Posts Tagged With: Lebanon

Odds and ends and summer again?

Before I do anything else, I must tell you about Lebanon.

I went with two very dear friends to Beirut at the end of February and had the time of my LIFE. This is a country you MUST visit. Forget the sensationalized cockadoodie from the media and listen to me, a Canadian, who was just there. 20 minutes from the Syrian border, at that!
I won’t go in order, but I will me toon some of the delights: the way the streets are cobbled, and depending on which way you turn, you can end up in a Parisian cafe or a fragrant alley in Italy. There’s the way the moonlight catches the blazing lights of a mosque and the sunlight shimmers off a church that stand side by side; the way the downtown bustles with a European feel but sounds Arabic. You are in France and Jamaica and you’re eating knefe–a syrup-doused bun stuffed with syrupy cheese. You are walking along a boardwalk with trendy locals and watching the sure remains of the bombed out buildings from the 80s. You travel up a winding mountain road, stopping in the mist to eat a labnah and zataar wrapped crepe while an elderly gentlemen points out, among the many bills in the glass case, a Canaduan 50 dollar bill. You watch the crops in the valleys below as you speed by crumbling houses and vegetable stands on your way to Baalbek; the oldest Roman ruin in the world. Walking amongst the rocks and pillars, your Lebanese friend offers a dash of historical anecdotes here and there. You savor the history and the mountains until you head to Beirut again, this time to a family dinner where a man plays an ude and sings classic Arabic songs as the family dances and smokes Hubble bubble. You feel yourself grow giggly as you sip your green tea with mint in the confines of this poorly ventilated stone restaurant that serves the best fatteh you’ve had.

Lebanon to me cannot be explained, it must be experienced: tasted, touched, heard, and loved. It’s like a teabag with a spice from every country, rich with history and alive with people who are layered with love, culture and experience. This place has had more than its share of heartache, and yet you feel like you can’t quite feel it sometimes through the waves of French language, the smiles of the people, the sweetness of the fruit, and the green of the trees. Lebanon has wineries, Roman ruins, and even the dropping, mysterious caves of the jeita grotto. Do yourself a favor and GO. I was lucky enough to have a tour guide, my sweet friend who is a native and showed us around. Her family now feels like our own, and I will always remember Lebanon fondly because of the wonderful trip she have us.

Here are some of the things I have come to love and which are part of my life. I will struggle without them!
– zataar
-fatteh
-KDD chocolate milk
-rocket leaves
-green tea with mint
-hindbeh
-ginger cubes and coconut together

I am having a great time. Kuwait is getting hot again which is crazy because it seems like winter just got here! My next excursion is Paris for the second time with Megs in April!
More to come! In the meantime, I’m off to bed because we have a garlic-themed dinner party tomorrow!!!

ruins, oceans, markets, and

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