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Posts tagged ‘reaction’

Suicidal actions

Lately in Lebanon we’ve been hearing of many suicide bombers, killing and injuring crowds at random all over the city.

We read of these suicidal bombers throughout history and hear about them on a nearly weekly basis here in Beirut. Jokes have been made about them such as the well known “Achmed the dead terrorist” in Jeff Dunham’s puppet shows as well as different stand-up comedians.

Why become a suicide bomber? To defend a cause some say, while others state it’s the best way for them to make a good impression in removing your life for the bettering of society. And more importantly as it is stated for most suicide bomber terrorists is the fact that they will receive 72 virgins once they reach heaven for the ‘good’ deed that they accomplished.


Unfortunately, it’s hard to convince these terrorists to stop their amazingly idiotic endeavors and move on towards a healthier lifestyle and way of discussion; which makes it a useless point to try and argue in this case.

But what about drivers in Lebanon? I’ve previously written a post ‘I also like to live dangerously’ where I’ve pointed out how dangerous it is to try and drive a car in Lebanon and specifically in the vicinity of Beirut. So as always driving around here still takes a lot of skills, but I’ve noticed myself and other people developing a reaction that’s very different from the usual cursing at crazy drivers, and it’s this simple phrase: “روح نتيحير لا حالك” aka “go commit suicide by yourself”.

Growing up and learning how weak the line can be between life and death, especially when it comes to driving mistakes, not having enough time to break or having another driver swerve in front of you all of a sudden can all become the last thing you see.

As most Lebanese know, we’re always in a hurry, to get to work, to get home, to get to a pub, even to cruise; we tend to always speed/break most of the drive, get annoyed by slow drivers and/or by fast drivers. Being able to speed past a car or two can be a great feat, while getting passed by other fast drivers can be cause for defeat sometimes.

I think that suicidal drivers are more dangerous than suicidal bombers, at least the latter have a reason to kill themselves as well as risk the lives of many others; while the drivers are only in for the fun of the drive and the rush of adrenaline, especially in crowded streets and highways.

Take for example this guy, speeding his way down a road when he lost control of his car for a second, luckily for everyone else he crashed into the railing which broke a threw his car off into the Beirut river, instead of having his car wobble down on the street causing a huge accident including 3 to 5 cars.


Lucky for him as well the fact that he survived the crash, and was alone in the car. Unfortunately most of the time these ‘suicidal drivers’ are usually the young people trying to look cool, or the elder family men with their toddlers sitting on their laps or with their heads dangling out of the windows that end up in these car crashes, endangering the lives of so many without thinking of the consequences of such choices.

Of course most of them will reply with: “yes but I’m a good driver!” Unfortunately what most of them forget is that mistakes are part of the human nature. You might be a good driver, but how can you trust that the other drivers around you are good drivers as well? A good example of this is this video that was made not too long ago as awareness for those who trust others to act the same way as them.

So who do you think is more dangerous in this case?


Drunk dogs?!

So I was sitting at this bar the other day called Torino in gemmayze, beirut.

An extremely friendly bar if you ask me, and a side that I love about it, apart from opening up at 10am, is that it’s also dog friendly.

Now a thing to know about dogs, they don’t like alcohol, (at least not the alcoholic ones); so it’s never a good idea to be drunk, cuddle that dog, and spray the dog with your drink: it most probably will attack, however trained it is. After all we all know that dogs have an extremely sensible sense of smell; imagine how annoying it must feel to them.

So of course, that guy, even though having two dogs at home, got attacked.
People decide that all dogs are trained the same way to react the same way. But they most definitely are not, each copies their parent owner, and in some ways have their basic instict still leading them; especially at a young age.

Same goes for humans in some way, though we always tend to ignore that, we prefer to think that all react like humans, aka us, but that theory has been proved wrong over the years. We say yeah but eventually each develops their own personality, we are not submissive like dogs.

I fully agree with that theory, but here’s an idea that I will let ponder in your head: what about suicide bombers and sheep that follow a political or religious party that requires them to kill not the same?


Mixed feelings

Lately I’ve been having mixed feelings as to what I want and what is best; and at the same time what is best for the other person.

Trying to judge a situation objectively, when it comes to something that touches you so deeply, might be the hardest thing you do in your life.

Take for example a friend of mine, who’s having her dog put down to rest:


B’s dog Shmushy has been with her for many years now, nearly 14, and she is old, getting sick and tired continuously; in this case the most humane thing to do is to let the poor soul get its rest without suffering through the pains of old age. Some might find this practice stressful, others find it natural: it’s a way of proving the humanity of a person and the trust that animal has in that person.

I’m not saying it’s hard to do; on the contrary, it might be a really hard thing, especially considering the fact that by doing that you’re removing the animal’s free will and imposing your own for what you believe is a better alternative.

But here’s a tougher situation, a situation I’ve been put in since the beginning of this new year, that has been making me feel miserable from the ideas going through my mind. I have to say I disgust myself sometimes when those images cross my mind, but when trying to think of them in a logical, humane, and natural way; it suddenly makes sense… then there goes the repetition of the cycle of self disgust once again.

A relative in the hospital, a relative you love, a person you can’t imagine the world without, a person you need in your life. How do you measure your humanity, what is right to do, and what you can’t accept as fact?

Two days ago a series of mixed feelings have been making me feel nauseous to the point of not being able to go into the hospital, instead spending hours sitting downstairs, on the curb, rocking and waiting: who am I to decide what is best?

But think of it this way, the way I rationalized my feelings: my grandmother is currently 83 years old, still young if you ask me but has lived a full life, in the presence of her children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren; her husband passed away nearly 20 years ago; around 4 years ago she started developing dementia, which has taken a toll on our lives and hers, making her feel uneasy whenever she would notice her memory losses; but lately, the only two names she would respond to were mommy and teta (grandma’).

In the case of memory, and recognition, all she has left is a disconnection from reality that has been increasing a lot, where a touch on the hand might send her mixed emotions of relaxation as well as paranoia.

On the other hand she’s currently plugged to an oxygen machine, due to extreme low levels of oxygen in her system, an infected lung that has collapsed, and another so torn by years of smoking that can’t work through by itself to suffice her body with enough oxygen to keep her body at ease.

Now for the past 3 days she’s been in what doctors name a “deep sleep”; it’s basically a coma-like sleep where the person is unresponsive to touch or words, but still has the basic instinct of moving slightly during their sleep, yet not responding to anything. Though a test of pinching her hand made her scream ouch, no other response was recorded.

So I’ve done some research, and to say honestly it scared the hell out of me. But the closest explanation I found to what she might be going through is a state of Hypersomnia (and hopefully not close to the Locked-In Syndrome), to read more about these states here is the link.


So where does my mixed feelings and dilemma come in? easy. Do I really want her to wake up, and suffer the injuries she will have to live with for the rest of her life, mainly being having to stick to machines for survival, or do I wish her to get her rest, without suffering any longer; which will also mean that I will forever loose her.

I’m sorry for the rambling of ideas, but I couldn’t find any better way to express this state, where being a main actor in the play might influence the ending of the scene. Should I feel guilty of these mixed feelings or is it a natural chain of thought that passes through everyone and anyone? I’m not sure, but I hope it won’t drive me crazy.


I also like to live dangerously!

You always hear of adrenaline junkies (including myself) going off routine to find the thrill of danger and add it to their daily life. I believe I have found the ultimate day-to-day way of getting your dose of adrenaline without going off track in your habits.

Try driving in Lebanon!

To drive in this country you need to have certain traits or else I doubt you’ll survive:
– At least the patience of a hundred men.
– The attention to details of fifty OCD people.
– Never trust other cars, trucks, busses, or motorcyclists.
– Always make sure your eye-sight covers even small areas between parked cars.
– Quick and accurate reaction skills.
– Always full attention on the road as well as your surroundings.

You’ll probably think this is too much (but trust me it’s still not enough) just to be able to drive in a country where street lights exist and cops are present; unfortunately every time I head to work, home or anywhere else, I get a dose of adrenaline, even in traffic (more like especially sometimes).

So why the patience of a hundred men? You’ll have people crossing the road randomly, expecting you to stop your full speed, even on highways, even in the dead of night (yes yes). So you being a self righteous person you are will stop, slow down, and make sure you don’t run them over. You also get your daily dummies (it’s not entirely their fault, I’m not sure they are aware) that decide to cross the road as soon as your light turns green. FYI lights include pedestrians too!

Why the attention to detail of 50 OCD people? That’s easy, make sure no one is wavering around while driving, and make sure that no cars are parked sideways; the person in front of you might not have tail-lights that work, or decide to stop suddenly without giving directions.
For some reason the Lebanese crowd doesn’t believe in the use of a turn signal before switching lanes or turning either side.  My father’s favorite joke to that is: “my light signal is on because I’m gonna make a turn, not because I think I’m a Christmas tree!”; people around here tend to ignore that sometimes. Or you have the case where they will put the signal on 1 second before turning: that’s not the way it works! But they still expect you to stop and make way for them, even on highways.

Never trust others: I think this part is obvious, not everyone has the same driving ethics and skills as you, not everyone is focused on their driving either (messaging, calling, kissing their significant other, too drunk or high, reading a book – believe it!- or having a deep conversation with someone else in the car. You even find those who put their toddlers on their lap to “teach them how to drive”).
This morning for example I was driving behind this motorcyclist that suddenly decided to sneeze then make a U-turn in the middle of a 3 line road; I had to stop fast, to make sure not to hit him, as well as make sure I don’t stop too fast so the driver behind me doesn’t crash into me (they might be still asleep, unfocused or any of the previously mentioned above -6 am, I kind-of understand it).

Over-seeing gaps between parked cars, if I try to recall the number of times I’ve had to stop dead because of children peeking out from between those cars, people deciding to suddenly cross, and/or people moving backwards into the street in full conversation without looking I believe I would’ve probably killed more than 100 people in my life till now (and I’m only 25 so that’s quite a lot).
Pedestrians in Lebanon tend to forget that we drivers own the road most of the times, and it is their job to keep off of it; even when I’m a pedestrian I make sure I keep off the car lanes; unfortunately, it is sometimes impossible, seeing that people tend to park their cars on the pavement as well as motorcyclists driving on it; so moving to the car lane is sometimes the only way you’ll be able to get through (though that doesn’t mean that you have the right to walk in the middle of the street and stop traffic altogether!).

Quick and accurate reaction skills, well I think the reasons for that are quite obvious. With all the action happening on the Lebanese roads you’ll need them to make sure you get home safely, survive many heart attacks, and make sure you don’t leave bloody trails behind you.

Finally your attention will need to be fully focused on the road. All of it, at every second, even in traffic when you have that woman that decides to push her baby stroller out of the curb into the street and you barely get time to notice it before swerving away but still making sure you don’t crash into the car next to you.
You need to make sure the person driving behind you is attentive to your driving not messaging so he’ll have time to stop before crashing into you.
And of course the surrounding cars need to all be in your point of view; why? Simple: heading home from work a couple of days ago I was on the leftmost lane, behind a line of cars, all going 70 km/h; when I see in my rear-view mirror a car speeding behind me about to cross me from the right side. I usually don’t mind that but we were getting to the end of the tunnel where another lane enters the right one with no clear view. So of course a cab driver sneaked in just as the wild golf was next to me, causing him to swerve in my direction (without bothering to slow down I must add) having me swerve towards the wall in between nearly crashing into it, while hitting the breaks.
Guy’s reaction? Swearing at me for not stopping and letting him through, cab driver’s reaction? Ignorance is bliss and kept strolling away, my reaction? Minor heart attack with a 10 minute break before full recovery. Those people are the scariest in my experience, so always, always, under any circumstances, keep an eye out for wild drivers surrounding you, you never know what they might do and how they will react to be able to get there 1 minute earlier.

We Lebanese do not have a notion of patience, as well as we tend to always be in a hurry (why? I don’t know, we just always are).

This makes up altogether for a fun and adrenaline junky exciting game to go through in our everyday life.
So dear fans of adrenaline, if you are able to drive in Lebanon without getting killed, you’ll get your adrenaline dose, lots of action and adventure, while doing everyday chores.

Who’s in for a trial?


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