Sunday, September 27, 2009

four right chords

Over the past few days I have been contemplating what to write about (maybe I've burned out too hard and too fast) but whilst in the bathroom at a local pub known as captain's cabin (which plays the best music of all time ie; bob seger, pink floyd, third eye blind (hint hint), toto, etc.) I thought maybe I'd do a recap of my likes/dislikes of my experience thus far. I know my "journey" is still in it's infancy (it's actually more like a fetus, I haven't even moved in to my dorm yet and classes don't start until October 5th) but I feel as if a recap/analysis of my time here thus far will be helpful. I can step back and maybe learn something from this...or it could just be another meaningless rant about the world. Who knows? Half the time I don't even know what I'm talking about, so I don't expect anyone out there in the universe to give a rat's ass.

So far there are a lot of things that are amazing about this place, and a bunch that I wish would just no longer exist, and then on top of that there are things that (depending on the situation/place/company/state of mind) can go both ways. All in all, I couldn't ask for a more amazing summer its been over 4 months since I have taken a test, read a book (for school), studied, worried about grades, did homework, blah blah blah. I made some money, met some cool people, chilled with my friends, made ammends, and just enjoyed the time I had left in the states. But to be honest, I kinda can't wait to start school here. Not saying that my cousins aren't keeping me entertained because they are the shit and I'm having an amazing time so far (wissam, petra, sanaa) you guys have been so welcoming and I can't begin to describe how much I appreciate it. There's just so much downtime while they are at work living their own lives that I start to think too much about why I'm here and how much I miss everyone back home. I just need to be busy, get in the groove of things you know?

Well that's enough for this post, here are some impressions of my first week in the paris of the middle east (where black & white fades to grey).

-All the toilets are probably capable of flushing down a whole pineapple, along with an entire flock of seagulls 
-The soap made of olive oil (I think it's making my hair grow back...not)
-The acceptance of foreigners (everyone I have met so far has been very friendly)
-How cheap somethings are (Movies, water, fast food, smokes, faux sunglasses (Roi Banes), taxis.
-The bars (great music, great food, nice atmosphere)
-The driving (it's like a god-damn roller coaster ride, or a dirty stinky lazy river (cause of the severe traffic jamzzz))
-The beaches (they have huge salt water pools along with your standard ocean, and the one we went to today called "sporting" has planes flying low over it to land at Beirut Int'l which was pretty sweet)
-The darkness my skin is acheiving
-Karate class (I started going with wissam three times a week and it is kicking my ass right now)
-Coffee shops/cafes (offer a chill atmosphere to just sit listen to music and have a nice cup of coffee)
-Being forced to communicate in bumbling broken Arabic (and hand gestures) when I'm not with my cousins.
-The weather
-The political rallies (sp?) (although I couldn't follow what they were saying, they had sweet flags and there were army dudes with rpg's, AK's, and other crazy weapons guarding the rally.
-Soda in the glass bottle/old school cans (with the pull tab)
-Fireworks at all hours of the night (or are they gunshots?)

-How expensive somethings are (Clothes, good food, drinks at bars, and gas).
-Fake people (literally though I haven't seen this many "plastics" in one city before. Too many people look like a leathery joan rivers had beach balls stapled to her chest).
-The amount of pollution/garbage in Beirut, and the complete disregard for the environment (I guess they currently have bigger fish to fry)
-The power outages
-Most women here are like expensive liquor, you stare at them for a while, you think about buying it, then you realize you can get the same end result from something much cheaper.
-That my cousins have real jobs so they aren't around during the day
-I can't drive, nay I'm afraid to drive, but maybe soon I'll give it a go.
-The car's horn is more important than it's seat belt (in the next ten seconds I'm going to count how many times I here a car beep its horn ready? go...23 beeps. wtf.) 

So it looks as though the likes outnumber the dislikes, I know there are more but I think the sun baked my brain today at the beach. Although I have these certain feelings about this place I understand that there are some things you just can't change. So why even let it get to you? If people wanna act like assholes, or if they wanna carve themselves up, or if they insist on honking their car horn, let them eat cake. Let them stuff their over-collagened lips, spiked hair, and car horns with all the fucking cake in the whole world. It ain't no thang.

If anyone feels like putting soapy water in their mouth make sure you take a nice long drag from a hookah first so you can blow sweet smoke bubbles. Or just use the stuff that comes in the bottle with the plastic wand i guess. This DJ at a rooftop bar called le capitol or something was first off, playing the shittiest house music and dancing like a fairy princess on extacy while wearing pantyhose on his face. Then he started blowing those smoke bubbles by putting soapy water in his mouth. I wanted a mighty wind to maybe nudge him just close enough to the bad idea, shouldn't write these things on the internet.

Best of luck on all yall's mid-terms,

PS- I had some bangin sausages in a spicy pomegranite sauce last night...deeeelish. Im thinking about opening a five guys here it would be a gold mine. People here don't understand what a true burger is.

****edit**** check out this sweeet website everyone should get the stumble upon tool bar its the bomb diggity

Monday, September 21, 2009


It's about 6:30 here in Beirut, partly cloudy with a chance of rain, hi of 32 low of 28 (Celsius that is). I think I'm gonna stick with the whole song lyrics/titles as my post titles cause no matter whats going on in your life you can always listen to music and relate, or disconnect, or get amped, or feel sad, happy, music is the infinite emotion (if that makes any sense at all). One album, one song, one line, one note even, can mean so many different things to so many different people.

Aaaanyyways, I've been listening to Bowie all day with my cousin Wissam (pronounced We-som (as in om-nom-nom)) Went to couple cafes by the university met a bunch of his friends. And tonight we are going to the hard rock cafe for...get this...all you can eat wings and all you can drink beer. I am pumped because I have been eating rabbit food since I got here (all of my uncle's family is vegetarian/vegan) so god knows i want to breaaaak freeee.

So yesterday I was hundreds of feet below the crust of the earth in a cave known as roueiss grotto (pronounced roo-i-ess) crawling through guano, century old mud, and sharp rocks deep into the sloping mountains of Lebanon. I know nobody really cares, but Lebanon has amazing geologic structures I was really blown away (you know cause I'm the greatest geologist that ever lived). It reminded me of the grand canyon (Although I have never been, but I have seen pictures). We had to crawl through this tunnel and all of a sudden I was John Malkovich's brain, controlling his motions, then fourteen minutes later I was on the side of the Turnpike...and then my head exploded. Seriously though, it was quite an adventure, I had never been caving before, and at one point we all sat in one of the bigger caverns and had a minute or so of absolute silence (besides the driping water and pooping bats) with all our helmet-lights turned off. At first I was like wow, listen to all the nature around me, then I realized that it was really really dark and that my eyes were actually open. I've never experienced such darkness and it was starting to get a little creepy right before the head guide turned her light on. I breathed a sigh of relief as she explained that she turned it on so the group of 8-10 year olds with us wouldn't get frightened...whoooopsieee. Then we trekked on through a tunnel which was about 20 feet high and a foot wide I thought I was gonna get stuck and have to cut off my arm like that guy who wrote that book (you know?). So we got to another large cavern (at this time I just wanted to see daylight so badly) and I went a little further than everyone else only to find that there was nowhere to go. We were trapped!! I started to look around, noticed I was the one with the most meat on me, started to wish that I brought my pocketknife...god damnit. But alas, I didn't see the opening above me which led us to freedom (I learned my lesson to let the professionals do what they do best and next time don't cause a panic). are some pics:

I Know it was wrong but I really had to go...they didnt have any TP :(

The entrance

Hope y'all enjoyed the update!

Soon to come: movie reviews! for my first attempt, "how to build a bomb in ten days" starring, rimoat dehtonader. (Booooo bad joke!) Sorry, had to do it.

Mucho Love-o,
The Deeez (nuts)

PS - it is now almost 7:30...I am a slow mofo.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Tasted the Watcher

So its 4:56 am here in Beirut and I can't sleep for shit because of the call to prayer being blasted by 5 diferent mosques at one time. Can't they coordinate or something like ill take the ridiculously early one and you can take the next, and so on and so forth.

Anyways, Eric's blog has been resurected which I'm pretty happy about he's a good writer and likes to share alot of interesting stuff he finds on the if anybody out there is reading this (besides eric and those who know him) check out

My first day in Beirut:

So I awoke at around 5 o'clock (idk how that happened) and skyped with the Hil Dawg, I could tell she was unimpressed by the "call of duty" looking area of Beirut but I will post some shots that will (hopefully) change her mind. After that my teta (grandmother) made some turkish coffee, and I took some artsy 35mm shots from the balcony, and a video on my camera.

Afterwards got some breakfast known as "man-oo-shee" it comes in different varieties but the main kind is with zatar (olive oil, sasame seeds, thyme, and sumac) spread on a pita and baked and rolled up with tomatoes and cucumbers, and sometimes kefir cheese. Around 10 I headed out with my cousin to get my cell unlocked and a new sim card and she dropped me off at AUB campus (holy crap look at these pics, I felt like I was at a resort or something).

(so my dorm has a balcony and stray cats)

After AUB I came back to my uncles apt and took an 8 hour nap cause I was donesauced from all the traveling and walking all over the city (got a bit lost on the way back...and people kept asking me for directions like I knew where I was going). When I awoke my cousin took me out on the town with some of her friends we went to Gemeizeh street to a bar known as treesome (aptly named due to the tree growing inside the bar). They played some really good music like the doobie brothers, urethra franklin, kings of leon, the police, and some black eyed peas and that song thats like "1, 2, 3, 4, uno dos tres quattro...let me get that rooomba see and then i get a rooomba soo, and then I let the rooombaa clean and that this rooombaa's dope". I had a couple interesting drinks like something called a doo-doo shot which was lemon juice, pepper vodka (i think), and a spicy olive, and one called brain damage which was vodka with bailey's poured on top then a little bit of cherry syrup tasting thing, it looks like a bleeding brain or like a mushroom cloud. Here's a pic:

Then we headed over to some place I forget the name of, got some pizza baguettes and called it a night.

So my first night on the town was pretty effin sweet. Many thanks to petra! and tonight were going up to the village where my dad is from (Mtein) for some sort of concert and dinner, should be snawsome.

This is the view from the village:

That's it for now I guess, I feel like I write way too much per post.

P.S. everyone should check out and vote for the new 7 natural wonders of the world, check out the jeita grotto its sweeeeet.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Blue on Black

Sitting in my room, can't sleep, feeling nervous (and excited, restless, confused, etc.), and above all feeling stupid for having to look up the spelling of so many simple words so I don't look like a moron. For those of you who don't know me, I am getting ready to embark on quite a trip to a faraway land known as Lebanon.

For the geographically challenged:

(Its the small poop colored country in the center)

I will be spending 42 weeks studying abroad at the American University of Beirut (AUB) in the heart of one of the most amazing cities in the world. I decided to start this blog not only as a journal of sorts, but as a way to share whats going on half way across the globe with my friends and family. And also to help people in general learn more about the Middle-East without having to risk their lives (jkjk). But seriously, way to many people think Lebanon is some war torn piece of crap country in the middle of the desert with nothing but bombs, savages and camels. When in actuality it's a beautiful country with a rich culture that is up to date in every aspect of life (by western standards). Yet they still manage to uphold customs that date back centuries, while maintaining a very free society. I'm not saying Lebanon doesn't have it's share of problems, because it does (what country doesn't?) I'm just trying to open up peoples eyes so that maybe they can catch a glimpse of what life is like in other cultures. There's more to life than watching Kanye West make an ass of himself (although it was pretty funny), or how much shit you can possibly own.

Mohamed is the most common name in the world, read a fucking book.

Aaaanyways, my flight departs tomorrow from JFK (shit) at 6:30pm to Cairo, then Cairo to Beirut. Despite the aforementioned feelings I am pssyyyyyched to get there and put my best foot forward.

To all my friends, I miss you guys already. We've had some great times just jamming, partying, chilling, shootin' the shit, messing around, etc. (hopefully we'll get to the bottom of who in world flipped the table, but that's a whole other ball game *cough* hawkins *cough*) I hope you guys have a great year at Rutgers (and lehigh(and others)) (Oh snap double parenthesis!) I'm already itchin' to get back home.

To all my family, thank you all for your support and you are the best family anyone could ask for. Rima, please take care of my car and I hope you have better luck with it than I did. Rania, good luck with freshman year, study hard!

I leave you all with a sweet photo compilation of Lebanon (I wrote the song in the background btw)

So long, farewell, Auf Wiedersehen, Goooooodbyee

(I think I like to use parenthesis(es?) a little too much)

Peace to the Middle East