Adonis Diaries

Posts Tagged ‘Antoine Farjallah

Two Nights Out in a Row

Friday, May 21, 2004

Four students in the engineering course that I teach “Human Factors in Engineering”,  and who have taken a previous course with me last semester, decided to take me out on a Friday night.

Initially, their intention was to invite me to lunch. I suggested dinner and dancing afterward.

Elie Helou was to pick me up at the Saniour restaurant in Antelias. Hadi Haddad was driving instead: It turned out that Elie had totally wrecked his car last week.

A 3 a.m. accident made him pay a visit, reluctantly, to a public garden in Mansourieh. He forced the fences of the garden.   Elie required hospitalization for concussions and lacerations from the unwarranted Activation of four airbags and the driver’s seat belt as he claimed.

Elie is to cash in eleven thousands dollars from the fully covered car insurance.

I had taught Occupational Safety and Risk Assessment last semester and the risks of car driving were emphasized.  Apparently, this is history from the students’ viewpoints: They still drive drunk because they never get drunk, and besides, it is invariably the other drivers’ fault.

We started at the “L” bar, situated around the corner of the nightlife district of Monot, in Downtown Beirut.

The bar is a long corridor, rather dark, and the smaller segment of the “L” shaped bar might be four times larger than the corridor width.

We started with Almaza beer. The gang ordered three expensive entrees of fancy Italian names: Beef Carpaccio, Tartare de Saumon and Italian Bresaola  

Each entrée contained four slices of transparent meat, in huge large dishes that filled the table.

I joked of which entrée was beef or pork, beside the salmon of course: The pink transparent meat and the rather translucent darker meat.

Hadi was the referee because he is an Italian fan, all the way, from soccer teams, to racing cars, to volleyball teams and to argumenting.

We also ordered a few “plats de resistance” which turned out to be in the same category of lightness as the entrees were.

I learned too, at my expense, that the dish of “Risotto aux legumes croquants” is indeed rice.

Jo Assouad, the fourth student, had smartly dined at home and arrived late.

Then and only then were two bottles of Stolichnaya Russian vodka been ordered.

Not Smirnoff because as Antoine Farjallah ascertained it can cause hangover the morning after.

Two carafes of apple and cranberry juices were ready for the mixing.

Jo mixed and downed two drinks before we finished our second sip.

Antoine has just arrive from an all day beach outing. Well tanned, tired, his asthma relatively in control and still smoking cigarettes.

The vodka was mixed with either apple juice or cranberry juice;  I prefer cranberry juice but had a drink with apple juice at the coaxing of Hadi. I quickly added cranberry juice after two sips.

Hadi offered me a cigarette and I wiped out my own box of Gauloises blondes light.

To our amazement the box was running short but for one lone cigarette.  It turned out that Marlboro full flavor was unanimously king that night.

The “L” was Not up to standard that night:  Customers were supposed to start getting wild and dance by one o’clock, but by then they started leaving.

At 1:30 a.m. we left too and moved to the Music Hall Theater.

Initially, the gang planned to spend the night there but failed to secure tickets on time for the show.

We ended up at the Music Hall Theater after the show was over and danced till 2:30 a.m.

The Music Hall used to be a movie theater at the Starco district. It was redesigned to accommodate diners too.

The place was packed. The low tables were cleared up to dance on top of them.

Our table, occupied by student colleagues was not cleared yet, but a few students were dancing on top of it amid the drinks and empty glasses.

Fady Tarcha, an ex-student of mine was already standing drunk on the table. He was wildly surprised to see me. He still managed to hint on the low grade that he received last semester.

Joumana, whose name I finally recalled after several corrections due to temporary memory lapses, was fun and natural to dancing with but Tina was more reserved.

They had unobtrusive and friendly boyfriends.  It turned out that Tina was Jo’s girlfriend:  They cuddled and slow danced on any variety of music.

The singer and showman, Tony Hanna, sang a few of his medleys, carrying his traditional stick, long and bushy moustaches and long hair tied in pony tail.

I finished my night watching the movie “Gandhi” till 5:30 a.m.




October 2021

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