Such a Quick Overview

Well, I have a test tomorrow, so I’ll make this as brief/ informative as possible. Life in Beirut is amazing, but expensive. Just to put this in a frame, $1 is about equivalent to 1500 Lebanese pounds, so to find the equivalent, you move the decimal point three places and then take 75% of that to figure out what it is in American. Most places, however, do accept American dollars, as they are official currency here. A typical meal of Arabic bread with meat and cheese and vegetables inside and a litre of water costs somewhere around 3500-5500 LL or about $3-$4. Besides the food, though, everything else though is quite expensive. They have a Lacoste store, they have an Apple store, Zara and the like. In many ways it’s much more European than Oriental. Also- I paid 25,000 LL to get into this exclusive beach club to go swimming in their saltwater pool today…almost worth it but not quite.

The people here are very warm and speak not only Arabic, but also French and English (this seems like the perfect place for me). After a little less than a week, I have decided to come back next summer. The professors here are so helpful and nice, and the food is amazing.

I tested into the “upper intermediate” level of Arabic, which is good because we are picking up just a little bit before we left off in Minnesota, and I need the review.

My daily schedule is as follows:
Wake up around 6 or 7
Fus-Ha (classical Arabic) Class from 9-11 with a half hour break then class again from 1130-1230.
1 1/2 hour break before 3amiyyah (colloquial Arabic) class from 2-3
after that, usually pick up a bit of food and do whatever- the bars and shiisha places are usually a good bet as you can sit and chill with a nice group of people for as long as you want, the proprietors are more than happy just to have patrons because this year, the economy is doing so poorly due to the fears of another war like last year.

Some other quick facts:

I have a test tomorrow 😉
We live next to Saad Hariri, son of former PM Rafik Hariri
There are two tanks a block away
I smoked shiisha out of a watermelon and a pineapple.
Almaza is the local beer, and it reminds me of a slightly tastier Grain Belt Premium.
Guys and Girls are separated in the dorms (the girls are actually locked in)
My room is pink
I watch the BBC, TV5 and Al Jazeera most of the time on TV
There are more people from Columbia (NY) and Minneapolis than anywhere else

I gotta go…more to come. Please Comment so I can know what interests you and write more about it.

Pictures soon too, I promise.

Colin

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4 Responses to “Such a Quick Overview”


  1. 1 Shira June 28, 2007 at 11:26 pm

    Colin! I look forward to reading whatever you end up writing about. The pictures are beautiful, and I’m glad you seem to be having such a great time. Take care!

  2. 2 Dad June 29, 2007 at 4:05 pm

    Colin’s family wonders how he knows what a Grain Belt tastes like as he is not old enough to have a beer. Also, when did we pick up the lovely habit of smoking?

  3. 3 J June 29, 2007 at 9:13 pm

    Hope your test went well!

  4. 4 Anonymous July 3, 2007 at 2:16 pm

    This is truly a wonderful way for us to glimpse your adventure. It would be great if we would know and what regularity you will be updating this blog.
    Dad


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