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Can you afford to live in Beirut? And save on the circulation hassles?

 Sura Chehaitli. April 14 at 1:21am · Sidon, Lebanon ·

Dear inexperienced, minimum-salary requiring job seekers,

Let us calculate the very minimum monthly amount required to live a normal, mildly decent life in Beirut:

1) Rent: if you are lucky enough, you will find a room in an apartment for an average of 500$ a month. If you’re lucky.

2) Food: If you want to pay the minimum, to eat really unhealthy and quick (as you’ll reach home at 6 after a tiring day and one hour in Beirut’s traffic). Let’s put 3$ for breakfast, 7$ for lunch and 5$ for dinner. Keep an extra 3$ if you crave chocolate, or a can of soda… Add an extra 2$ for the narcotics necessary for you to cope with life here, including cigarettes, coffee, tea, cheap hash, etc…

That’s 20$ per day if you want to eat basic crappy food. 20×30=600$

3) Transportation: Look, if you have a car, don’t rent a place. Seriously. Furnish the car and sleep in it. Because gas expenses and rent expenses donti mix.
Let’s say you need service in raw7a, service in raj3a. That’s if you’re living in Beirut. If you live outside of Beirut, ensa ya foufi. That’s 6$ per day, 6×21=126$ per month.

4) Phone expenses: In case you’re lucky enough not to have too many phone calls to make, one recharge card would suffice for a month. That would be 27$ as a minimum, haida eza ma badak teshterik ma3na b khedmit “Mobile Internet”.

5) Internet: it’s either you download an application that can hack your neighbor’s router, or go stand outside of Starbucks when you need Internet, or you’ll have to pay a minimum of 30$ Internet per month.

6) Girlfriend/boyfriend: you really shouldn’t be having one. You can’t afford it.

7) Leisure: Let’s say, eno, eno massalan you are in your early twenties and you want to go out at least once a month. Ha. Now, I am not saying drink to forget point number 6 (especially if you were male), but just have one beer on happy hour once every Friday.

Have a 15$ worth dinner once per month. Spoil yourself with ice cream two or three times a week. Meet up and study, chat, spend time with a friend in a café. Go see that movie you’ve been waiting for. Let’s say, you cannot need more than 100$ per month entertainment.

8) Shopping: Look, keep wearing the same pants, but let’s say you gain weight because of point number 2, and you need to buy a new pair. Maybe underwear, you know, cause you’ll need to change that quite frequently (despite point number 6, ey?). Let’s say you’ll need 50$ per month.
Now, if you’re a bookworm, and you’re addicted to buying books, the only solution is to download torrents of ebooks, or just kill yourself.

Or try, try and try so hard to walk into Librarie Antoine with 10$ and walk out with one book, and ONE book only.
So that is a total of 60$ per month emergency shopping expenses.

9) Birthday presents: forget it. You fuckin crazy? If you want to merely attend a birthday party, you’ll have to drink, and that doesn’t come for free. And you wanna bring a present as well?! Sure, but remember, no one is really your friend, and people are selfish by nature and you know, these college friends, you’ll probably never see them again after 10 years,

.A great thing to do when there are birthday parties is to say “oh sorry, I already have plans of being ill in two weeks” or “I think my grandpa is going to die for the 7th time on Friday unsure emoticon

10) Miscellaneous: books, pens, a haircut once every blue moon, hygiene and sanitary products, detergents, mamsa7a, lifet jali, sha2fit majla, fairy, random house expenses, etc…A minimum of 30$ per month.

That makes a total of: $1,473 the minimum required to live a life on junk food and pirated books and dvds and once a week happy hour beer in a 2x2m tiny room in Hamra with a shared bathroom.

Careful now, in this equation, there are no savings, pension plans, or health coverage and insurance, which should add up for at least 200$ per month (and which most institutions never provide).

You now know how to answer to the “what are your salary expectations” question, and differentiate between decent institutions that respect human dignity, and those who abusively have no soul or respect for the youth and for encouraging them for independence and comfort/decency.

If a job costs you more than it pays you (yes, money-wise, because you can’t live as Ghandi in a capitalist city that is as expensive as Monaco), you’d be either really rich and working for fun, either still counting on your personal bank named Daddy.

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