Adonis Diaries

Archive for March 5th, 2009

66. The Essence of Wars and the Spice Wars (October 1, 2008)


66. The Manifesto of the American people for the 21st century (October 6, 2008)


67.  What resolutions in the aftermath of the crush of Wall Street?!  (October 7, 2008)


68.  Wall Street Multinationals milking the cows (October 11, 2008)


69.  Value-adding civilizations (October 14, 2008)


70.  “Never” is the name of my homeland (October 14, 2008)


71.  Individual responsibility: Truth is a personal reflection (October 15, 2008)


72.  A good time to die (October 16, 2008)


73.  Why Israel went to war in 2006? (October 18, 2008)


74.  For a sustainable growth: Gold-paper currencies (October 28, 2008)


75.  Normalcy in Randomness (October 29, 2008)


76.  Khayyam and Hafiz (October 31, 2008)

40.  Gandhi’s non-violent resistance guidelines (February 21, 2008)

41. “The Da Vinci Code” by Dan Brown (March 12, 2008)

42. “La reine de Palmyre” by Denise Brahimi (March 26, 2007)

43. “Culture et resistance” by Edward W. Said (April 18, 2008)


44. “L’Avorton de Dieu; une vie de Saint Paul” by Alain Decaux (April 23, 2008)

45.  “Down and out in Paris and London” by George Orwell (July 14, 2008)

46. “Why the Arab World is not free?” by Moustapha Safouan (July 21, 2008)


47.  “Igino Giordani” by Jean-Marie Wallet and Tommaso Sorgi (August 5, 2008)


48.   “Building a durable World” in Science et Vie magazine special issue of June 2008 (August 10, 2008)


49. “Chronicles from Gaza” by Caroline Manger (September 29, 2008)


50.  “Magellan, the vanquisher of the seas” by Stephen Swig (September 30, 2008)

51.  “Acide sulfurique” by Amelie Nothomb (October 25, 2008)


52.  “Stupeur et tremblements”, by Amelie Nothomb (October 30, 2008)

53. “The Satanic Verses” by Salman Rushdie (Part 1, October 30, 2008)


54. “The Satanic Verses” by Salman Rushdie (Part 2, November 1, 2008)


55.  “The path of the bees” by Rami Ellike (November 5, 2008)

56.  A State out of subject matters: Lebanon, by Dr. Jamil Berry (November 9, 2008)

57.  A State out of subject matters: Lebanon, by Dr. Jamil Berry (Part 2, November 10, 2008)


58.  “Farewell Beirut”, by Mai Ghoussoub (Part 1, November 14, 2008)


59.  “Farewell Beirut”, by Mai Ghoussoub (Part 2, November 16, 2008)

60.  “Farewell Beirut”, by Mai Ghoussoub (Part 3, December 3, 2008)


61.  “Metaphysic of tubes” by Amelie Nothomb (November 30, 2008)

Introspection: Elizabeth (Addendum #5)

I Could Break your Eyeglasses (Dec. 2002)

We had a large apartment in Beirut and it was almost vacant for the duration of the civil war as a living place.  My brother installed a dental clinic in that apartment and then rented it for a while. In 1980, I was just freshly arriving from the USA and I passed by our apartment for a couple of minutes, for no reason, and the phone was ringing. A secretary for a local company was summoning me to an interview the next morning.

I had no recollection of submitting a resume to that Lebanese company. Next morning, I was meeting a high level representative, who came from Cyprus for a couple of days, just to hire new engineers for their expanding business in Nigeria. He did not ask me questions. I did not ask him questions. I needed to be off and out of Lebanon.

At the airport in the Capital Lagos, a few agents from the company met me and facilitated my entrance. I flew the same day to the headquarter in the city of Benin. I was lodged temporarily at a motel. I met an American young man in the dining room and ended up sleeping with a very young Nigerian girl. I have the impression that she was waiting in my room. We made love all night and I remember not sleeping much.

Curiously, I cannot recall how I met this girl. This motel must have a curious way of welcoming new guests. My hidden cash was dwindling for some days. I told my co-workers that I’m conducting an experiment to find out how much per day the culprit is stealing.

They laughed their heart out for my stupidity. I confronted the middle-aged cleaning lady. She stepped in the bathroom, removed her panties and bent over the bathtub. It was a quick standing exercise. I moved out the next day: I was running out of hiding places for my scant dollars.

A month later I was transferred to a remote compound. I stayed four months in a field compound, out in the nowhere, at a poor town lacking television transmission, called Okitipupa. I was ordered to wearing regulation tall brown boots for discrimination purposes. A few thugs entered the compound one night, killed three guards and threatened the manager to open the safe. We were awakened at three in the morning to go and lodge a complaint. We drove to the police station past the slaughtered watchmen.

I was recalled and ready to be shipped out to Cyprus. I was somewhat reluctant for this sudden transfer even after this harrowing experience. I had to stay for another month, redundant at headquarter. The company accommodated me at a house with a private driver and a house servant. At night, the Nigerian driver would take me to a dancing place in the open air and surrounded by a few huts. I was to select a girl of my choice.

I liked a fantastic black beauty but she was taken that evening. I ended up taking home Elisabeth, another beauty. We made love all night. She was great in expressing her delights and happiness in soft moaning. Elisabeth was pretty, large eyes, flat tummy, firm, round and proportionate tits.

She had a major handicap: the tough leather feel of her palms, hands and feet. She did not ask for money and I didn’t give her any. The next evening I joined my first choice of the previous night and talked. My Elisabeth was upset and cut us off. Her friend girl understood and stepped aside: no fair play in this business. Elisabeth still came home with me. I don’t recall calling her Beth or any other nickname. She allowed me to undress her and kiss her all over her body, but she would not let me kiss her mouth.

She obstructed any kind of intercourse for the night. I tried hard all night at no avail. I suspected the reason for her behavior and decided to ask her in the morning. In the morning, she let me enter her, fixating me with her black large eyes, frigid and stone faced all the while.

I asked her: “Elisabeth, what’s the deal now?” She replied: “I had to punish you. You cannot ask another girl when I am around”

At breakfast, she said that there is an emergency at her house and that she needed money. I offered her ten Naira.  She went ballistic and screamed: “Ten Naira? You bloody cheap! I could break your ugly glasses!”

The scoreboard was heavily tipped on her side: My lame excuse was that I had the right of choice. Surely, my excuse would never balance a modicum sense of decency for all the money in the world. Beside, she has not taken money the first time for me to do business as usual.

The day to leave Nigeria was near. I asked the driver to let Elisabeth know of the departure date. She met me with her beautiful girlfriend at the gate: They were not allowed to enter the tarmac. I sadly waved to these generous hearts.

My return at Lagos airport was not accompanied by company officials. I was searched five times and finally, I had to give away all my tiny bottles of liquors to get through.

I kept a picture of us, Elisabeth and me, embraced and smiling. I kept a picture of her beautiful girlfriend too. Polaroid photographers in that “dancing” joint had to make a living.

“Routine”: Not such a bad Schedule (March 5, 2009)


The term “routine” has a bad connotation:  It confers a sense of boredom or a boring person who goes to a boring job and just waits for retirement. This is mostly true for public jobs and people content with steady public jobs. Many private jobs are boring, but economic performance usually sets the tone for heavy turnovers. 

“Routine” is not such a bad schedule for people who love every stage in the daily routine process. I know many professionals who enjoy and thrive on routine.  They wake up by 5 a.m. and read, write, and review their daily agenda and files; they exercise, jog, or swim before leaving to work.  Their workplaces are no further than 15 minutes drive.  Any one who has to drive one hour to work is a tainted “professional” in my dictionary. 

I cannot imagine a conscientious and genuine professional who is willing to submit to long driving trips and wasting precious morning hours battling with traffic and burning their nerves.  I also submit that a genuine professional should respect his physical and emotional well-being.

It is well-documented that human brain needs about 10,000 hours of practice-sessions by age 20 in order to become a top expert in anything, such as music, computer programming, singing, acting, dancing, fashion designer, architect, math, chess-player… It is your consistent  practice for what is your passion that generates a top expert, genius, and a top professional.  You cannot score 10,000 hours of practice sessions without a Routine…

I recall that I knew not a single work of French at the age of 12, before I joined a private French school.  I used to read French books for at least 6 hours a day, seven days a week. Within a year, I wrote far better than French-born students.  Mind you, I didn’t write or read aloud, or spoke fluently French: I just wrote better.  Another proof that it is not feasible to write well before you make the routine of reading a lot, and consistently.

For example I love the routine schedule of my days. If the weather is clement and warm, I wake up early before 6 a.m. and write till 8:30; then I exercise for 45 minutes, I work in the garden, then I spend my morning at the library to publish and check my emails and read and select books for borrowing. I have lunch  around 2:30 and siesta or a nap for an hour. I then remove to my study and resume writing and reading,  I watch the news and movies on cables, and then I sleep soundly with dreams.  There are no useless slack times such as driving long distance or getting bored at any chores.  I accommodate my schedule with nature because our public electrical power is rationed and we have no clear idea of its schedule. In winter season, I prefer to wake up by 9 am as the air has warmed, and my naps are longer…

I sometimes wonder if I enjoyed normal “electrical delivery regime” of 24 hours a day, as in most States, that I would have been as productive in writing and publishing.  I doubt it.  It seems to me that external challenges increase determination for those who love their work and set the tone for better time management of work and leisure schedules.

Note 1: Lebanon used to export electricity to Syria and Jordan in the thirties.  80 years later, Lebanon import electricity from Syria, Jordan, and Egypt. The populations of all these States have quadrupled in 80 years while Lebanon barely doubled, due to massive immigration, and we could not even double our power production.  Lebanon has plenty of water and rivers but we failed to invest properly on our natural resources.  Not only we have not enough electricity, and none of it is hydraulically generated, but we have no running water.  We receive water twice a week for a few hours and we have to filtrate and purify what we receive. The Lebanese family has to pay twice for electrical power and for water by supplementing their needs from the scalpers of private providers. The main culprits are those “Christian” Maronite political parties who claimed that the power of Lebanon resides in its military weakness.  Implicitly, those sectarian and isolationist political parties meant that Lebanon should not challenge the dicta of Israel on the planning of our water resources because Israel purpose is to divert all our rivers toward its own Zionist State).


Note 2: I have many relatives overseas and most of them are successful.  I love them all with a caveat: When I meet with my overseas relatives, after many years of absence, they love to play the role of the successful immigrant condescending with their “indigent” relative.  They love to reminisce about the “good all days” when we were kids.  As if I have never been overseas (as if I was Bush Junior who never felt the urge to apply for a passport.  Bush Junior was elected president of the USA twice and he never ventured outside of the US before being elected in order to broaden his horizons




March 2009

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