches… apparently except for children! What used to be an almost “family only” activity is now the new “clubbing” experience of the region! Almost anyone and everyone is “partying” on summer Sundays; Say bye-bye to masses and family reunions and kiss the gathering lunches good-bye!

2- The Swimsuit
Bikinis are a must! Plain, colored, with glitters or glossy material; everything works as long as it is a bikini!
Well I believe I just said it all… No need for your Speedo, goggles or nose protection clips anymore… Who’s going to swim? Most of you will be lucky to see a girl wetting her hair! (Why would anyone ruin her $10 brushing?)

3- The Accessories
From the beach outfit, to the earings… passing by the bracelets, the belly button, the anklet, (drop the necklace… you don’t want to over-do it after all!), the matching nail polish (it takes you 10 minutes to change that red into a fuchsia with the really quick dry new nail polish releases. Contact me for my favorite brand!), the hat, the bag, the towel… everything must be a perfect match! Those accessories? They are “beach-exclusive” ONLY!

4- The High-Heels
As you all notice, the high-heels do not fit under “The Accessories” section.
Why?  Because all by themselves, high-heels at the beach are a phenomenon!
Now seriously, aren’t you girls too tired after Saturday’s night party (Where you were wearing high heels of course)? I tried myself to go out on a Saturday night (wearing high heels) and then wear heels again on Sunday morning (not to the beach of course!) and my feet were a disaster! Seriously, “sisters”…? Is there a secret to that? Please share!

5- The Make-Up
Well last time I checked, they created water-proof mascara and they were using it for the brides on their wedding days… you know, the bride would be emotional, the tears might fill her eyes when she gets her “oh so waited for” solitaire diamond… Ok, ok… let’s not be too harsh, water-proof mascara and a little gloss might be acceptable anywhere and everywhere, even at the beach; they “enhance” natural beauty. But what I really don’t get is the full make-up! Seriously girls, what’s with the “smoky eyes” make-up? Did you look at yourself in the mirror before leaving the house or is it just something you recently learned and want to show off with?

6- The Wine
On Sundays on the Lebanese shores? Everyone and anyone is a wine connoisseur! And the all time favorite is Ksara’s Sunset… Seriously people, I have to agree that the Rosé wine is the best to have in the sun, but has anyone tasted another Rosé?

7- The Music
After the excessively loud music from Saturday evening’s party at White or Skybar, you would think Lebanese want to relax on Sundays… Have a Lazy day… A Lazy Sunday! But hey… who are we kidding here? A phone call or two and here is a list of our favorite Lebanese DJs and their residence resorts for the week-end… I wonder if those people even sleep!

8- The “Valid” Phone
(Beware not to drop it in the water, the following listed phones, under the “valid” categories, were proven NOT to be waterproof!)
Your phone is not a valid phone unless it is an iPhone or a Blackberry; They allow you to automatically update your status on Facebook, Twitter, to discuss with your friends (who suffered from last night’s hangover) what they are missing over WhatsApp and bbm (BlackBerry messenger) and… well that’s about it! Because if your phone rings when you’re at the beach, you can’t really answer it because of the loud music (#7) and you’ll be too tipsy anyway because of the wine, sun and no water on the head combination (#2, 6 & 10)

9- The Camera
Girls, belly buttons, DJ, the crowd, the pool, the people inside the swimming pool, the girls you know, the hot chicks you don’t know, the alcohol, the champagne, the sunset (the actual sunset, not the wine bottle)… everything and anything is considered to be “hot” material for the Facebook photo album that you will upload as soon as you reach your house tonight.
Do not forget to use your mobile camera and add “teasing” pictures to your “Mobile Uploads” album, during the day, from the beach!

10- The SUN!
I’m not sure the sun is even a must have (anymore) for a perfect Lebanese beach day but well… I just had a 10th spot to fill here!

Sep 6, 2011

Mon Liban à moi

This blog I wanted it to be about all “new” things, new notes, new feedbacks, new comments… But all rules have few exceptions and the following note is an exception.
Following a friend’s demand, I share with you: Mon Liban à moi

The morning:

I wake up early this morning, just like every other morning for the past few years, to go to work.  Outside, I cannot hear any birds singing; instead, I hear the neighbors fighting: the newlyweds are arguing because the wife can’t get along with her mother in law (ajéda hal m3attara 3a 7améta), the girl on the 2nd floor is arguing with her father for coming home too late the night before (wlik 3ayb ya papi, chou baddoun y2oulo el jiran!) and of course, my mother blames our house helper for everything (ya 3ammé leh ma jebo el mayy?!).

A deep breath and I jump out of bed… brrrrr it’s freezing and the heater is not working… again. No need to dig for reasons, my LebanON is OFF this morning and the generator can’t support both hot water and heating system.  Priority goes for hot water and shower, of course!

Getting Ready:

I run to the bathroom for a quick shower… very quick since we’re out of water (referring back to my mom) and it’s freezing (gentle reminder); and I get dressed.

Flats for the office are fine? No, no… focus and think straight Maya!*inner voice* “The girl who works with you had high heels on yesterday, and she can’t look better than you today too… opt for the high heels!"  To hell with comfort, right now I need to impress to go to work. Impress who exactly? Ok so: high heels, jeans and black top… black jacket… mmmm no way! I wore that one yesterday! Let’s try again: high heels, beige top and brown jacket? A bit better… a blow dry, a little bit (of too much) make-up and I’m ready to go to work.

The ride:

The car type of course reflects the “prestige” of the Lebanese society (even though I drive a Mercedes just for the love of the car).

I get ready for my 2 hours drive to work.  (You want to define traffic jam? Look at the Lebanese roads, Monday to Friday, between 7 and 10 in the morning! My grandma is the only person not driving a car out there!) Courageously, I face 30 harassments, 3 guys follow me to work, 2 of them have a car crash while racing on another to follow me... pretty cute!

Turning the radio on, I can easily choose between 3 morning shows, the classics: The first of them discussing the latest increase on the fuel tank price (eh oui! Didn't you know that in a couple of months, a fuel tank will reach the price of a Louis Vuitton bag?).  The second being the horoscopes (mmmm let's see what Aquarius says today, shall I continue to work or will I catch a flu or fight with my colleagues today?) and of course, the third choice goes to the eternal morning drama (the news!).

Politics, Society and Outings:

After finally arriving to the office, the whole team is discussing the latest political events. We cannot forget to mention here that each and every Lebanese (including myself) hold a doctorate in Political History and Analysis... and so, we can't really accept our diversities and we (the team and I, myself) insult one another for not following the same political party!

From politics we move to religion; Forgetting the beauty of our country, we can’t help it (unfortunately) but slipping a few: "chou baddik fiyoun holik" and "nehna minsalle gheir, sibhan allah", without forgetting the "leik leik baddoun y3amroulna jemi3 7add el knise!" and vice versa... (excuse me for being so blunt, I am stating what I daily hear).

And the outings!

Oh... the outings: from Happy hours to Shisha meetings and dinners (3 salads, 12 entrées, 2 main courses, a coca-whiskey, desert and fruits), an outing a day is a must! With my friends and the friends of my friends (whom I automatically add on my Facebook, through my BlackBerry phone as soon as we sit down)... I honestly end up on Friday evening too tired to party the week-end away... but hey! I've got to get ready and go see my best friend whom I have not seen the past 24 hours... Dans Mon Liban à moi, I have 100 gossips to share after 24 hours... and of course, phone calls are way too expensive for us to chat for a long time!

Where's the catch?

From politics to religion... arguments keep on increasing day after day; cultural events are almost 90% replaced by Starbucks and Gemayzé outings, the girls are becoming Barbie-like and materialistic, the guys are playing the Godfather role (each for his own family), the taxes are high, the fuel is expensive, the salaries are low... Almost everyone still lives at his parents place by the age of 30 because getting a place of his own is too expensive... We're addicted to technologies, forget about social life... The traffic jam takes away half of our day...

But hey! You want to know where the catch is?

This is my country... THAT is the catch!

Mon Liban... à moi

Sep 5, 2011

A little bit of me...

We are what our past made us. We are the results of our smiles, laughs, tears, disappointments; of our joys, depressions, achievements. We are the results of our dreams, hopes, and aspirations.

Starting my blog was a hard decision; I did not want to end up sharing articles others were writing… I needed to commit to write my own articles, share my own thoughts… and I hate sharing… not my thought at least.
You know, opening-up on the way you think, on your actions and reactions, explaining your own decisions and points of view can be destructive as much as constructive.

They say showing the real you might open the window to many to love you. I say it also opens the window to many to hurt you by discovering the real you, your weaknesses, your emotions… Just like when I was a little girl and my parents knew how much my best friend meant to me; whenever they wanted to punish me, they forbid me from seeing her… It was like they were punishing me through her… They just didn’t realize how harmful it was for me.

Opening-up to anyone and everyone is the same today; However, I am not a little girl anymore and my own emotions and reactions can’t be used against me now. I am who I am and this blog is just:
A little bit of me…