Wednesday, March 12, 2008

*** Post number 100 ***

What better number to start posting about my new life than 100!
So let me start from the very beginning.

Thursday February 28, 2008, Lufthansa left Toronto Pearson Airport at 5:30 pm en route to Beirut via Frankfurt. It was one of the coldest days this year in TO. I didn't have any feelings really, even when I tried to think hard and reflect, nothing... maybe because I was exhausted and stressed for the past two months that my mind and body had no room for anything else. Feb 28/08, TorontoSnow over the CN Tower and Toronto with temperature of -21C degrees

It was still dark at 7:00 am when we reached Frankfurt. The stop there was short and sweet.
By the way, the plane from Canada wasn't the best, no individual screens, and by the time dinner reached my seat at 39A, I got pasta :( But the availability of scotch whisky made up to the lack of entertainment and food choices ;)

From Frankfurt to Beirut, seat 4A, first line in the economy section. We had to wait in the bus that took us from the airport to the plane, some hot shot needed to get in before us peasants. It was raining that day but temperatures much milder than what I left behind 8 hours before. The trip was more fun that the previous one and we were served tasty hot breakfast although the trip was only 3:30 hours. All Lebs in one plane = conversations and fun! We were like kids, knees on the seats and looking to the people in the back to talk and pass the time :)

Friday February 29, 2008, around 1:40 pmFeb 29/08 BeirutBeirut, the capital of Lebanon, in a warm sunny 21C degrees

Here comes Beirut, everyone was eagerly waiting to see this sight and get HOME. What a sweet feeling of truly belonging to one place, seeing familiar shapes and sceneries. I don't understand it sometimes; maybe I don't even need to.

At the airport, no questions asked at the customs, then another control of passports as a quick glance. I waited with a porter for 4 suitcases to show up. Hamdella, they all made it with me. A bit dirty a bit wet but all there.

Another control of passports and suitcases now lead me to the "teftish". What do you expect, a lady with 4 suitcases of 32 kilos each, claiming that they're all mine.

The "teftish" guy asked if they were all mine. "Yes" I answered, "I'm back to get married and stay here for good". His eyes open wide "For good" with a suspect look. "Yes" I replied with a nice straight teeth smile. "Do you mind if we open a suitcase?" he asked. "Not at all, which would you like to open?" And there goes one suitcase on the table, opened, checked. "Do you have new cloths", "Yes, jhezeh akid", "Any price tags on them?", "Shouldn't be, but maybe a few, I don't know". "Can we open another suitcase?" "Sure"... Same questions for the other suitcase. He reached a makeup case filled and heavy, "what's in this?", "my make up stuff" and I opened and showed him. He reached my new coat which still had a price tag. "I bought this one last week, didn't take the tag off it yet". Then he ordered the porter to help me close the suitcase and said "ma twekhzina". "No problem, God bless you for doing your job." :) I was really happy that my suitcases were opened. My country is safe!

Outside, Khalo and Karam were there. I kissed Karam but was too anxious to hug my Khalo. Couldn't hold back my tears! "I am finally home, not leaving you every again!!" Karam came with a lovely bouquet of red roses, and another good looking guy was smiling at me, turned out he's Fadi, Karam's cousin who was holding a bouquet of white flowers from Nohad, Karam's mom, who was in the car outside waiting to pick us up.

Beirut is crowded, driving is a chaos, the smell of pollution is very apparent, one could even see it at the horizon; something that needs some getting used to.

After a quick stop in Ain el Remmeneh at the Karam's for a quick lunch, we finally made it to Zouk Mikael.