Adonis Diaries

Posts Tagged ‘family of Zoghib

Sample day’s tasks in this “harsh-living” Lebanon

I used to write consistently my diary for over four years, until my computer broke down and never replaced it.

It is hard living in Lebanon. The main problem is that the conditions are deteriorating fast, and there are no resolutions in sight, not even in the long-term prospect. Talk of keeping and sustaining any hope in this archaic multi-theocratic and pseudo State since 1943 is helpless.

This post is a sample day’s tasks in this “harsh-living” Lebanon during the dry seasons.

Saturday May 26, 2012, the next day of the “Tahrir Day” or kicking the Israeli occupiers out of south Lebanon, without any single precondition and unilaterally, after 25 years of ugly occupation.

6 am: Woke up and heard the water motor pumping water to the water tanks, four stories up. Dad insists on doing it personally, and refuses to install an automatic device to performing this task. After dad secures that the tanks are filled enough, and several gallons are replenished with “potable water”, and done in the basement floor,.. he rejoins his bed. It is hopeless to repeat to dad to postpone this non-essential task that early.

I made the effort to wake up that early in order to water the upper sections of the garden. Dad gets very upset of using up water for gardening: We purchase water tanks every couple of weeks during the 7-month dry season because public water does not reach residencies, not even in the winter season. What’s the story?

The excuse is that the water reservoir in Dbayeh, on the sea-shore, was leaking and it had to be fixed for the last three days. The reservoir is fixed, but there is no electricity to pump the water up 600 meters to where we are located.

Lebanon barely generate electricity to satisfy 3 hours of daily consumption, and we rely on private providers with generators. We pay twice for electricity and for water…

Now, why water has to be pumped up, instead of reaching us by gravity from higher altitudes?

It turned out that there are reservoirs perched up in Bhaness, and the water pipes bring water from the Keserwan district. The district of North Metn buys 30,000 cubic meters per day from Keserwan, but the inhabitants in Keserwan lack water too! How that? A large dam was built there 3 years ago, and this winter was generous in rain, about 790 mm, and still no water reaching homes…

Now, the water employees in the North Metn open the pipes, and the employees in Keserwan close it. After 5 attempts, the family of Zoghayb in Keserwan posted a man with a rifle to prevent any “tampering with the valves“…

How do I know these pieces of intelligence?

After 7 days of no water reaching homes, I decided to go with my brother-in-law to the nearest water reservoir or water station in Hbouss (in Kornet Chehwan) and filled two dozen empty gallons. A van carrying three dozen empty gallons preceded us to the water station, and we got into talking with the station employee Wadi3…

As a side story, Wadi3 told us that their monthly stipend for transportation was reduced to $40 per month or about 10 gallons of gas. The ministry learned that the 3 employees had decided on shifts to sleep over in the station in order to save on car gas…

6:20  Had coffee and a cigarette and got back in bed. I opted for a pronate position (stomach down) for a change. I realized that my occasional wet dreams occur in the supine position…

7 am Started my daily physical exercises of 45 minutes. Mainly four sessions of the stretching kinds, in bed and on my feet. Mind you that I invest almost three hours of hard physical work per day on the garden, filtering water to drink to two families in the building of about 10 persons, and walking two miles to the nearest library, rain or shine, where I have access to internet connection to publish the posts that you occasionally read.

It so hard to walk in the hot dry seasons: I much prefer the cold wet winter season of barely 3 months. The trouble is that cars do not stop to pick me up…Must look pretty off the customs of the neighborhood…walking, instead of driving 4-wheel new cars…Mostly driven by women who are in a hurry, going nowhere in general, and occasionally picking up kids in expensive private schools…

7:45 Went up to my sister’s floor and published 2 posts. I take the opportunity of using the kids connected compter when they are asleep, early morning and after 11 pm, and when the library is closed…The kids prefer to use the computer to watch TV series, downloaded on USB…

9 am Descended to the ground floor to filter potable water. This floor was used during the civil war for precarious shelter…and I mopped the floor: Nobody cares of the conditions on this floor…where my brother-in-law decided to use up most of the rooms to store clothes for his broke “business”. Too many competitors in the retail clothing business, mostly imported from China and Turkey…

9:30 Worked in the garden. Watered the lower sections, gathered parsley for tomorrow tabouli (the traditional national salad with crushed wheat), gathered debris from the garden that mother insists on keeping it “clean”, trimmed the roses, and planted a few pots that Victor bring down from his “roof garden”…fed the chicken and cleaned the shed…

11:30 Paid a visit to my aunt Marie’s shop and bought 2 kilo of sugar and 7 loaves of bread weighting 900 grammes. The bread pack used to contain 8 loaves but the ministry of “economy” refused to subsidize the flour and insisted on keeping the price one dollar…

12 am Brought up dishes to my sister’s family of what mother cooked and carried down a bowl of cherries: Victor had bought a carton of tiny cherries that no one is eating and no one is in the mood of working on the cherries for transforming them into jam…It turned out that dad loves cherries, tiny or otherwise…and mother too likes cherries…

12:15 Had lunch with my old dad and mom. In the menu is the salad, which I have freshly gathered in the garden.  I am usually in the library at lunchtime, but on Saturday I am home. I prefer to eat dinner alone around 9 pm, and display all the leftover dishes on the kitchen table…

12:45 I flip through the  TV channels until I stumble on a documentary or on a non-action movie, while mother is having siesta. Mother hoard the TV for most of the day and prefer local channels, which I don’t care for…and she complains that she barely sees me around

1:15 Had siesta. I am physically tired and had dreams. How do I know that I had dreams? Because I woke up at 3:15! And I had coffee and a cigarette. In the hot dry seasons, I just lay down for an hour and close my eyes to rest my back and legs…

3:45 I had a walk and visited aunt Therese and my cousin Jihad

5 pm Back home and resumed watering the lower section of the garden and collected strawberry and mulberry…The ones that blacken the hands and fingers…For a month I go around with darker fingers and fingernails…

6 pm Locked the chicken den and had my weekly bath: It is an entire program of filling water in various containers. Our shower is not functioning: Not only the pipes need repairing, but also there is no pressure at the end of the shower…

Only on Saturday morning does dad ignite the central water burner, when public electricity is available, or when the electricity happens to materialize. We cannot afford mazout for the winter cold season for our useless centrally heated building that is left unheated. Dad and mother spent this winter in their beds.

I do enjoy my resting and lengthy siesta during the cold season, accompanied with dreams. There are no mosquitoes and mother has far less chores for me To Do…

7:30 had dinner and watched TV since mother went up to check on her daughter Raymonde. Mother returned around 8:15 to find her cooking burning: She completely forgot that she was cooking something, and she persists on doing several tasks simultaneously. I didn’t smell anything burning until I heard her complaining and crying softly.

8:30 I went up to my sister’s apartment and read and wrote a couple of articles.

10 pm Mother got in bed and I hoarded the only TV in the house. I watched documentaries, world news, good movies…

Midnight: Sweet dreams Adonis! Another hard day tomorrow…the dry seasons in Lebanon are pretty long.

Especially that mother wakes up about 6 am and starts creating and accumulating chores for me that I never dreamt existed before…

Like vacuuming and cleaning the carpets before storage, cleaning windows, painting, mopping, rearranging hidden corners, gathering mulberry and strawberry, and figs and cooking jams for the winter season…

I cannot catch up with mother’s creative mind for keeping herself busy…and dragging me along, without prior planning and discussion.

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 world view 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…

The more often you dream, the better person you are…

Note: Three years ago, a little kitten was saved. Today, the cat had generated four generations of kittens. We barely can feed this many cats that we try viliantly from residing in the house and out in the garden.

Ten days ago, one cat was savagely mauled and her right front leg was bared to the bone. The wounded cat survived and was hopping on three, and even managed to crawl onto my bed, to mother bewildered eyes.

Mother spent two days washing the bloody sheets and drying in the sun many other items.  The cat survived but the worms and bugs and…are infecting her wounds, and she was put to rest…

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adonis49

adonis49

adonis49

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