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Adrian Says
An Imaginary Interview With Bleachers! After an Intimate Concert at a Huge Festival in Norway

-I was the only dancer and they noticed

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It All Started With Lena Dunham

In March my sister, Margaux, sent me a Youtube video with a perfectly succinct message: “This is Lena Dunham’s boyfriend. She directed the video.” Dunham’s boyfriend is the guitarist of Fun and started the band Bleachers as a solo project. Loved Lena’s video, died for her boyfriend’s song, “I Wanna Get Better!”

Admittedly Margaux knew how to pique my interest with the reference, but that day I became a Bleachers fan too. The thick riffs did what they wanted to my body, the lyrics “I didn’t know I was lonely till I saw your face” literally made (makes) me cry; I played the song on repeat and told my boyfriend to dance at a distance in case I exploded into a rainbow — it was that wonderful.

Slowly more singles like &ldq... [more]

By Adrian
An American in Oslo: Some Facts and Observations After One Month

-$40 for a takeaway pizza, um ok!?

Once again I’m an expat and this time I’m living in one of the most northern, well-organized, and richest countries on the globe: Norway. My earliest memory of Norway’s existence is from my 6th grade Geography class with Mrs. Lockard. She quizzed us on the world’s capitals and the one that stuck out in my mind was Oslo because it just had such a funny ring to it. Oslo. My hipster radar was already on point even before I hit puberty.

That’s where my knowledge of Norway ended until I met the “Norwegians” who taught me more about their homeland than I knew about my own. Now that I live here, I’ve picked up on even more facts and have formed some observations:

It’s an extremely rich country with one of the lowest wealth gaps in the world. In 1969 the Norwegians struck oil in the sea off their coast and since the 80’s have been living lavishly off it. Not Arab style though, nothing here is too os... [more]

By Adrian
Introducing Me To European Nudity

-The neurotic journey of moving to Europe and taking all my clothes off in Germany

Growing up as an American you hear a few generalizations about Europeans and some of those generalizations are true. They don’t tip, they’re more open sexually, and they are generally comfortable with nudity — whether watching it on TV and movies, or simply taking it all off when things get too warm.

Regarding the latter, I saw it when I came to Oslo during a chilly summer and noticed ass cheeks flapping and side boob swaying in the breeze on the first day of sunshine.

I knew moving to Norway would mean I’d have to cozy up to the idea of splaying my American-grade naked body for all to see at some point. In the future. The far future. But my big reveal came way earlier than I could have mentally prepared for. Not that mentally preparing would have helped.

***

On a weekend wedding layover in Germany, Matias and I strolled the bone-chilling streets of Berlin and spotted a Finnish sauna. It was so cold outside and a sauna sounded so... [more]

By Adrian
Living La Vida Lebanon Was The Best Thing in My Life Thank You and Goodbye!

As soon as I moved to Lebanon, people inside and out asked me when I would leave. “How long are you here for?” locals prodded. I’d shrug my shoulders and tell them I didn’t know. “I guess I’ll leave when it feels right…?”

Well, I guess now feels right, or, greater opportunities have arisen. I moved with my boyfriend Matias to his home country of Norway.

It’s not how I came to Lebanon — following my love that is. Remember, I came here with “no money, no plan, no man” and full of confidence because of it.

The months leading up to college graduation in 2011, everyone nervously asked each other “What are you going to do after college?” I didn’t know what I wanted to do, but ... [more]

By Adrian
Too Small to Save the World

-Or just donate blood in Beirut

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 re... [more]

By Adrian
The Downside of Being an Expat Is When All Your Friends Go Home

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 exhaus... [more]

By Adrian
How To Leave A Rave And The Prisoner of Pakistan

I went from hiking down a mountain
to hitchhiking w/ a convicted prison escapee with a heart of gold.

There comes a point after a long night of partying when all you want to do is go home. At least, that’s the feeling I get every single time I’m out dancing for 10 hours and dirty as hell from hanging out in the forest.

Two weeks ago we went to Forest Frequencies, the psytrance festival in Chahtoul, a mountainous area north of Beirut. It’s a four day psychedelic trance festival in an old camping ground. People do a lot of crazy things. They even bring their children.

It’s a hardcore way to party and I’ve spent days at a festival before but I just can’t make myself do it anymore. These days the party plan is this: Arrive early evening one day, party till the morning, and leave around noon the next day. ... [more]

By Adrian
Upgrading to First Class From Kathmandu to Qatar Changed My Life

-For the worse…now I know why rich people are assholes.

The term “rich bitch” doesn’t exist for nothing and I know the reason why. Certainly you can ‘fake it till you make it’ and project an image of living large, but it isn’t until you actually live large that you rightfully adopt the bitch part of it. I gained this new insight on life a couple of weeks ago when Matias and I were upgraded to First Class on our four-hour flight from Kathmandu to Qatar.

It started in a typical third world airport, all hot and rundown, as we sat in the waiting area about to board a shuttle bus to the plane. A confused airline attendant walked around and stopped at a 40-something well put together guy and bumped him up to first class.

“Hey! How did you just get to do that!?” We leaned over and asked him. “Ha, I have friends in high places,” he chuckled. “Good for you, Asshole, we have friends in high places too,” I mumbled under my breath, and glancing at Matias hissed, (... [more]

By Adrian
Something's Cooking in Beirut Ep. 1 in the Kitchen With Chef Tom

Making Duck Confit Salad for Le Sushi Bar’s 15th Anniversary!

I love food; I love shopping for it, preparing it, talking about it, experimenting with it, cooking it, eating it, and watching people eat or talk about it. In fact, while other people tell me they paint or sculpt or draw or make movies, I’ve always maintained that my art form was cooking. So you know what? I’m starting my own damn cooking show and I hope you guys will love it.

For my first ever episode, I wanted to go big so I went all the way to the top and that is in the kitchen with Chef Tom, a renowned professional chef in both Beirut and Dubai.

Tom is an exceptional dude, in fact, he’s down right badass! Born and raised in the Czech Republic, Tom decided he needed to get out and fled to England where started at the bottom of the kitchen rung working in Chinese restaurants as an illegal immigrant. Nine months in, Czech was finally admitted to the EU and Tom bec... [more]

By Adrian
Hippies Vs. Trekkers

-The Types of Travellers You Meet in Nepal

The country of Nepal is like a giant, living museum — everything is a sight to behold. Its borders perfectly outline a chunk of the Himalayas with a bit of forested plains in the south and is situated directly between China and India. It is amongst the poorest countries in the world, where the majority of people make about $1 a day and the second biggest revenue comes from people leaving Nepal to work as maids or construction workers in other countries, namely the Middle East, and sending those few hundred dollars a month home. Let’s just say it’s not very developed. Dirt roads abound, one meager dish — dhal bhat — is the customary meal consisting of lentils and rice, and electricity is out more than it is on.

Then again, it is the birthplace of Buddha and Kama Sutra, the home of the world’s highest mountain and local Tigers, a jungle of breathtaking nature where those birds on “Planet Earth’ almost crash into your face when y... [more]

By Adrian
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