Adonis Diaries

Posts Tagged ‘autobiography

“My name is Marie”. She said

Nte: Re-edit of “Marie of my youth: Introspection. March 30, 2009

Addendum # 11 of my autobiography 


“Marie”. She said

It was a time when I was about 16 or less.

By early dawn, I was on the balcony, the first floor of a ten-story building, facing Main Street.

By early dawn, I was reading or studying on that balcony,

But my heart was looking out for this young girl

Soon to show up on the front steps of her building, facing mine.


She was olive-skinned, large dark-eyed and hair done in two ponytails.

I was waiting for her to step out of her apartment building, opposite mine.

She would wait for her school bus with another schoolmate girl.


By early dawn, I am sitting or standing on that balcony,

And my heart is swooping down on that school girl about fifteen.

She is in her school dress, white shirt and blue short skirt.

Her blond and chubby schoolmate waited with her for the school bus.


Within two years, that blonde blue-eyed chubby girl metamorphosed

Into a blonde Nordic beauty, a svelte Prussian tall.

My dark-eyed girl used to lower her head, and raise her cunning eyes up toward me.


It was a game for her.

I was to her that stupid bookish young male.

In that game, she was the Beauty Queen and she was pleased of the attention.


She must have got used to me.

Maybe she started to like me,

Or she appreciated the stubborn care that I generously bestowed upon her.


Her errands increased in the neighborhood so did my heart beats.

For a year, my overriding shyness

Could never muster enough courage to step down this one ridiculous floor,

Cross the street and start a chat with her.


One day she was waiting for a taxi.

I rushed down the stairs and waited by her side for a taxi.

I could not speak, my mind went blank and I barely was breathing.


Taxis made themselves scarce for an eternity.

I clumsily blurted out with a dry, unfamiliar voice:

What’s your name?

“Marie” she said.


That is how it started.

From then on, “what’s your name” is all the conversation

I could have with a girl I like.


Returning from a long stay overseas, I was told that the local militia ganged up on her.

They used her as their love slave.

She has gotten married.


It was a time when this womanhood was blossoming in roses and rainbow colors.

Fluttering in front of that manhood, shy and dazed with pallor.


It was a time when this womanhood was leaping in bounds, raw.

Looking at that degenerative manhood, crawling and craning his neck in awe.

A trove of letters and wish cards accumulated for 50 years: Great documents for re-editing my autobiography

As mother passed away in January 2020, before the advent of Covid-19, though many elder parents died from acute pneumonia, in coma and in IUC, I started sorting out accumulated objects, clothes, papers, documents, letters that I sent and received, wishing cards…

I have been retrieving and sorting out hundreds upon hundreds of letters that my parents saved in the last 50 years.

It felt a chores and I thought of dumping everything into the waste bin.

In many cultures, people just gather everything and set up a bonfire.

After the initial feeling of a chore from perusing letters before dropping them in the waste been, I discovered that there are many interesting information and news that I totally forgot that I wrote about for my parents, sister and relatives… and what they wrote to me.

And then it dawn on me that these are actual documents, excellent to re-edit my autobiography that I posted 10 years ago “Not glamorous person”

Surprises, surprises.

Names that I totally forgot, names that I am unable to put a face on them, sort of these people will have to show me pictures of younger periods and recount to me details of events and locations we met and shared for me to recollect…

Surprises, surprises

Locations, so many places that I had visited and had no recollection of being there or with whom I visited.

Surprises, surprises

So many suggestions I told them and that they never acted upon

Surprises, surprises

Frequent transfer of money, mostly with people visiting my home country Lebanon, and checks… though I was mostly broke most of the periods and barely surviving. I remembered two transfers of money, but never in such a frequency. If I knew my parents were totally broke…I would have sent far more transfers and in higher amounts

I learned later on that mother had to sell all her jewelry in order for father to pay the “taxes” for the many militias parties during our 15 years of civil war., in order for their home Not to be occupied or rented…

Surprises, surprises

So many fictitious plans and projects that I had to create just to fill a letter and give the illusion that I am able to sustain myself and high on hope for my future.

No surprise:

3 dozens of letters sent by a new couple who got a daughter, first child, just described how she was growing, especially her teeth, her illnesses, her charm and cleverness…and the valises of gifts sent to the little kid for every event, religious or Not, and minute details of the gifts…

Before I started publishing in I kept a diary of everyday events, trips, even the recurring routine activities…and filled many dozen of booknotes.

I blackened thousands of pages of articles and notes before I typed them on my computer. Restructuring the thoughts and re-editing, especially while walk returning home from the private library. Mother convinced herself that I had a part-time job at the library and didn’t resume her complaints.

Actually my first hard computer was assembled by my nephew William from scratch, every element of it. This computer served me well for 4 years.

And then I purchased a laptop that I could carry with me in my backpack and started typing directly and saving dozens of draft articles.

I had decided Not to overwhelm my readers with more than 2 articles a day, and I ended up with a hundred draft article, most of them ready to be published.

Yes, gold suggestions they failed to act upon.

I told my father to exchange his Lebanese pounds to British Sterling in 1980. He didn’t listen to me. a few years later, Lebanon pound (Lira) was devalued to almost nothing and my parents found themselves totally broke.

I told my parents to get out of Lebanon and re-start their life in Africa where they made their fortune and spent the best of their happy years. Mother would have jumped on this new adventure, but my sister was expecting her first child and mother had to remain. I guess father was no longer ready for any adventure without mother to support him and guide him. They missed 40 years for a new life and died totally broke.

I was touring Africa and Lebanese were still making “easy money”. A bakery for producing just bread generated a fortune for almost Not working personally.

A fact that is recurring in Lebanon: Any one who decides to settle back home inevitably goes into a coma of lethargy and imagination and end up wasting all his wealth.

Only the militia/mafia “leaders” and their assistants made fortunes by highway robbing the State budget and running and controlling the public institutions

Note: I say: Any childhood changes (locations, schools…) is a path life changing. Too many of these child a-changing leave you stuck in a maze.

And what sleep Dreams illustrate?

Marsha Norman wrote: “Dreams are illustrations from the book your soul is writing about you.”

I believe that sleep dreams are the draft scenarios stories of the “I-Self” that the conscious mind re-edit to modify the “Me-Self” autobiography of our worldview that conform to the customs and traditions of the community…

The “I-Self” stories are pretty incoherent fragments, and we hardly can make sense of them, and we prefer to forget them as soon as we wake up.

The “I-Self” stories are basic building blocks to whatever alterations we conduct on our autobiographical version story and many of the next days decisions.

When I sleep in chunks of 3 to 4 hours, I am necessarily dreaming, whether I recall that I had dreamt or not…

Consequently, I am twice editing my autobiography every single day. In winter time, I am editing it three times: My siestas are lengthy and generate dreams…

Does that mean “The more often you dream, the better person you are?”

Note: I know that I had dreams when my siesta period extends for more than one hour

Mon Cher Ado”

Note: Georges Bejani has dual citizenship (French/Lebanese) and is settled in France. He taught in France before retirement. Georges started writing a few of his childhood souvenir on FB,  I prodded him that, by the by, he will learn to be bolder. I also reminded him that I have already posted my autobiography on several years ago. It kicked and Georges is posting one of his memoirs almost everyday. Here are a few samples.

Mon cher Ado,

Ce dimanche matin du 12 août 2018 , je me suis levé du pied gauche, parce que ma femme à occupé ma place habituelle au lit , celle qui me permettait de me lever du pied droit .

Cela me rend irritable ! Et si tu rajoute une douleur désagréable qui me titille à la poitrine , alors tu comprends dans quel état se trouve ton ami .

Bref, et comme l’horloge du salon m’indique qu’il est presque huit heures , c’est à dire , neuf heures au Liban à cause du décalage , alors je suis doublement irrité car je ne pourrait pas me rendre à Mar Sessine pour la messe du dimanche , et où je pourrais me remémorer ceux de ma famille qui nous ont pré cédés au ciel , ni rencontrer ceux qui sont encore là.

Avec aussi l’espoir de te rencontrer en chaire et en os  (a Beit Chabab).

Autrefois , notre terrain de jeux était le petit espace devant l’église, (Mar Sessine ou La Vierge Marie), quelques mettre carré , on jouait à cache cache , à saute moutons , aux billes , car aux débuts des années cinquante, la petite place n’était pas encore dallée , ni d’ailleurs les escaliers du village .

Et les maisons étaient bien jolies avec leurs murs en pierres de taille et leurs toits en tuiles rouge de Marseille, et devant chacune d’elles , un jardinet et où les mains robustes de nos aïeux faisaient pousser des fruits et légumes , avec évidemment quelques fleurs en bordure du jardin, pour plaire à leurs épouses et aux passants.

Sans oublier le poulailler et pour certain une chèvre qui nous procurait du lait frais et du fromage blanc, qu’on appelait fromage vert, dont on se régalait surtout en été quand on accompagnait ce fromage avec une grappe de raisin ou une tranche de pastèque ou même une tomate bien rouge qu’on cueillait dans notre jardin

Tu pourras en rajouter si tu veux mon cher ami . Que rien ne t’en empêche ! Bon dimanche et à la prochaine !!!!

Adonis Bouhatab replied: 

Mar Sessine event day is in September 15. Are you already in Lebanon for Al Sayyidat (Vergin Marie) in August 15? I overheard from third party that probably they’ll play petanque/boule that day. Amene les toupies (belbol) aussi, and a few billes (kelal). J’entends te faucher toutes les billes, Le pied gauche est mauvais pour le coeur: ta femme devrait le savoir? A demain: on fera de sorte qu’on defriche un terrain pas dalle’

Mon cher Ado ,

En 1966 , l’école des frères Maristes de Jounieh fut transplantée à Dick el Me7di . De ce fait , nous avons déménagé à Beit- Chabab qui se trouve à quelques km de cette localité .

Ainsi j’allais tous les matins à l’école , du nom de Champville pour poursuivre mes études secondaires .

Cette année -là , à part les études , nous n’avions rien à faire car le village s’endormait dès 6 heures de l’après – midi .  (Ca n’a pas change’)

Parfois nous nous promenions jusqu’à l’orée du village , vers le pont tout en grignotant des cacahuètes et en cassant des pépins .

Par beau temps nous nous installions chez Alexandre Le Bas ( Scandar Lwati ) surnommé Le Bas parce que sa maison se trouvait au bas du village .

Et là, nous jouions aux cartes et autres jeux de société jusqu’à la fermeture de la boutique , qui se faisait au plus tard vers 8 heures du soir .

Alors nous rentrions nous coucher … Nos amours étaient courtes pour ne pas dire inexistantes . Je me souviens d’une fille charmante qui était interne au collège dès fille , et que j’aimais , mais que je n’ai plus revue depuis ce temps- là.

Je crois qu’elle s’appelait Aida , si ma mémoire est bonne . Le sort a voulu qu’ à la fin de l’année du bac , en 1968 , je partis pour la Guinée pour rejoindre mes parents . Tu dois te dire pourquoi je te raconte tout ça ? Et bien pour rien !

En 1976, nous avions quitté le Liban avec notre fils de trois ans, fuyant les atrocités de la guerre civile qui sévissait dans notre pays. Nous sommes partis pour Abidjan , capitale de la Côte – d’ivoire où j’ai trouvé un poste d’enseignant dans la ville de Bondoukou , située à plus de 400 km au nord est d’Abidjan .

Nous embarquâmes dans un taxi brousse car c’était le seul moyen pour y aller . Au bout de 100 km sur une route bitumée , mais bien sinueuse , nous avons poursuivi 

The dust invaded us from everywhere so that we arrived all red to destination and were greeted by the principal of the high school who hastened to accompany us to the hotel where we were eager to take a bath to get rid of pounds of dust that had piled up all over the body.

The next day, I walked to school, sandals and shorts. The students were very nice and applied.

One day I was writing on the blackboard, a student approached me silently: she was barefoot, like the majority of students, lack of means, and she tapped my leg. I flinched and asked for explanations!

She told me there was a horsefly who wanted to steal me! And the whole class started laughing and applauding the young girl who had just saved me from the worst disaster that could happen to me that day!

Back in Abidjan, for Christmas Holidays, I contacted the bocoum, to inquire about the health of Brigitte and Marie Jeanne who had been my students at the college in Lebanon where their father was ambassador to Ivory Coast and on leave . I wonder today if my dear Suzanne wasn’t with them?

Royan , face à l’océan !

Ce matin , je me suis promené au bord de l’Atlantique , cet océan qui a vu au cours des siècles derniers des marins s’aventurer pour aller pêcher la morue jusqu’aux confins du monde et souvent disparaître , engloutis Par ce monstre impassible …

Tôt , ce matin , je me suis donc trouvé seul , sans aucune âme qui vive alentours, et là, je me délectais à admirer le spectacle qui s’offrait à mon regard et écouter cette musique que fredonne cet océan , admiré et craint à la fois par les hommes , que Baudelaire compare dans ” l’homme et la mer ”

Adonis Bouhatab:  le morue ou les baleines? C’etait une industrie prospere dans le north east coast of USA qui a decime’ les baleines au 19eme siecle.

Georges first essay before starting “Mon chere Ado” series 

La côte Charentaise est une des plus agréable pour passer un été ensoleillé tout en évitant les grandes chaleurs. À partir de Royan, on peut prendre le bus , soit pour aller vers le Nord , vers Saint Palais ou La Grande Côte et La Palmyre , soit pour aller vers le Sud , vers Saint Georges de Didone ou encore Talmon sur Gironde .

Talmont , un petit village plein de charme avec ses petites ruelle parsemées de boutiques et de restaurant prêts à vous servir les bonnes fritures , les moules ou autres crustacés accompagnés d’un bon vin du pays car il ne faut pas oublier que le Médoc ou le Bordelais s’aperçoivent à vue d’œil .

Talmont sur Gironde avec son église du XII e siècle .

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Et là , nous pouvons visiter la petite églises de Sainte-Radegonde avec son cimetière marin du XII siècle et qui fut érigée sur la route qui mène vers Saint Jacques de Compostelle autrefois fréquentées par les pèlerins qui venaient du pays des Charentes ou d’ailleurs

Sachant qu’en 1284 , Édouard 1er d’Angleterre fut le fondateur de la ville close de Talmont . Au-delà de l’estuaire de la Gironde , nous pouvons apercevoir l’océan Atlantique confortablement installé dans son lit et toujours prêt à accueillir les navigateurs de tous bords qui se balancent à sa surface avec l’espoir d’aller tranquillement à destination , sur les bords américaines .

Voilà mon cher Ado ce que j’avais à te raconter ce matin.

“Trip to the End of the Night” by Ferdinand Celine

This French book, published in the early 1930’s, is basically a collection of authobiographical stories of a freshly graduating physician who established his “clinic” in a poor working neighborhood in the suburb of Paris.

Celine (pen name) used to be called to pay visit to patients after sundown, and his medical tour will last till dawn, from a poor patient to another avorting dying girl because the parents refused to send her to the hospital for face saving…

Celine volunteered in WWI and was caught in the machinery and could no longer escape this infernal absurdity.  He was able to flee to the USA and worked at Ford factories in Detroit. He returned to France and studied medicine.

The followings are excerpts, not of the stories, but of the kind of statements that the living among miseries bring up in our mind and emotions.

It is imperative to comprehend why we are so stubborn to refuse a cure for our solitude…We keep hiding from acquaintances. I recall the words of this young corporal, hospitalized during the war. He confided: “Earth is sick and dead, and we are fat decaying worms…All rotten since birth…” He was good enough to be carried by two soldiers to be executed by a firing squad: He was an anarchist as the War council decided…I didn’t know better at the time to take time and listen to these soldiers: I wouldn’t know how to ask the right questions anyway…

The old patient was saying: “I can’t feel my feet, I feel cold up to my knees. I can’t drink anything…I want to touch my feet but I can’t…” He was kind of half out of life, he couldn’t get rid of his lungs…He exhaled but air would come in anyway. Kind of his lungs relentlessly making him suffer to the very end. That’s a harsh job staying alive…He struggled as harder to stay alive as to die

Life is a special class of boredom and annoyances, and they are the eternal pions. Boredom is here all the time, spying on you, and you have to frequently look occupied, at any price…Masturbating is an excellent pass time: You are occupied and getting some pleasure.  Mostly, we would like to have an endless series of pleasure-like activities to survive the long 24-hour day. A day is really very long to surmount and suffer the ever ready presence of boredom…Even in our continuous boredom, we refuse to reflect on ourselves…Nothing very pleasurable here, self-reflection.

It is impossible to swallow truth, like the death of your lover, or the death of your kid…The more distant the lover, literally, the more you cannot communicate face to face, and smell the rotten flesh…You keep adding and heaping values, good traits and lies to the reality of love…It’s natural and regular this tendency, loving from afar…

The little people can claim to have lived, only if the manage to overcome this habit of blind obedience, inculcated in the brain since childhood, and they should vomit obeying the rich and the authority figures once for al.

The balanced youth is who can respect everyone with no discrimination whatsoever…How come we cannot find these kind of youth?

It is not relentlessness that we ever lacked, but how to be on the proper road that lead to a tranquil death. The worst case scenario is when death takes us by surprise, in between two hesitations…

War is ever ready to wake up and grumble, due mainly to the criminal boredom that gets the little people out of their confined caves…How many of the poor people should be sacrificed before they comprehend the humour of it?

Note: Read part 2:

“I am what I am”? What that mean?
Virginia Satir (American psychologist and Educator, 1916-1988) wrote: “I am Me. In all the world, there is no one else exactly like me. Everything that comes out of me is authentically mine, because I alone chose it — I own everything...”
I have read this quote in the About of a reader who subscribed to my blog. The About resumes:
“My body, my feelings, my mouth, my voice, all my actions, whether they be to others or myself. I own my fantasies, my dreams, my hopes, my fears. I own my triumphs and successes, all my failures and mistakes. Because I own all of me, I can become intimately acquainted with me. By so doing, I can love me and be friendly with all my parts. I know there are aspects about myself that puzzle me, and other aspects that I do not know — but as long as I am friendly and loving to myself, I can courageously and hopefully look for solutions to the puzzles and ways to find out more about me.
However I look and sound, whatever I say and do, and whatever I think and feel at a given moment in time is authentically me. If later some parts of how I looked, sounded, thought, and felt turn out to be unfitting, I can discard that which is unfitting, keep the rest, and invent something new for that which I discarded.
I can see, hear, feel, think, say, and do. I have the tools to survive, to be close to others, to be productive, and to make sense and order out of the world of people and things outside of me.
I own me, and therefore, I can engineer me. I am me, and I am Okay.”
I am not sure if the entire About is from Virginia Satir, but I felt my chest compressing and suffocating: Do all these things belong to me? 
Am I responsible for all these potentials and the duty to care for them?
Shouldn’t liberal capitalist systems ease up a few of the burdens off my shoulders and offer me a few affordable social facilities?
I read a post on titled “That’s how I am. I can’t do anything about it. I’m sorry.”
(Why people have to insert the term “I am sorry”?. It make no sense to me. Nobody is sorry, otherwise they should have changed their behavior prior to saying they are sorry)

The post read: “There’s no “That’s how I am.”

There’s how everything around you made you without your awareness.

And there’s how you consciously made yourself. These are the two things that most make you.

I was having a dream.

I’m in a little cabin with a nice lady. A male friend of mine is there too. The lady is standing just outside the door on the porch. My friend is standing a the door, leaning left on his hand.

I’m watching them from inside, the light from outside glows her golden hair, and makes a silhouette of the rest of them.

My friend is telling the lady, just out of nowhere:”Warm Italian spaghetti topped with a lush tomato sauce and a hint of basil. A cold glass of wine, and strawberry cheesecake for a sweet end.”

Her face lights up, “I’m starving!” she replies.  I never did that. Well maybe when I’m asking a girl out the first time. I usually shout out to the girl from one corner of the studio “I’m hungry, you?” That’s not how I am.

That’s how everything around me made me. I can change that. I like the approach of my friend in the dream. I’ll change my habit. I’ve done that countless times. How I am right now is not how I was 10 years ago.

Ten years ago, 80% of me was because of how everything around me made me. Today 80% percent of me is how I consciously made myself. Habit change is all it takes. One tiny habit at a time.

I like today’s me better. You? Twitter @williamchoukeir”  End of quote

Four years ago, I wrote my autobiography, the biography of someone not glamorous or famous, and the last chapter was nature versus nurture, sort of chronological timeline of “What if this didn’t happens…What if I didn’t make that decision…”, would I have been a different person?

You judge, decide, and send me feedback.


“La consolante” is the latest of Anna Gavalda.  Usually, when two teams or two individuals play to win then, for the same level in talent, the one with a character to win usually win.  That is why, it is a good behavior to have a rematch with “no winning” conditions (La consolante), just having fun, be relaxed, and enjoying the game.

The novel is supposed to have a story but so far, it is evident that I might have to read 635 pages if I feel any urge to know the story.  Modern novels have complex beginnings and convoluted organization:  modern publishers think that modern readers have the patience to follow a story when the internet is bombarding us with thousands of stories per hour.  In my case, I don’t care for the main story:  it is the hundreds of backup mini stories that interest me.  In Gavalda’s case, every conversation is a story; it is kind of hundred lovely mini stories of everything and about everybody (not famous and not glamorous) camouflaged in a novel.  Actually, my autobiography is dedicated to those not famous and not glamorous.

I don’t know if Gavalda read my blog; I know that many read my book review of her book “Together is all that I want” and a piece called “I love that kid”.  Anyway, I have this impression that Anna is emulating my style but in French.  It does not matter if my statement is incorrect:  Fact is, her style suits me grandly.  I don’t care about the main story:  It should take no more than 10 pages to tell “War and peace” or “Gone with the wind”.  It is the “collateral” stories that make the news.

The back cover might be helpful for the catching your attention on the story: “Charles Balanda, 47 years old, architect living in Paris. He incidentally learns of the passing away of a lady he knew when kid.  That woman incarnated a totally different universe of what he experienced within his “small scale bourgois” family.  The universe represented by this lady was craziness, passions, pains, sufferings, and being alive.  Hearing this piece of news, the life of Balanda flips to anguish and sadness:  He lost it in his family, work, and in his convictions… Until (surprise!) he meets Kate and his vision of the world is changed again…”

I might write a series of Gavalda’s conversations in this book.  For example:  “The little girl (of maybe 8) was curled up in the backseat of my car.  I could not recall the name of her pony that she mounted during competition and tried to guess out loud. Then, she said: “There are times, I wished you were my daddy.”  I refrained from replying:  Any answer was going to spoil everything.  What could I have replied?  That I am better than her father?  That I am not her father and that she’s better not to dwell on those thoughts?  I think my silence was saying it better than all the answers that I could have babbled.”

Note:  I finished the novel and might write something about the stories.  Anna Gavalda published “I want someone to wait for me somewhere”; “I loved him”, and “She barely escaped it”

It must have been 1955.  I was less than 6 years old and one hour from death of thyphoid desease. The French military commander in the town of Sikassou was gracious to extend me and mother a lift in a small plane to the Capital Bamako: The Republic of Mali was then a French colony.  Two weeks in the cold chamber and three months later I had to be trained to learn to stand and walk.

My parents decided that a transfer to Lebanon, with much better “healthy” climate, was best for me.  I was thus confined for 6 years in a mountenous boarding school.  The school was run by the Maronite church.  My 3-year old brother joined me:  It was wiser not to play odds for another deadly desease.  Close cousins of mine (parents working in Africa) were also in the school:  Mainly for the same reason. 

A nun working in the school, who was a close relative to mother, received the injuction to protecting me from “dangerous” activities.  For 6 years, I was protected from “dangerous” activities:  I was not to join boy scouts, to join my schoolmate during summer time for two weeks vacation outside the confinement of the school, group games, or even undertaking games that were potentially dangerous like rollerskating or mounting on “echasse”.  I was a healthy boy though much samller and tinier than most boys my age.  I didn’t know the Arabic language (formal or slang) and ended up being two years older than my classmates with shorter stature.

My schoolmates felt and understood that I was a protected student not to be beaten or chastised lest dire consequences befell them; this implicit order applied to teachers and supervisors .  Yes, I was hated and despised for my unique situation.  I was saddened and outraged for my unique “favorite” condition and the shunning of classmates; it showed in occasional outbursts; angry conditions when I could not even hear what I was being told .

By the age of nine, I somehow was entitled to receive small cash allowances every month that I had no use for:  I barely ate or cared to eat; I had no “feasible dreams” in order to plan or to train any of my luxury tendencies.  I assimilated my fate that it was useless dreaming and being part of my schoolmate collective activities that were normally classified as potentially dangerous activities.  I think that satisfying my dreams by procurement was a normal reaction.  More than one students approached me to borrowing money in order to purchase rollerskating or other products.  Money had no meaning to me and I gave away whatever I had saved.

At school end of year ceremonies and activities, that I was not part of except standing as an angel with white wings, I clapped hard to the dangerous rollerskaters rolling down a harsh incline at vertiginous speed, jumping and crossing a circle on fire.  Was I clapping for my procured dreams?  I strongly doubt it.  I had no dreams by now to even consider procured dreams.  I think that I was clapping for enjoying the “moment” by default. 

I was living life by the moment: I had no plans and forgot how to plan anything.  You would think that these 6 years in boarding school must have been an eternity to me; not at all.  These 6 years could be wrapted in a single day: I don’t recall much; mostly a few instances related to physical matters.

Do you think adults can rejuvenate ancient dreams when they lost hope for dreaming in childhood?  Who would buy a pair of stupid rollersakes in an advanced age when he never learned the skills in childhood?  He must be mentally debil.  I think that I decided that, if I manage to save enough for a pair of rollerskates, I will buy a pair and then break a leg!  It is a stupid decision but it is better late than never to defying destiny.

If it was not for my aunt nun I think my folks might have incarcerated me in one of France boardingschools; I would not be the same person by simply joining collective games. 

I don’t think mankind is naturally capable of enjoying the “moment” (focusing on a thought or activity at every instant) and planning for their dreams simultaneously.   You either follow a plan or are forced to live the moment.  Schools institutions proclaim that their purpose is to prepare students for the future; implicitely, schools want to teach students to plan ahead and receive the necessary skills to fulfulling “future” plans.  There are institutions that disseminate this lie that they are encouraging individual reflections and training students acquiring individual confidence in their potentials.  Mostly, institutions are established to graduate cogs in the institutional machine system, regarless of the implicit philosophy of the system.

Student are not trained to enjoying the moment; schools implicitely believe that “enjoying the moment” is the main characteristic of children and thus, children do not need any conscious effort or training to be happy at any single moment.  I would be thrilled to hear a school claiming that its goal is teaching students to enjoying the moment: children are smart enough to feel that institutions are explicitly preparing them to plan through tightly programmed curriculum no whatever they claim otherwise.  It would still be a great breakthrough when any schooling institution becomes conscious of the necessity of teaching students of the skills of enjoying the moment.

“Take that dog, pour on kerosine, and burn it”: Order literally obeyed

Raising cows for milk? : May 18, 2010

There are many cases of violence on pets.

For example, many cats lost an eye by youth targeting an eye for pleasure; an owner of a dog felt bored and ordered the attendant of the building to take the dog, pour on kerosine and burn it; the attendant literally obeyed the order.

My nephew and I started the trip to the Bekaa Valley around 7:45 am and we returned by 8:30 pm.

Mother prepared us two sandwiches of jam and cheese; they were returned intact.  About forty minutes drive and Cedric felt ravenous; we stopped at a restaurant in the town Majdal Tarshish and had “mankoushet” of whole wheat grain without sugar.

We took the mountainous road of Dhour el Chouweir-Tarshish- Zahlet.

Cedric was to call Lorice as we reached Chtoura to lead us to the farm land.

The Destination was in Kab Elias, sort of about 7 miles south.  I noted that the main entrance to the famous vineyard (winery) KSARA was located on the highway.

The farm was actually a cow raising industry for milking cows; about 60 heads producing one thousand liters of milk per day for 305 days a year.

A cow is not  productive for two months before it gives birth to aid in the birth process. Milking resumes just after birth by allocating a portion for the calf.

A cow gives birth about 4 times in its lifespan before its milk production is evaluated in the declining trend of less than 25 litres per day.  Increased illness frequency adds to decision of making use of its meat.  A cow is milked twice a day using mechanical equipment; once early morning and again around 4 pm.

A milk and cheese factory picks up the milk production everyday in refrigerated trucks. A calf is not productive for two years, unless sold.

Beside injecting cows with medicines for infection of the mammals, the vagina, pulmonary diseases and four other ailments, cows are not much trouble.  Now, if you integrate the business vertically by establishing wholesale cow feed enterprise and an animal pharmacy shop, then you can secure substantial profit.

Profit can be generated in many other venues:

First, by importing pedigree cows from Holland and selling them in Syria at a large profit margin.  Pedigree sheets come with names of the great grand father and mother cows; heck, we the citizens in Lebanon do not enjoy the honor of such detailed pedigrees as German or Dutch cows. Apparently, Lebanon and Syria forbid commerce in cows; this slight trouble is bypassed by intentional loose borders, along with secondary roads that circumvent stupid non economical regulations.  Original Syrian and Lebanese cows are not considered productive for the milking industry.

A second venue for increasing profit is by renting the space for horses: horses eat the same food and get along with cows.  I failed to ask if raising pigs with cows is a good idea: pigs are excellent in going through leftovers.  I guess collecting manure could be a good source for profit.

I got into thinking:  How about installing in-ground water jets directed toward the mammals as cows are eating before each milking?  Cows will be pleased, the milking would be facilitated with probable long-term increase in milk production, and the consumers will be satisfied with such “healthy” promotional ads.  The main disadvantage is the stench. 

I read that cow industries are major sources of CO2 production that are ruining our environment.  I also read that the Australian government is seriously thinking of destroying the one million wild camels because they generate enormous amount of CO2.

There are not much you can do in a cow farm, if visiting. 

Time drags on and you feel like napping most of the day.  The weather is dry and your eyes are dry and reading becomes a difficult alternative to killing time.  In my case, it turned out to be a busy day: more than 40 people came by for one reason or another; and I had the luxury of listening and communicating with more people than I meet in months.  For example:

A group of American students dropped by at noon; they intended to taste wine at Kefraya vineyard and then head on to visiting Baalbek.  They were from Vermont, Boston, Jersey, Silver Spring (Maryland) and studying at the university of Alexandria in Egypt.  They are enrolled in Semitic courses (mainly Arabic and Hebrew); I failed to investigate further whether they know that Aramaic is the root language for Arabic, Hebrew, and Syriac (still spoken by many minorities in Syria, Iraq, and Turkey).

The group of Americans had two more days to tour Lebanon; they intended to visit Byblos and south Lebanon.

They could Not enjoy the public beaches in Egypt because women are practically fully dressed; they had to drive 5 hours west to the coastal town of Marsa Matrouh by Libya’s borders for some privacy.  I asked them if they investigated the availability of nude beaches: it never crossed their mind.

In mostly rural Vermont, you dig 160 feet and you reach fresh water wells. I said “The Amazon and Congo virgin equatorial forests will vanish but Vermont will remain intact”

I chatted with students at the Lebanese university in Fanar: they were not happy with the crowded learning environment of 300 students filling amphitheaters.  Most of these professors teach in private universities and they do field questions in restricted classroom sizes but not in public universities.

I learned also that private “foyers” or dormitories are also crowded: 11 girls in a single apartment with 4 bathrooms. Those university students who are not from the district of Metn believe that Fanar is in Beirut.  That is why it is preferable to name the coastal towns as belonging to Greater Beirut and save the humiliation that many districts are subjected to for being ignored by university students.

A relative to the owner of the farm came by and talked politics; especially on municipal election in Kab Elias.  Kab Elias is the vastest town in the Bekaa Valley and has 55 thousand inhabitant with only 10,000 registered to vote of which 5,000 voted.  He lost the election but considered himself a winner compared to the $2 million spent by the contending list of candidates.

I learned about the Beta dog organization that receives donations from foreign organizations to caring for the 300 dogs in the shelter at Mansourieh. French ex-actress Brigitte Bardot had donated 8,000 Euro last month.

Anyone interested in owning a dog has to undergo strict interviews and expect to be inspected twice a year for the dog comfort environment.

There are many cases of violence on pets.

For example, many cats lost an eye by youth targeting an eye for pleasure; an owner of a dog felt bored and ordered the attendant of the building to take the dog, pour on kerosine and burn it; the attendant literally obeyed the order.

Another dog owner got fed up with his barking dog living in the restricted balcony: he carried the dog and threw it over the balcony (problem solved).

A rich person had 7 dogs and donated money to charities but would not care for the dog.  One dog died in the the arms of the volunteer as the owner was on a vacation trip.

I got into talking with George; he is finishing his dissertation in Toulouse (France); he developed a software for handicapped individuals who can barely move a single finger.  A trackball is to be used and the QWERTY keyboard is displayed on the screen.  The handicapped person will point to a couple of characters and then a list of option names will be displayed to choose from.  George validated speed and accuracy of the software by experimenting with three subjects.  I blurted out that three candidates is not enough.  During the day, George was eating potatoes chips from a bowl and then, when he was satisfied he passed the bowl around and skipped me.

Gaby told me that you dig 6 meters and you obtain fresh water wells in Kab Elias.  Fruit gardens of peaches (about 8,000 sq.meters each) are flooded for an entire day. Given the number of gardens in that particular sector each garden is flooded every 20 days.  Gaby said: “Peaches of Kab Elias are the best in the world”.  We don’t get to enjoy Kab Elias peaches because refrigerated 8 and 16 wheeler wait to transport the harvest directly to Saudi Arabia, Syria, and Jordan.  I have eaten great tasting peaches in Lebanon; maybe they are not grown in Kab Elias; otherwise, I would die happy here and now.

I learned from Nada that her cousin Izi spend 6 months a year among tribal primitive people and six months in Lebanon.  Izi draw the daily life and  primitive people but she does not take pictures or even publish her diary for the benefit of us all: Izi is financed by her rich uncle and thus, has no compunction for sharing her knowledge.  Nada said that Izi has already toured the world.  Nada is to run the private museum in Jal El Deeb within two months that her rich uncle (brother of her grand father), living in Lauzane (Switzerland), is financing.

It seems that youth are very poor in tiny Lebanon geography.  No one of the subjects from the Middle Bekaa Valley district ever heard of Kesrowan.

Cedric had the hardest task of the day: He sat for 8 hours interviewing volunteered candidates for the experiment in a hot tent and sitting on a thin cushion.  He barely had two short breaks to have a quick lunch and then a cup of orange juice.  He ended up with a terrible back-pain.  I would suggest that the jury be reminded that the main controlling variable in the experiment was the ultimate discomfort that subjects were subjected to in order to extracting valuable confessions.

Going tangent has two advantages: first, novels that occasionally go tangent add spices and meat to the skeleton of mostly deja-vue stories; and second, going tangent is the trademark or main criteria of fun loving cultures.

Time says: “My story of eagle and storm”; (Apr. 28, 2010)

Paved decrepit path: Half-cooked literates trailing feudal process; (May 1, 2010)


This farce has dragged on too long; (May 4, 2010)


Who made the Gods? (May 5, 2010)

“You are a thief”; (May 7, 2010)


Just for today; (May 8, 2010)


Old fragrance from the dead; (May 8, 2010)




June 2023

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