Monday, September 20, 2010

El Mina Sea Festival 2010: The Night

The El Mina Sea Festival 2010 was two days ago, on Saturday…

Unfortunately, I had work till 1pm, followed by a family lunch from 2 till 4pm, followed by a Toastmasters meeting from 6 till 7pm. It was only after that I could sneak out with TJ and Diala to the festival…

Unfortunately (again), it didn't go as well as I’d hoped. First of all, the traffic leading to and from Mina was sluggish. I did manage to take a little one-way detour when all of a sudden a car comes in 3aks il seir (in the opposite direction). It’s being driven by a lady with three other ladies and a maid inside. So I stopped and waited for them to go back. But no, instead, the driver sticks her head out of the window and yells at me to back it up. “inti b3aks il seir” I told her from my open window. Wrong move, Nour! As soon as I said that, two of the ladies (no, ladies isn’t an appropriate term here, lets call them… animals!) got out of the car and vulgarly yelled “so? There are cars behind us, move the!@#$ back”. Normally I wouldn’t have moved. But when I saw two of them show me some out of the car action, I had little time to think WTF?! And even litter time to realize that for my safety (and for that of my passengers and car) it was best I moved the!@#$ back for her. She passed, of course while cussing me, and guess what? There wasn’t a single car behind her! I nearly lost it there for a second, but then I remembered I was in El Mina, the city of waves and horizon (no sarcasm intended)…

To all the Tripoli lovers who are reading this, I’m sorry. I really wanted to say nice things in this post, and you all know how much I love this city, but…

Last Monday, a little before “3erss Al Madina” Street Festival 2010 was supposed to begin, I messaged my friend Ymn that because the road from my house had been blocked for the event, I couldn’t pick her up, so I asked her if she could take a taxi and meet us there. I expected her to say “yeah, of course” but instead, I got this message from her:

“it’s the discomfort it’ll bring w how long it’ll take that would ruin any festive mood 3ndi w bnaked 3laykon…”

It wasn’t until that moment that I understood what she had meant. I was so excited for this festival, but the excessive traffic, the animal drivers, and the no place to park, it all killed most of the hopes I had for fun… :-|

Yesterday, I read that the festival was a big hit, especially for those that went during the day. So in the spirit, I refuse to end this post about it without a positive note, and here it is:

That night, there was an old man selling wooden boats and sea shells that caught my attention. It was obviously dark out and there were no lights and I could barely see his stand, let alone the items he was selling. But I picked up a big sea shell, the kind you put to your ear and hear the sounds of the sea in. I asked him how much it was for and he said LBP 8,000. I then picked up a starfish, it was a big starfish, the size of my whole hand, and he said it was for LBP 10,000. I then noticed a bunch of wooden boats that were hand carved and delicately painted, they were for LBP 15,000 each. I would have bought the whole place if I could have, as I’m attracted to anything that’s got anything to do with the sea. In the end I decided to make a deal with him, I told him I’d take a boat and the first sea shell I picked up, both for LBP 20,000, and he said alright…

Later that night, when I got home to set my new souvenirs in my room, I noticed that there was a third item in my bag, the starfish! Turns out TJ had bought it for me and secretly stuffed it in the bag when I wasn’t looking. And I guess that part was the highlight of my night, so Thank You for that, TJ! :-)


  1. Wallah l3azim Nour, as long as you are happy everything becomes worthwhile
    Inshallah u'll always smile! I'm so glad to have gone with you instead of Broumy.
    And the souvenirs look great!!

    PS: u took the right choice as a driver. I was there, you took the right choice

    Lovin' ur blog!

  2. Wow! It feels great to be quoted :P
    I'm sorry u had to experience this but glad that TJ & Diala were with u. Company is the most important thing... w I think what TJ did is great :)