these ramblings of mine

Ma salameh w thanks pour tout l’arak!

Jason in Beirut

I stare at the yellowing wall in front of me with the obnoxious florescent lights shining down on the hallway. I think about how many hours – or days – of my life I’ve spent sitting, pacing and standing in this purgatory: Beirut’s infamous General Security headquarters in Adlieh.

How am I feeling? That’s complicated.

It’s a mix of extreme relief, continuing anxiety and also a deep sense of sadness. If all goes well – if there’s no complication – I’ll be boarding a plane to leave Lebanon in the morning without plans to return.

I’m relieved because the representative from the U.S. embassy assured me the General Security would return my passport today (it was confiscated several months ago for a second time, due to ongoing residency issues that I won’t go into). I’m still anxious because I know that complications aren’t out of the question, despite the confidence…

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It’s always fine

Jason in Beirut

Salim is throwing up in the bathroom. I’m laying drunk on the bed. Maiassa is there too, rambling some drunken thoughts.

I’m drunk, but I drove home. So it’s fine.

But there’s no water. Fuck. I try to flush the toilet. I try to use the sink. There’s no water.

Salim is throwing up in the bathroom upstairs. I’m downstairs. I’m not laying in the bed right now.

“There’s no water. Like, I mean there’s no water … no water in the sinks and toilets.”


Maiassa asks if she should go buy water to drink.

I try to explain that there’s no water, but there’s drinking water.

“Salim, you can’t flush. There’s no water.”

Fuck. I’m laying on the bed. Maiassa is laughing. I’m laughing.

I need to text Davy. I need to warn him. Fuck the bathroom smells so bad.

There’s no water. But we can just sleep…

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Oh those memories of Tyre

Jason in Beirut

Not everything lasts forever and some things last longer than time.

Tyre is an ancient city. Once an island port city for the powerful seafaring Phoenicians, Tyre was considered impossible to conquer.

Then … Alexander the Great conquered it.

But today, some few thousand years later, the city remains as a vibrant seaside city, just waiting to be explored.

A few months back – and a lifetime ago – some friends and I drove south to spend the day enjoying the city. I’ve been to Tyre many times, but every time I return, I’m glad to be back.


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In those pesky seconds of confusion

Happy 2017.

Four months and the year has just raced on by, leaving me caught in the hold of excitement and confusion, the eternal struggle.

It’s a yin and yang, but there’s no good, and no evil. It’s a relative semblance of meaning, decisions and empty happiness.

But beauty is there amidst that curving line between the black and white form. They move, slip and slide along one another.

There’s something at the edge of it. It’s never quite in the middle.

But it’s at the edge.

On infinity and the end of time

So, I have this dream … or fantasy.

It goes something like this:

He walks into a house party, maybe in Lyon or Casablanca or Asunción. It’s one of those old French-style apartments, with high ceilings and tall doorways opening onto large balconies.

There’s a unique crowd of people, a diverse mix. People are smoking cigarettes. People are smoking hash and marijuana. The furniture is old and the music is oh-so eclectic and chill.

There is wine, lots of wine.

He doesn’t know many people. He’s new here, maybe. Or at least, he’s new to this scene.

There’s a girl on the couch talking with a friend and there’s a guy by the kitchen, sipping his glass of wine and laughing at a joke. He notices both of them, they notice him.

Those awkward glances follow, the subtle checking someone out from a distance. And then suddenly, they are all introduced at the same time. His friend knows him and her friends knows his friend.

They are in the center of the room and the music becomes a thumping background hum to infinity. They smile. They blush. They sip their drinks.

And it’s the beginning of the end of time. Time stops forever.

Once upon a weekend we went to Qadisha Valley

Jason in Beirut

The origin of its name comes from the Aramaic for “holy.” It has been a sacred spot for Christian monks since just a few centuries after the prophet Jesus walked on Earth.

But, who cares? It’s an incredibly beautiful green paradise buried deep in the Lebanese mountains. That’s what matters and that’s why you should go as well.

We left at 5 a.m. to drive north and catch the sunrise en route


And then we drove a bit more … quite a bit more … and reached the valley


We decided to go visit the famous Colombian monk; Dario Escobar


Dario was friendly, especially with the ladies …


Anyway, we kept hiking


The place reminds me of Jurassic Park tbh


Just without the dinosaurs, unfortunately


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I arrived in Lebanon 4 years ago yesterday

Jason in Beirut

What happens in four years? Everything happens.

You fall in love. You break up. You hate. You cry. You scream. You fight. You think you’ll die. You think you’ll wake up. You wake up. You drink a lot. You smoke a lot. You make friends. You lose friends. You make something beyond friends that is still just friends. You lose those people too. People leave. Everyone leaves. You stay. You travel. You travel a lot. You get on airplanes like some people try on new clothes. You swim in beaches with white sand and crystal blue water. You hike mountains covered in the greenest green. You ride trains across borders. You take boats through the waters. You ride elephants and feel guilty. You refuse to ride camels. You meet people. You fuck people. You have lots of sex. You do some drugs. You grow up. You act immature. You get an…

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