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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

    Sunday, October 07, 2007  
    Eli’s over.
    ‘’You look pretty calm and chilled’’ he observes.
    ‘’That’s because you’ve only been here for ten minutes’’ I reply.

    I told Eli two ghost stories within a week of each other and he believed both of them.
    On one occasion I convinced Eli that a ghost haunts the abandoned road near our building and, another time, that I later found out that a friendly old man we encounter on our walks had in fact been dead for ten years.
    Eli wanted to call a priest, which is quite logical, but he also wanted to call the police (try both the spiritual and the temporal).
    Sure, sic the police onto a ghost.
    What are the police going to do to a ghost?
    Maybe our police have a ghost buster unit.
    Our cops have enough trouble catching real criminals let alone ghosts.
    And sometimes they even confuse the two.
    In September 2005 the then-Interior Minister Hassan Sabaa famously said "unfortunately we are facing some kind of a ghost'' after television personality May Chidiac was maimed in a car bomb explosion (one of tens of politically motivated hits that have plagued Lebanon since October 2004 – all of them unsolved).
    The first hoax he fell for wasn’t even believed by my twelve year old cousin Nour.
    When I later revealed to Eli that it was a hoax, he kindly offered me the use of his mobile phone to call Nour and tell her that it was indeed a hoax (she’d left us about half way during the story).
    I told Eli that I’d already told her that it was a hoax when I saw her off at the elavator so he wouldn’t feel like a complete retard but the truth is that she didn’t believe a word of it.

    I used to walk along the abandoned road but I don’t anymore partly because of the ghost (who knows, there may be a ghost there for all we know) but also because, now that it’s reverted back to nature, there must be all sorts of creatures there.
    I wouldn’t be surprised if there were even dinosaurs and highwaymen down that road that time forgot.
    Besides, a judge on a walk got bashed there a couple of years ago but that was a targeted attack (they appear to have followed him from his home in Jounieh and took advantage of the secluded location) because of a case he was presiding over and he’s been bashed elsewhere before so it doesn’t appear that judge-bashing is endemic to that particular road but more to that particular judge.

    11:30 pm

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