Monday, July 28, 2008

It must be tourist season

These days I get an average of 2 address inquiries every time I walk down the street. It does not even matter what time of day or night it is, lost souls are all over the place. I assume everyone gets these questions, because either that or I'm someone who looks like he nows where he stands. 

During tourist season, even cab drivers stray from their routes into unfamiliar and what is perceived as hostile grounds.  You can tell a cab driver is outside of his comfort zone when they are not their usual aggressive and rude selves.  "Pardon, Monsieur, where can I find le Roi de frites?" "Sorry, What?  you lost me at Pardon Monsieur..." "Lik Wayn Malik El Batata." " Much better, down the street you'll see it on your right."

Some other people you expect to be lost; like the Saudi license plate in front of Starbucks Hamra asking how to get to Starbucks Jounieh. Or the family of blondes asking for "Rue Hamra" on Rue Hamra. "But it looks nothing like the Champs Elysees." "Well.. Nostalgic ex-pats tend to slightly exaggerate the virtues of the homeland, but personally I like it better than the Parisian Avenue, No stupid Arch of Triumph, even though we claim more triumphs in a week than the French army has in its history. More importantly , no Golden Arches." "Whaat, no McD's???!"  "No  but there's le Roi de Frites."

P.S. This blog in no way, shape or form endorses Malik el Batata as a lunch option. It's solely to be used as a landmark for directions and a campaign stop for candidates who need a photo op with a "regular citizen" before an election. 


Ibn Bint Jbeil said...

jamal, have you become even more politically ambivalent than your usual politically ambivalent self?

EDB said...

Jamal has never been politically ambivalent; just rhetorically cryptic to politely disguise his contempt.

I always get asked for directions to the most obvious places, even though I am (quite obviously, I would think) not from here.