Sign up now for a free
address & your own
Online Writing Portfolio!
Poisoned Purple Pen
One writer's journey
|So, I'm in Lebanon, a place I visit almost every summer for the past 15 years. This is the first time I am driving here. It's insanity at its finest. I confess I've adapted quickly, better than I thought I would. Had a few close calls with smashing the Mercedes. Parking is the most difficult in Beirut. Good luck finding a place without circling around the block three and four times. Hey, I even got a parking ticket! Yep, that's right. I saw other cars parked next to the University, figured I was safe. Nope. An hour later, head off for some shopping and yep, yellow ticket on the windshield.
I know the way up and down the mountain, to the freeway, and where to get off and head into the city. But what I never expected, was the freeway to close for 15 days so they could work on it. I was already in Beirut where I heard the freeway going up to Bchamoun was closed. I had to go up since I was going to the beach today. So ok, I get directions from 4 different people, think I can manage this, going to the old road Ouzai. Right? WRONG! Well, I missed the original turn, but managed to get myself to Ouzai, and made it home. Took an hour, but I did it. So this morning, I am feeling good, know that the freeway down to Beirut is open, and guess what? IT'S CLOSED!. I took this little short cut that I always take, and see all the cars on the entrance ramp backing up and turning around. UGH. Son of BEACH. Do I know the way to Ouzai. Nope. I have Z call his Aunt, tell her the freeway is closed, and she can't help me. Doesn't know the way to the old road. When I tell her I'm in Chofait, she freaks out, says she'll call her husband and he will direct me. Good plan right? Well here's the thing, my SIL speaks English, my BIL, not so much. He can say, I love you, yes I do, yes and no. How is this helpful?
Anyway, I head off, following the rest of the traffic, and there's a sign that says "Beyrouth". Yes, I take that turn, and it's OUZAI! Go me. Now here's the fun part,where do I go once Ouzai ends? No idea. Take the bridge up, go down beside the bridge? I cringe at the thought, get to the end of that road and call my SIL. She doesn't remember the way back. I turn to Z, "This is the exact reason I shouldn't be driving in a foreign country." And damn it, I shouldn't be. Anyway, I take the road beside the bridge, recognize it as my wrong turn from the night before, and then I get to do the fun part.
Those damn European turns. OMG. What torture, Multiple cars fighting to cross, go up and to the left, go around. Don't ask me how, but somehow I managed to survive the freakin turn, hit the right road, and get to my SILs. Only, no parking. NOT. I had her come down to take my car and find a place to park. It's one thing to drive, another to shove your car into the smallest space possible on narrow roads with constant traffic. Luckily, a neighbor saw her having trouble parking, and had his son come down and move his car so she could park mine there.
Now I ask you, does that kind of thing happen in America? I think not!
Going back up after the beach and massive sun burn, I was smart. My SILs brother was at her house, and lives in the same mountain I do. Me no fool. I ask him to show me the right way to go home, and yes, traffic wasn't so bad tonight.
Let's just hope I can keep my cool for the next ten days until hubby arrives, and I can happily hand over the car key!
T is out...