A Diamond’s Eye View of the World

a multi-faceted look at the middle east, and the middle west

dressed for success

Posted by adiamondinsunlight on April 24, 2007

Every morning I pass a set of security barricades, manned by a changing array of soldiers in uniform.

The degree of security they provide is also constantly changing. Many days, I pass through with nothing more than a “good morning”. On others, they ask to look in my bag.

This would be a good idea, if I carried just one bag. However, I carry two: gym and handbag. Why those who want to inspect my bags content themselves with one is a mystery to me; why when doing so their “search” consists of me unzipping the bag half-way is equally baffling.

And troubling – if they are this blase with me, they must be the same with other foreigners. And where is it written that Arabs alone pose a danger to Lebanon?

Anyway – enough sound and fury. What these searches most often provide are occasions for laughter.

Last Friday an eager soldier asked to see my gym bag. I unzipped it, showing that the top-most item was … a bag of freshly baked Arabic bread.

Puzzled, he looked at the bread – then looked at me. Sahtein, he said, laughing. Bon appetit.

3Ala 2albak, I replied, grinning. To you as well [literally, on your heart].

I bet it took two seconds for the story of the strange bread-toting foreigner to make the round of his barracks.

On Monday, a soldier asked to see my handbag.

I should explain here that Beirut’s weather has been rather unpredictable of late. Its spring, after all – and so I plan accordingly, bringing extra tops, a sweater, and an umbrella wherever I go.

Hence when Monday’s soldier asked to see my handbag, I began by first pulling off the cardigan I had laid on top, then the long-sleeved shirt I had brought in case the weather was cool but not sweater-cold, and finally the scarf I had packed because, well, I like scarves.

Amused by my display of sartorial excess, the soldier asked me: kilo tiyab? Is it all clothing?

I felt like a bag lady, carrying my wardrobe wherever I went. Especially since the fact that I carry a gym bag makes the Lebanese I know hoot with laughter.

You’d better be careful, G told me. Pretty soon people are going to start making fun of you for carrying that thing around. 

Right.

Meanwhile in other Diamond fashion news I note that my drunken-phone replacement is now officially available for sale here:

20_04_2007_002_007-1.jpg

Simple beauty, at a high-tech twenty-million gadgets’ price. I’m such a sucker for bright sparkly objects🙂.

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