Adonis Diaries

Posts Tagged ‘Raymonde Choukeir

A Typical Day (May 2, 2009)

Note:  I have been writing my diary since July 12, 2006, the day Israel preempted a devastating war on Lebanon.   Israel  failed in its strategic goal of taming the Lebanese resistance led by Hezbollah.  I decided to post a sample of a typical day with a few explanations; sort of a “Reality TV” show with no direct picture.

I got up at 5:15 a.m. and had a cup of Nescafe and a smoke in the enclosed balcony facing north.

I stepped down to my study and locked the main door behind me. I realized that I forgot my keys inside. I ascended two floors to my sister’s Raymonde to borrow the key to my study on the ground floor.

Victor (my brother-in-law) opened and he was going down to retrieve a notebook from his car; he opened for me the door.  Victor asked me to carry up the repaired sewing machine for Raymonde

In other days, I may be asked to carry bags of vegetables to mother; bags that were left in the car trunk when he arrives late after 9 p.m.  (Last week, we had the last rain of the season and the thunderstorm burned our new TV and my computer monitor.  From now on we will have to suffer 7 months of dry season).

I read, edited two articles and resumed my diary. I filtered a Jeri-can of 4 gallons of tap water (yes, our tap water cannot be consumed unfiltered).  My nephew William was in charge of the filtering before he rented a small apartment in the coastal city of Jounieh.

For the filtering process, I devised two steps to go up at sink level in order to raise the Jeri-can almost safely into the recipient; it is a dangerous exercise that I worry about every time.

I went up home around 7:30 a.m.  Dad is having his Turkish coffee at the kitchen table and mother is sitting beside him in pain: mother has sort of arthritis but never desists working hard.

Dad will shave and wash his head with soap; he refuses to wear any kinds of head cover in any season.  Mother will work hard all morning to let pain and aches forget her.

I exercised for 45 minutes and then worked in the garden; I gathered greens for salad, plowed a little, and watered my patches with the little water that we get from this stupid government.

This work is followed by the frustrating jeremiads of mother claiming that we are short on water. We have plenty of water in Lebanon but it does not reach home:  the best this government could do is turns on the quasi potable water three times a week for six hours each time.

I shaved and dressed up in a suit (I dress up in April because it is the only month that sustains a suit; it is an occasion for me to dust off my wardrobe).

I spent my morning at the Maitre Phares Library; this private library is now managed by the Saint Joseph University, the Law Department.  I return books and magazines and borrow others (read my post on Maitre Phares library).

I published three posts on and replied to comments and emails. I returned the “Courrier International” and the Arabic book “Ain Wardeh” and borrowed the French book “A World Adrift” by Amine Maaluf and the Arabic/Lebanese “State of Cities” by Mai Ghoussoub.

I took pictures of Layal Kanaan who is flying to Orleans (France) to submit her dissertation on French linguistics among the Lebanese; Layal spent a month patronizing the library to write in a peaceful and quiet environment.

I left the library early around noon because I had to attend a play by my niece Chelsea at Saint Joseph school. I bought hair spray from Storiom for mother.  I joined my parents for lunch; mother had cut her hair by herself, as usual, and dyed it. I removed to my study.

Raymonde picked me up at 1:30; mother was tired and could not join us. The play writer and actor George Khabbaz was the guest of honor and he came late; the play was re-played for Khabbaz.  Chelsea was excellent in acting and in dancing and represented the cynical and malevolent student girl who abhors clowns.  Chelsea played her role very well and exhibited the worst inclinations that she could dream of being.

William and Hanane arrived late but they watched part of the re-run and took pictures; they were in a hurry and returned to Jounieh.

I had an hour nap till 4 p.m.  I overheard in my bed that the 4 Lebanese highest military officers will be released this afternoon after the International Court found them innocents of participating in the assassination of late Rafic Hariri P.M.

There will be strong pressures for four judges to resign because they covered up information and detained the officers for 44 months without any kinds of indictments; it was detention for political reasons.  Many heads should fall and the government is in hot water, especially Seniora PM, Saad Hariri, Walid Jumblat, Sameer Geaja, and Marwan Hamadeh. The last person created the false witnesses.

I removed to my study and wrote a new article on minorities in the processes of disappearance in Iraq. It is 6:30 p.m. and the public electrical utility went out around 6 p.m.

The Lebanese citizens have been harassed for lack of public electricity for over thirty years; we barely receive 10 hours of utility per day and we rely on private providers with generators at exorbitant prices.  Yes, we pay twice a month for electricity.

I visited with George Tannous (our neighbor) who was released late from the hospital around 2 p.m. because the surgeon was late to arrive and sign the release form.  Aunt Montaha was there and then her daughter Joelle came in from work to pick up Montaha.

I resumed reading at Raymonde’s around 7:30 p.m. and watched some news. Raymonde gave Adrea ride to Vanessa; Adrea wanted to go to a theater play in Chateau Trianon but the 20,000 LL fees were not available.

Chelsea’s friend Maribelle is sleeping over:  tomorrow is holiday because of the Workers’ Day on May 1st.  Chelsea and her friend are waiting for Victor’s to return from work with the laptop: they have a project to do and need to surf the net.

I had supper at home and got in bed by 9:15 and had many dreams.




June 2023

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