hating Beirut (with Tuesday morning update)
Posted by adiamondinsunlight on March 24, 2008
My parents left this morning, and since then two things have made me seriously consider buying a ticket and jumping ship on the next upgradeable flight out of here.
I lived in Manhattan for eight years and never once had a rat in my apartment. But today I find that I am on my third Beirut rat in nine months. There are rat feces all over my bedroom, and urine on my favorite chair.
And while I was scouring my apartment for possible rat hiding places, a three-inch spider crawled out from under one of H’s bags. So I unblocked the kitchen door and grabbed two cans of “all insect killer” from the cupboard below the sink.
Perhaps these sprays kill all other insects, but they did nothing to this spider. Here’s what finally worked: using one can’s bottom rim to slice the spider into bits. And yes, I did have to wait half an hour for its limbs to stop twitching before I could scoop them into the trash.
I’m working from home today, and I can hear the rat slamming against the kitchen door every fifteen minutes or so, trying to get out. Thank God my mother left all her spare travel Kleenex packs with me – not quite as good as a hug, but better than using a shirtsleeve to wipe up all my tears.
I hate this city’s culture of irresponsibility. I hate the filth – metaphoric and physical – in which people choose to live. If Beirutis would act less like vermin’s best friends, throwing empty wrappers and coffee cups and God knows what other garbage onto the streets and sidewalks, perhaps the number of actual vermin would go down to a normal level.
Tuesday morning update:
When H came over yesterday evening, I warned him about the rat.
Its okay, he said. I don’t mind.
Its not the rat itself I’m warning you about, I said. Its me. I’m insanely grouchy – just wait until you see the blog post I wrote.
But H came over anyway, armed with logic and rationality.
There are rats everywhere, he said.
No there aren’t, I insisted. Not in people’s apartments. I don’t know anyone who has had a rat in their apartment in the United States.
I had a rat in my apartment when I lived in San Antonio, H said, furrowing his eyebrows in a sweet “please don’t say you hate this place – I’m from here” way.
Oh, I said, feeling the day’s self-righteousness slipping out of me. Okay.