28 Nov 2011

More postcards from Beirut

And this crazy city, with its often useless opulence that lies side by side with squalor, and some oases of beauty like this top level of the hotel Le Gray where my colleagues and I have spent three days tasting virtually all the wines of Lebanon, and the people whose enthusiasm and resilience is just amazing (and quite contagious). You walk down the street and see Lamborghinis and Ferraris and there are no roads where you can drive without meeting a pothole or a radical change of surface and level every 100 meters. And all kinds of crazy stuff like that: bling-bling and Flash Harrys meet and surf along the waves of violent and archaic divisions of the region, its past and its present colliding permanently.

And she wrote:

par la soif,
et se cogne
contre la vitre,
car elle a oublié
de fermer les yeux
en essayant
de traverser ce qu'elle ne voit pas
pour tomber

(verse 49 from Je te regarde by Maram al-Masri)


  1. My very own Lamborghini handles potholes pretty well. Still, it scared me to shit several times and I find myself considering getting rid of it. I use it less and less. A pity, seeing it’s such a wonderful little machine. But climbing vertiginous slopes, squint on top of that, on no more than 80 cm of width and just the two caterpilars to keep you afloat could well cost me my life, sooner or later. Looking back (in anger ?), I’ve been a fool (to cry ?) to start at all.

    They now sell similar machines, with correction of horizontality, 360° rotating driver’s seat so that you can always look in front of you and joystick to handle it: 42.000 € with synthetic caterpilars, a few more if you want steel !

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