Monday, July 28, 2008

From Lebanon on and off

Getting stuck in the ascenseur

Just when you think that you have mastered the game, that the rules no longer apply to you; a major coup swiftly puts you back in place.

After four years of always escaping, of knowing exactly when to risk it and when to feign extra energy for five flights of stairs; one week got me twice. In both incidents the ever-present Natour was nowhere near his lair. In the first case; ten minutes in the heat and in the dark in close proximity to 7 strangers clearly put in perspective the number of emigrants fleeing the country. The 10 minutes should be multiplied by the dog year- human year factor to get the “felt like” time. While the second time around, a struggle to pull my body up into the Shibr wide opening out of the cabin was a blunt warning that the long overdue gym visit cannot be put off any longer.

Personal issues aside, getting stuck in the ascenseur is a rite of passage here. You cannot delay the inevitable indefinitely. Its risk factor has to be taken into consideration every time you are getting off the ground aiming for higher floors. Grocery shopping, garbage collection, wakes, tea time, and other social gatherings are scheduled around possible outage times. As you know, most mascara brands are not stuck-in-the-ascenseur proof. To be fair, this ritual is not all bad, there is one positive about it: it kills the music.

Stuck in the ascenseur; another slightly inconvenience in a long line of Lebanese inconveniences.

1 comment:

Marianna said...

hehhehe... this is the same in Syria too. But those on the upper floors traditionally kept a basket attached on a rope wrapped on their balcony that they would throw down if someone had goods to deliver. Ive noticed this in South Italy too.