The Lebanese are renowned world travelers. You'll find people from Arbet Qozhayya in Barquicimeto, people from Baaloul in Foz Iguazu, and people from Deir Quntar in East LA. But you'll never find the Baalouli in Arbet Qozhayya, or the Deir Quntari in Diddeh, etc... All these ecotourism and piece of paradise packages are just for tourists. That explains why One US presidential candidate visited the the ravaged South, while in the midst of the Lebanese presidential campaigns, none of the candidates has crossed the Ramlet El Baida - Ouzai Line. Why campaign in Marjeyoun, Rashayya, and Akkar, when you can go to Strasbourg and Rome instead?
Speaking of Tourism, a couple of nights ago both New TV and Future's Zaven addressed the issue of prostitution. Some official in the Ministry of tourism was defending the practice by saying that you can't expect to have a tourism industry with a few rocks in Baalbeck and Jbeil, but that's not my issue. I just wanted to share with you my experience on the matter since both reports were shallow and amateurish. On one hand, you had Firas Hatoum asking questions as if he had never heard of sex? "You mean people pay you for sex!?" Oh, the blasphemy. On the other hand, you had Zaven. What I know is that Ras Beirut has more whorehouses, or whatever the politically correct term for whorehouse is, than Amsterdam's red light district. There's Moonlight Cabaret and hotel half a block down from Mourtada Islamic Clothes, so let's not act as if this is a big taboo. Every night a 21:30, one of those buses that sound and drive like Boeing 737s parks in the alley up from Lina's in Hamra and loads tens of colorfully dressed professionals. Quite the show, and you won't find this free attraction listed in "Lebanon for less than $10 a day". If luxury is more your style and you happen to be a single Khaliji guy staying alone at one of our oceanfront hotels, you will most definitely receive an "accidental" call in your room late at night offering you our colleges' finest crop. But prostitution is illegal in Lebanon. So are bikinis by the way.
Speaking of Sex, Shaker El Absi's DNA match with his supposed daughter came out negative. This actually means that Mrs. El Absi now unseats Ahmad Fatfat for the title of most relieved person after the death of El Absi.
Speaking of "some explaining to do", the electric company released a statement yesterday claiming that the latest power outages were due to the effects of high humidity on the grid. Now, I'm not an expert on the subject, so I asked my buddy Andy who is a senior engineer at Florida Power and Light about the validity of the claim. Here's his answer on this one: "Higher humidity than what we have in Miami is probably only possible in the Serengeti and we don't lose power because of that, so that's my answer on that one." Now trying to preempt the next excuse, both my friend and I concurred that bird poop could knock out power for a prolonged period of time.
Speaking of Bird poop, Lebanon's critical Olympic qualifying match against Iraq tomorrow night will be held in an empty stadium. Why? You guessed it, because admitting crowds into the stands endangers national unity.