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  • prequel

    "Top blog/Renato Obeid's World/Today's pick: This rambling weblog is worth reading not so much for its satirical posts but more for its insight into the minutiae of life in Lebanon, including the etiquette of road accidents and how to hire a taxi.” -Jane Perrone, The Guardian

    Wednesday, December 25, 2002  
    I was just listening to the news on the BBC World Service radio and heard an Israeli government spokesman saying "we have arrested ten suicide bombers".

    3:23 pm

    Thursday, December 05, 2002  
    The first day of eid el fitr – the three-day celebration which commemorates the end of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.
    Attended the pub quiz at the Shamrock in Beit Meri yesterday, which, by the way, my team won as usual.
    Afterwards, as usual, a handle full of us congregated in the (mainly) gentleman’s club atmosphere that usually prevails there after the quiz.
    Peter Casey was telling us about an American ex-colleague of his who, incidentally, had won the Fattest Ass in the Midwest competition, which is a pretty impressive feat – there’d be no shortage of competition in that country and that part of that country!
    A couple of years ago they were in a remote part of Taiwan and needed to get somewhere and couldn’t read any of the maps or find their way.
    They stopped an old peasant lady on the road who obviously spoke no English and the American was going off at her for not speaking any English.
    Finally they got to a city and a five star hotel, went in and were greeted by the receptionist who spoke to them in perfect English and with a perfect English accent but was obviously a native – “good day gentlemen, how may I help you?”
    The American replied “first of all, we need to find somebody who speaks English here”.
    “I think you’ll find that I do sir”.
    “Really? You speak English”
    At that stage Peter intervened and sorted things out.
    Fat Ass visited Peter here in Lebanon a couple of years ago.
    They took him to see the ancient ruins of Baalbeck – built by the Phoenicians thousands of years ago and completed by the Romans.
    On seeing those ruins he said “geez, those Israelis sure made a mess of this place!”
    Incredulous and bemused Peter said, “they’re ruins”.
    Fat Ass was oblivious to this and continued “God damn Israelis, God damn Jews!”
    Speaking of which, I haven't been to Baalbeck for ages - the last time I went there the checkpoints were Roman!
    Apparently, it’s more Hezbollah checkpoints these days – a foreign friend of mine told me about how she was with a busload of Western tourists who were stopped at a checkpoint in Baalbeck.
    The driver spoke to the people manning the checkpoint and then told the startled passengers that the Hezbollah wanted a word with them.Hezbollah operatives then boarded the bus and proceeded to hand out orange juice and biscuits as part of a charm offensive.

    5:45 pm

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