Beirut is not as glamorous as
I remembered. But, last time, I was here in September. The heat of summer has a way of stripping any place of gentility when it’s coated in a layer of sweat. The mornings and evenings are blissful, though, sitting out on my terrace overlooking – well, the
view’s not much to speak of. But from my top floor flat, rx viagra I can see over the low buildings below me, so I have a gentle breeze and an ample starry sky. At night, the sultry scent of the jasmine potted on my porch intermingles with the neighbors’ narghila; I imagine this is what heaven smells like.
It’s daytime that brings me to my knees – or more precisely, back for another cold shower. It’s pointless, really, once I step outside, I’m soaked again within minutes. So I’m trying to adjust my body clock to take long siestas and rise early to write.
Along with the thermometer, prices have soared. I’ve been told last year’s first wave of Syrian refugees depleted the housing stock and goosed the costs for everything. These were the middle- and upper-class Syrians – those with the means to leave – who first fled the neighboring country’s violence.
Then again, everyone likes to blame the “refugees.”
The owner of the apartment I’m renting has posted the hours for the daily 3-hour rolling blackouts. The last 2 days, however, there have been bonus afternoon power outages, interrupting my body clock reset attempts. Yesterday, the power went off between 4:00 and 6:00, the day’s most brutal moments, and drove me to the street where I sat scooping yummy hummus served with mint leaves and wildly fanning myself.
This morning, I’m meeting an ex-pat I “met” a few years ago via the internet. I applied for a housesit Judy had posted here in Beirut, but the dates didn’t work out. She stayed in touch and contacted me when she learned I was coming to Beirut, offering a getaway weekend in the (much) cooler mountains. It’s amazing how much of my life revolves around the internet!
Speaking of which, my Skype services that allow me to place and receive calls from landlines and mobiles is out. It appears to be something to do with a “local third party” here in Lebanon, according to the high-level folks at Skype I have working on restoring viagra over the counter my service. If that’s true, my guess is my calls are blocked because I attempted to call local Beirutis from my Skype’s “pay-as-you-go” service. The Skype service albany college of pharmacy and health sciences to call Lebanese cellphones is a whopping 20¢/minute, but local mobile service is 37¢/minute!
There’s a new requirement to register incoming cellphones with the government at the airport upon arrival if one can you buy viagra over the counter hopes to buy a sim card for in-country calling (at aforementioned 37¢/min rate). (That probably is an attempt to limit an influx of cheap overseas phones.) Since I failed to register my phone, I’ve been offered several opportunities to purchase a new one. Judy has offered to loan me an extra cellphone she has, saving me $30 – $50. In the meantime, I’m trying to get Skype to issue me a new generic cialis for sale phone number, so I can resume calls with Abdullah in Baghdad.
So, the only way to reach me now is via email or through Skype-to-Skype. That has greatly interfered with my plans to hold and post interviews on my site. Rats!
Yesterday, I – or, rather my intrepid cab driver – found the new Iraqi embassy. (This is a whole other future blog post!) Luckily, they had my paperwork without any problems and – insh’allah – I’ll pick up my passport with new Iraq visa stamp on Tuesday!
News from Baghdad has been grim. Abdullah, in Baghdad, and Ali, my likely translator who is currently in Pennsylvania but whose wife lives in Baghdad, and I are in touch via email daily. With the Al-Qaida threat shutting down American embassies throughout the Middle East and last Monday’s deadly car bombings throughout Baghdad, we decided to wait a week and see…As it stands now, I plan to fly into Baghdad on Aug 14. It’s a day-to-day existence here in the Middle East – one that gets frustrating easily, but brings on a greater appreciation for little things that work.
My favorite time of the day is at dusk – right now around 7:45 pm – when the call to prayer echoes around the neighborhood. I hear muzziens from several mosques crooning at once – it’s almost like a call and response! – but the voice of the man in the viagra how to use effectively closest mosque resonates a longing forlorn that sinks deep in my soul. I can’t help but stop each dusk and feel all the way in my toes how lucky I am to be able to travel as I do and to share my experiences with you. Thanks for listening…