In the past three months I’ve deleted three of the four top contacts in my “Recent Calls’ list. I’ve either cooked the ‘last meal’ or walked somewhere to partake in a final drink or bite to eat for someone else. I’ve even added a bunch of new cool stuff to my house, becoming a scavenger of sorts, by accumulating the possessions of those who will no longer be here to use them. We are now equipped with an oven again! And a washing machine for the first time ever! And even a ping pong table*!!
I’m an expat, and so many of my friends in Lebanon are expats too. Despite all the adventure, glory, excitement, and novelty that comes with being an expat, sad things come of it as well. Namely, the longer you stay the more you have to say goodbye to really good friends.
You can hear it in the whisperings of local Lebanese people who have stopped becoming close to friendly, wide-eyed foreigners because they are so emotionally exhausted from having yet another friend say goodbye for good. I’m not that cynical yet. And I hope to never be. But it is true, not many people stay for very long. Lebanon is also a place of transient locals. Even many of our Lebanese friends are searching for ways to move abroad. And have.
Things have changed for me and it pulls on my heartstrings. Layal left today. My confidante, my cohost, the friend I would waste units on just to text, “Hey, what’s up?.” The girl I’d go to when I found out ridiculous tidbits of gossip that my boyfriend would deem stupid. Jorgo left over a month ago. You know Jorgo. It’s not a full 2Famous life without him. And my best yoga buddy and friend, whom I’d pour my heart out to, Rebecca, left a few weeks ago. She even hosted my birthday party last year.
I’m learning there comes a time in every expat’s life where you either move on to greener pastures or just go back home. None of us are set in our lifestyles — that’s an obvious statement– and it means it is only a matter of time till we move on. (And it’s not because we’re in Lebanon and the US is about to attack Syria which might lead to chaos and further instability here. I swear!)
But the feeling here now is comparable to what it feels as a cool sophomore in high school whose senior friends graduated last year. I’m finding it hard and a bummer. And my lack of internet only compounds the difficulty of keeping up with far away friends. *Update: Already called to install internet in the house, can hear my sisters’ screams of delight.
But I don’t want to end this on a sad and dramatic note. So I also want to point out those moments of experiencing eureka when you find a new friend. A real friend whom you can see a future of sharing secrets and weird life crises with. A person whom you meet and leave thinking, “Wow, this girl’s really cool and I think we get each other!’ I’ve got a lot of those scattered around the world these days. Now it’s time to dust off my shoulders and scout for some right here, right now. In fact, my crazy neighbor who roams the street all day muttering things to herself just invited us for coffee and you know what? I’m going!
*Aside: Great selling point to potential new friends.
Electric Youth, cherished in my heart for their dreamy electro sound and renowned for their song ‘A Real Hero’ on the Drive soundtrack, just released a video for ‘Runaway’ which is directed by Noel Paul and cast and shot in Lebanon.
Noel as you remember, was our [more]
“We’ve had to cut out a lot of shit to get here”-Adrian
Back when Layal and I started our own radio show we broadcast through a spotty Internet source at our favorite local beer joint in Beirut.
While hardly anyone in Lebanon had good enough Internet to stream the show, and those outside Lebanon couldn’t rely on the weak stream to listen either, we were lucky enough to have the space, equipment, and support to try our hands at somethin... [more]
Camping, off-festival events, environtmentalism, and the biggest acts in Lebanon
“It doesn’t get better than Wickerpark.” says Philippe Manasseh, lead singer of last year’s Canadian-Lebanese headliner Wake Island, and recent member of How Sad, also part of the 2014 lineup.
For the fourth year in a row, Junior Daou and his family open their large swath of land for a day of music, art, a... [more]
-But Berlin DJ predictably denied into Lebanon for Israeli stamp
You know what, I’m glad the Middle Eastern Gulf region is taking into account all kinds of sexy when it comes to deporting men.
Because the most recent deportee is a 55-year old German man, Rolf Buccholz, internationally known for holding the Guinness World Record in having the most body piercings.
Buchholz flew to Dubai to party it up at Circque le Soir, a club that pro... [more]
Norwegians are the masters of understatement. When something is gargantuan, they’ll say ‘It’s a bit big’ and when something’s breathtakingly beautiful, they’ll say ‘It’s nice.’ If a friend made a $10 million profit on a business deal, they’d claim he made ‘a bit of money.’
I still don’t understand whether it&... [more]
-I was the only dancer and they noticed