May 31, 2012

Being Broke 101

I've always took a decision to be my own financial boss, my own financial supervisor ever since I knew I'm in an era where there's no going back to being broke. But just like any other game, life has cheated. Five days ago I left my parents' house in Tripoli back to my house in Beirut just as any other Sunday, with the sole difference of having no more than 6000 LBP (4$) in my back pocket. My luck and thoughts before that weekend relied on the fact that my BankerNet card still has 18,000 LBP (12$) which is more than enough to buy the essential house needs such as bread, cheese and others (I always buy in small quantities). But to my heart-banging surprise, the card was rejected at the supermarket and I clearly had to pay the 4$ to the cashier (to save any embarrassment there is). Tough luck I assure you, but quiet an unforgettable experience it was. Believe me when I tell you, having no money every once in a while feels good. Watching the brands of commercial chocolate, juices, biscuits and all the items I used to pick up one after the other til my basket became too heavy to lift, now are only icons to watch and add to my wishlist for my next visit - when I get paid.

Such an occasion truly helps your soul to admire, to watch thyself and to meditate a bit even with all the distraction the mall makes. You get to hold a mirror in which you compare that self to the one that was 4 years ago, where malls and supermarkets were of no interest. I'd always go inside, look for a certain piece of candy , pick it up and go out the door. 11 brands of juice weren't so attractive to me. A new brand of beer were nowhere near my field of interest. Sometimes it feels my soul is just like Lebanon, the more it gets older, the more retarded it gets...

Finally, a sum of 1750 LBP (a bit over 1$) was left in my back pocket for 3 consecutive days. I had enough food for those 3 days, but not enough bread. I truly wasn't concerned as you might be thinking, since there were so many solutions in case i'm officially broke. I could get whatever I wanted from the local groceries store and tell the owner - Hassan - I'll pay you by the first of June. Although it brought me a sense of relief, I needed to push myself to the farthest limits. A magnificent experience this one is, and should keep going far more interesting until my salary find its way back to my account ^_^

UPDATE: The night that I decided to go buy that bag of bread I stepped on another 1000 LBP while talking to mum over the phone =)

UPDATE: Back to being rich... Dear Money, I'll miss missing you..

May 27, 2012

Dutch Elegancy

Seems like this is one of the few events/occasions that slipped my mind - feels a bit shameful to have left that out. The following is my own footage of the German Music Concert held at the Safadi Cultural Center in my old town Tripoli, still having the strongest hangover since the latest rumble in town calmed down. Music was so enchanting that I was tempted at SO many times to hold my camera by the hand and just listen, but the sight was obviously too good to miss. I'll leave you to the photos.

May 25, 2012

A Tripolitan Meme

A photo was posted today on a local meme group, run by a bunch of close friends. I don't call myself a funny person, never do. But that exact photo caught my eye, and simply launched a burst of thoughts and humorous ideas concerning the characters involved. There were two of the most famous and most renowned political figures in Tripoli. They seemed to enjoy the atmosphere, the pasta that was given away at the recent marathon, more than they ever did when their city was under fire. Alas, and without further ado, here are my memes:

The one I enjoyed the most

May 18, 2012

Mum's Leaving

Well actually, she's leaving for a few days to Turkey! And guess what? This is NOT the post to read anything I'm thinking or feeling. It's only sharing the thrill =D

May 16, 2012

For the sake of Tripoli...

I never begged my whole life, only this one time: I beg you people, do whatever you can, whatever prayer you know of. Keep on wishing for hope and peace. Ask your god to have mercy on those little, those screaming women over the bodies of their murdered martyrs. Pray to your Buddha, your Christ, your Star your Idol, let's all gather prayers around the world for the sake of my old town, my dearest Tripoli...

I still cannot believe the streets I once had some juice in and bumped into people, the streets that were always bugging my ears with their loud noise, those streets where all Tripolitans go for a walk, are now filled with the dreadful sound of tanks and bullets :"(

May 12, 2012

Rumi Said... - What is Love

Be foolishly in love,
because love is all there is.
There is no way into presence
except through a love exchange.
If someone asks, But what is love?
answer, Dissolving the will....~

May 11, 2012

Tamer Abou Ghazala - Nutcase Concert at the Sunflower Theater

Wednesday May 9th was expected long ago. Ever since my financial status went drowning this month, I started eventually considering to skip that concert at the Sunflower Theater for the sake of saving the money (yes, an engineer can be broke every once in a while). Although I had already made my mind, and thus made other plans (that didn't need money of course), a new/old friend actually volunteered to lend me the amount for the sake of going there and enjoying the show. Having sat down to talk made it really awkward for the first few moments, but then the tongues just rolled (at least for me) and we spoke the whole waiting time, well actually half of the time we were speaking about Ray, and she might have convinced me on one or two thoughts to seriously consider about my issues. Alas, the bell rang and it was time to meet the almighty (supposedly) Tamer Abou Ghazala, frequently figured as the artistic nutcase performing on stage.
Performing Nutcase - Very High ISO
The stage was rocking and trembling in silence waiting for the crowd to cheer for the coming performers, but what actually happened was that the lights dimmed and all I could see was the instruments floating up in the air. It was until the lights turned back on that we could see Tamer, Hussein and the rest of the band already took their spots and the music just ROLLED. The first was the most chilling, frantic enthusiastic mood, very poetic, romantic and yet so tactile. Excuse me for not mentioning what the song says, not for the sake of confidentiality, but for two main reasons. One is the words will surely lose their meaning once translated. The other is the proven experience of feeling the song by ear and not by eyes. Thus I will refrain from sharing the lyrics, meanings, unless you went out there and made your own research. Oz, the friend I met on the gates outside, had already foreseen that the band will have the Oud (a purely arabic instrument) along with the traditional Western portfolio: Bass, Drums, and Keyboard.
Tamer performing Solo
I had already had my share of previous experiences in shooting concerts: always enjoy the show, study the whole scene meanwhile, then and only then allow yourself to go out there and snap photos. This was exactly what I did, no concert is worth missing for the sake of photography, yet no such occasion is worth wasting for the sake of only enjoying the show, then why not both?
What I felt was the most astonishing shot

May 9, 2012

My Supermoon

Mr. Photogenic
Did anyone other than RJ ask me what does it feel to predict when something bad is going to happen? Pretty bad actually. I was there a few minutes before my friend's car was stolen at midnight. I had already bought 2 drinks, stood up in the center of the area just at the steps of the world clock statue, and setup my tripod and camera trying to catch the supermoon I've been hearing about a few days ago. Enchanting as it was, standing up at the central point where every car light shines, looking at all the passengers around as if I were invisible, it was just me and that cute up there. He knew very well how to play along, he hid behind the building, he stood right behind the Earth model to emphasize a metaphor probably. Photogenic he is. I don't have the tools nor the tongue to describe what a feeling it is, an escape out of the material world i touch and live in to a world I constantly keep at hold in my mind, this is where magic happens, or at least until I could find much greater magic. Dear cute thing, you will always be followed, no matter where I go. I want you to remember that there are two souls looking after you, for you constantly eliminate the distances between them...

May 6, 2012

Choking on a Tear

I'll always look after you, my old friend.
I just came from the Hairdresser's salon, one the few places I can see my face on a mirror. It was glorious, oh that face! I always wondered if a man with such a look exists. He's so wise, so magnificent in everything he says. He knows no fear, he has the look that makes your bones tremble and your head bow in respect. He is old with all the wrinkles-to-come shining up in majesty adding this angelic Ora around his skin. Eyes of an infant still looking for that lap to rest his head on... My god the look! I can't but wish I could print that image stuck inside my head. Still wondering when that A-ha sound pushes in? Yes, it came in a few milliseconds actually. "But. AHA!..Isn't that person actually myself?" I wondered. As fairy as it might sound, this conversation took place in a matter of a few seconds indeed. What was missing? All I could feel a moment later was the urge to CRY. But hey, you're a man, get yourself together! such a shame to cry, is it? I wanted to cry, just as my past life swooshed in front of my eyes. The huge amount of insecurity,