Showing posts from July, 2019

Celebrating Seven Years of Blogging

Exactly seven years ago, a lightning bolt electrified my thoughts and induced me to launch this blog. For those who weren’t readers then, my motivation was two-fold: (1) I sought a creative outlet in which to chronicle my adventures in my relatively new country of residence, Lebanon; and (2) I wished to paint a real and positive image of that country for friends around the world to explore. Global perception of Lebanon is rather limited to what the media projects, and that is a country riddled with strife, corruption, and disillusion. I may not be able to contend with those unwieldy labels, but what I can do is provide an alternate view of what it’s like for an American transplant to make a permanent home for herself here. The blog has undoubtedly taken me on a journey I never could have foreseen. The focal points from the beginning have been culture and food, which is perhaps what made the blog popular with Lebanese expats around the world seeking to live vicariously through a

Hotel Wakim: A Cozy Nesting Spot in the Heart of Beit Mery

Beit Mery has always held a certain spell over me. Straddling residential Ain Saadeh and summertime hotspot Broumana, this charming village has arguably the most breathtaking vantage points of Beirut, the Mediterranean, and everything in between. Most recognize it as the setting of Al Bustan, a hotel lush with sprawling gardens constructed over half a century ago by entrepreneur and statesman Emile Bustani. Others have come to identify the town with its ancient Roman and Byzantine ruins nestled below Deir Al Kalaa, or Couvent Saint Jean, an Antonine Maronite monastery that doubles as a majestic wedding venue. But there’s far more to Beit Mery than meets the eye: The parallel streets that narrow to the width of a car despite remaining two-way. The yellow-stone buildings that have withstood the inclement harshness of many a winter. The crisp, cool air in the early morning and late evening on a warm summer’s day. And, as I recently came to unearth, an endearing establishment na

The Case of the Mysterious Package Delivery

Last Friday evening, I received a very mysterious package. The courier had contacted me a few days prior via Instagram Direct Message , coordinating time and place: being in public was crucial, as he couldn't reveal his identity. It all seemed rather cryptic, particularly his unpopulated account @overdose961 that reflected absolutely no followers or accounts followed. Naturally, I was reluctant to agree. But the element of suspense eventually got the best of me, and after cluing in my husband on the exchange, I succumbed. So around 6:45 PM on the aforementioned Friday, I courageously met the masked man in a busy street, where passing cars slowed to snap his photo as he handed me a brown paper bag stamped with "OVERDOSE961." He indulged me with a selfie before jumping back into his car and speeding away. Back in the safety of our home, I carefully opened the bag, which was wafting with the incredible aroma of something delicious. My toddler Stephen was more i