Showing posts from November, 2012

Welcome to the US of A

It has been two years since I set foot in the US, and I must confess, either a lot has changed or my tolerance has waned in the interim. Gripes: No matter how close to the front my seat assignment on a plane is, I always (and I mean always ) manage to fall in the last boarding group. This generally means my carry-on gets confiscated, dumped in the stow away, and is the last to be pulled off the plane and conveyed to the baggage carousel. So much for a quick airport exit.  Domestic flights do not offer on-board food service, and entertainment is limited to one movie displayed on the tiny main screens. Southern California feels like it's exclusively minorities. I'm all for the melting pot, but what happened to the fair skinned folk? Public transportation in Boston needs a serious face lift: it's unpredictable, inconsistent, and so pathetically slow compared to its European counterparts'. Only now have they started posting times of the next trains in some  major s

My culinary adventure in Boston

I hadn't been back to Boston since I graduated in June 2009. I'd always smiled upon my memories of the city, as it marked my first brush with urban life, a taste of Europe in America, and the appreciation of four distinct seasons. As a student, I hadn't had the time to indulge in Boston's food scene, so coming back, I had a few items on my list that I was keen on trying. John Paul, my brother, also added his contributions to my local food tour, and in all it was a happy medley of comfort food. The night I arrived, John Paul took me to Amsterdam Falafel , a fast food joint where you self-assemble the toppings of your falafel sandwich. The falafel balls are true to the Lebanese variety I'm familiar with, but the assortment of dips and veggies were rather unusual of a falafel sandwich. You could of course choose the traditional tahini sauce, along with pickled horseradish and chopped parsley, but there was also hummus, pureed eggplant, sauerkraut, tzatziki, pickle

"Homeward" Bound

It's been 22 months since I arrived to Beirut, earnest, energetic, and overflowing with optimism. On a mission, I'd been dispatched by MIT to recruit the region's finest, but in so doing, I myself was recruited for a job in strategy management at a leading local bank. I've finally accumulated enough vacation days to go "home," to my country of birth, to my childhood house, to the world I first awoke to. Riverside County is stop #1, where I'll linger a little less than a week before I fly east to Boston to visit my younger brother at Tufts. Boston is my second home: I spent a good two years there pursuing my graduate degree, academic glory, and New England's finest: clam chowder. I can't wait to be back: I've already devised a plan of alimentary adventures! Thanksgiving will be celebrated in Riverside, where Mom will cook her oriental take on the classic stuffed turkey. The following week, we'll be setting sail on a cruise to Mexico, a

Birthday Blessing

My birthday was a few days ago, on the 1st of November, and I was moved beyond words by the flurry of warm wishes of friends and loved ones from all around the world. I was especially touched by those who mentioned the blog and how earnestly they enjoy reading it. One friend and former MIT hallmate composed this beautiful poem for the occasion (thank you, Ibon!): Worldly Beirutista, You were born a bridge between The paradise gardens of the East And the silicon valleys of the West. Salt of land, perfume of sea, Music of the Beirut breeze. How lucky, those who are from anywhere and nowhere. They fly over bushes and waves, Not caught in between. Alas, cannot take care of what they love. I like peanut butter with pita bread. You hear America singing, But write sweet songs in Beirut, And see Lebanon smiling. Happy Birthday, Danielle. I vow to continue the adventure, be it sweet or bittersweet! Thank you, dear readers, for your love, support, and loyalty. It is an