Thursday, May 27, 2010

It's Beirut, no contest

If I were to write out a list of pros and cons about leaving Beirut, you would assume that I'd be ecstatic about returning to Washington.


  • Clean air
  • No smoking
  • People speaking my language
  • Live baseball
  • Functional internet
  • Clean city
  • Sam Adams and varieties in beer
  • Indian restaurants and any other kind of food you can think of
  • No idiotic honking
  • Cars driving between the lines, stopping at traffic lights, and using turn signals
  • No Lebanese pop music blaring from cars and stores
  • Time zone
  • No World Cup insanity
  • Not risking death just crossing the street
  • Service in restaurants
  • Substance over style
  • Bike lanes
  • More time and structure for work
  • Not running all over Beirut trying to get to meetings without a car
  • Public transportation
  • Will get more than three or four hours of sleep a night


  • No Evergreen Pub, no Amigo, no Johnny or General or Ahmed or Issam or Nabil or Ash (when he gets back to Beirut), no more listening to Amigo's excuses for losing at darts
  • No Hamra - no filthy, beat up, tired old Hamra
  • Washington is expensive
  • Closing times in bars
  • No office view of the Mediterranean, or window in general
  • No beach, no sea
  • No By the Way Pub or Rock Inn in the wee hours of the morning, no listening to Amigo's life stories or crazy ideas about the world over cardboard steaks or thyme-drenched pastries and laughing about how it's daylight.
  • Back to using email instead of having face to face conversations for work
  • Same old tired hangouts in DC

I used to live for the moment, but I finally found a moment I like and it has to end. C'est la vie.

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