A Diamond’s Eye View of the World

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

building a better Lebanese light bulb

Posted by adiamondinsunlight on October 29, 2007

In the United States, changing a light bulb is a non-event. Turn off light switch, unscrew burned out bulb, screw in new bulb, turn on light switch.

In my Beirut apartment, the process is more complicated, thanks to the glass bulbs’ tendency to separate from their bases. In order to remove the bulb from the light socket, I turn and pull, rather than unscrew. Since moving in sixteen months ago, I have managed a 0% success rate of detaching bulb and base in the same moment.


Sometimes the base is easily removable on its own; other times, a combination of towel, gardening gloves and muttered words does the trick. For the worst ones, though, I have to resort to feminine wiles.

Why is that chair in the middle of the foyer? G asked yesterday while walking through the door.

Ohhhhh, that chair? I said innocently. I was hoping you could change the bulb for me (thinking: because I’m sure this is what you are dying to do with your final hours in Lebanon).

As G wrestled the bulb’s base from the light socket, I complained about the quality of Lebanon’s light bulbs.

Diamond, G sighed. Its not Lebanon – its where you shop. You just buy bad bulbs.

Now that G is off to Asia, I have extra time on my hands – and I could use a new hobby. I even have a name for it – and I can just imagine the conversations.

I’m a quilter, Diamond. What about you?

Oh, me. I used to be a shopper, but I’ve decided to focus more. Now I’m a bulber.

I’m sure Martha Stewart has some tips to get me started 😀


One Response to “building a better Lebanese light bulb”

  1. intlxpatr said

    You were doing some beautiful embroidery . . . that should be good practice for delicately unscrewing. Call “G’s mom and ask where to buy good lightbulbs!

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