I woke up late; It was past noon. The electricity wouldn’t be back until 12 and I was alone because Matias went on a mission to Tripoli, so I slept — pretty well for a morning filled with jackhammers and never-ending machine groans. I opened my computer to a hauntingly familiar news jolt. Beirut’s been bombed. Again. This is something like the fourth bomb since moving here two years ago. And as usual, Twitter and Facebook were flooded with sarcastic, pissed off, disillusioned comments; despair for the situation; sympathy for victims and families; and the ever-present blood donating debacle.
Since it was past noon, it was time to work. So I started checking what there was to do. And in between clocking casualty numbers and who did what, I’d write a line or two of silliness about bamboo massages (they seem really relaxing, by the way). Finished a copy and had a long business chat online.
In between all that, Matias messaged me telling me his mission was with none other than Molly Crabapple! It came as quite a shock, but almost even predictable, for Beirut. Molly Crabapple is an incredible artist and famed writer. She’s American, based in NYC, has written for all the coolest publications and drawn for even cooler ones. She was named the Artist of the Occupy Movement. Yesterday she tweeted something about the cats in Beirut and I pounced! I asked her to meet up. She said yes. And we’d been planning through Whatsapp since.
So Matias adventuring up in Tripoli, making awesome Syrian refugee stories, drawing important illustrations and filming really epic shit with Molly (as he called her) made me feel antsy. Antsy in the way like I want to do something cool and epic too! I mean a bomb went off today, Adrian, get your shit together! So I resorted to the first thing slapping me in the face. Blood donation. Maybe I could get my ass up that hill, slap a needle in the ol’ white twig, drop some blood off and chat it up with people about the situation. Easy peasy. Except not! Never in Lebanon is donating your blood a breeze.
My friend tips me off with the number for Donner Sang, the blood donation hotline? The girl on the end sounded confused. I’m also confused because it sounds like a personal number I just dialed. I asked her where I could donate blood. She asked me if I wanted blood. I asked her where I could donate blood. She asked me what my blood type was. I told her O. O positive or negative? Positive I said. Like it fucking matters. She said I could go to Hamra. I said no thanks bye.
On with my original plan. I pack a bag of peanut M&M’s for strength after the ordeal and head up the hill to the closest hospital. There’s no one there which is understandable because usually they ask for blood at the hospitals closest to the bomb site. This one was far.
“Hello Sir, I am here to donate some blood.” I told him, feeling valiant. This is very different from donating in high school when I’d do it every chance I could because it was a way to tell the badasses from the pussies and also skip at least one class AND get free pizza.
This guy took one look up and down my body and started laughing.
“How much do you weigh?” He chuckled.
“I weigh enough Mr!” I said indignantly, and spat out 50 kilos but I might be less.
“You have to be at least 60 kilos to donate blood” he farted.
I gasped, “Oh no no no, that is so not true. That’s way too much. What about all the high school kids and stuff?”
I glanced at the Donner Sang pamphlet. Oh no, not these guys. It said they take half a liter of blood which is definitely a lot so I tried some Lebanese bargaining with him.
“How bout you take a quarter of a liter instead? I got great blood! You need it, come on there was a bomb today!”
The blood donation system here is whack. They fill up on blood today, and have no more blood tomorrow. They call people on their cell phones to donate for specific cases rather than save a ton and store it. Maybe they don’t have storing capabilities but this clinic was empty and I knew they could use my sweet sanguine. Anyways I wasn’t planning an investigative journalistic piece so I don’t know what the actual situation on blood storing is.
Back to the point, he just kept giggling at me. I was desperate for venipuncture. I wanted to do something and this is hardcore enough for me to feel good about it. Plus, I just wasted half an hour walking up here when I could have gotten a leg-up on my copywriting! Finally, I held my head low, but not too low, I mean it was kind of a compliment to know I’m too light to donate blood, and walked home. So much for saving the world with my blood or believing in that trope “No one is too small to make a change,” but maybe you can, here’s the website and goodluck everyone. Don’t forget your M&M’s.
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