A Diamond’s Eye View of the World

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

morning mysteries

Posted by adiamondinsunlight on June 22, 2008

Guten morgen from Frankfurt airport, where I am happily ensconced with MacBook and tea from Starbucks (no product placement here :D). Having read through my collection of fashion magazines, I am now sorting through photos and catching up on emails.

On Friday morning I was half-way through my usual walk to the gym when suddenly I felt that I had been transported back to an Iowa prom. Turning onto the street in front of me was this:

A stretch Hummer limo at 6:30 AM on a week-day? I couldn’t believe it, and neither could the other pedestrians/car park workers. We all stared, Levant-style.

And we had ample time to do so, because the Hummo really couldn’t make the turn. It hemmed and hawed, backed and forthed – totally taking away whatever louche glamour a stretch SUV limo might otherwise have on a middle-class street during the wee hours of the work day.

Usually I pass one or two cars on this street during my walk – its still pretty early for most people. But when the limo finally made the turn, a line of nine cars followed it. To their credit, none of them had honked – but I bet that the drivers were less than enamored of this bit of Beirut’s nightlife culture suddenly inserting itself into their morning commute.


13 Responses to “morning mysteries”

  1. I always said that North American stretched limos cannot be driven in the narrow streets of Beirut, here is the proof!

  2. Have you noticed that in Hamra and Ras Beirut, street lights are attached to buildings or electricity/telephone poles because sidewalks are narrow? Those lights were installed in the early 60’s and had bulbs in the shape of neon cylinders before being changed to high pressure sodium vapor bulbs in the late 80’s.

    Here is a picture taken in 1965 near Ain El Mraysseh stairs that shows the neon street lights, I wonder how that area looks now.

  3. Oops forgot the link http://webapp1.dlib.indiana.edu/collections/cushman/full/P14380.jpg

  4. Leila1000 said

    Dear Diamond,

    Thanks for all your postings from Beirut, and best of luck with the move. As a longtime resident of Brooklyn, I entirely endorse your choice of destination. In addition to the strong Lebanese presence with which I am sure you are already very familiar, it’s as delightful a borough as ever.

  5. Moose said

    Tu as une mémoire phénoménale K. C’est tout comme tu n’étais jamais parti.

  6. Merci Moose, je vis dans le passé 😉

  7. Moose said

    K, tu vis dans le passé à Montréal? Le frère André vit toujours alors?

  8. Je vis à deux pas de l’Oratoire St-Joseph qui a été construit par le frère André.

  9. Moose said

    Deux pas à genoux ou bien debout?

  10. On dirait que tu as vécu à Montréal, Moose 😉 Je vois l’Oratoire de mon balcon.

  11. Moose said

    Non, jamais vécu à Montréal mais j’ai visité mais amis Haïtiens là souvent.
    Na we talè, K;
    Ou zami’m kounye a.
    Check that out with my friends…

  12. intlxpatr said

    OMG, Little Diamond, you used the word louche in a sentence, and it totally worked! I have NEVER heard anyone use louche before, and I have been too afraid to use it. Well done!

  13. Kheireddine and Moose, I’m glad you’re getting so well acquainted 🙂

    And khalti, thank you! I hadn’t thought about it, but you’re right – louche is a hard word to use without sounding painfully studied. but a 6:30 am Hummer limo on a week-day … it just seemed to fit!

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