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Posts tagged ‘travel’

Note to the traveller

How many sim cards can you have before losing who you are?
I was at my brother’s place a couple of days ago while he was getting ready to travel once again, and this is what I saw:

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A collection of sim cards spread all over the table, each for the many countries he travels to daily for work.
So I started thinking about this: expatriates that leave their country at a young age and build their life in another might one day simply say; I was born there, but this is my home. But what about those who spend their life travelling around, What do they say? They are the ones who were born in one place, studied in another, but live in many; will they still be able to say I’m from this country or do they get lost somewhere between airports and planes?

When I watched the movie “up in the air” (2009) it didn’t satisfy me, no offense to the movie itself but we barely see the break that happens between the traveller and his family; it only brushes the surface of the problem.

So I asked my brother what he thought, he just laughed and handed me a beer, it’s that simple, I’m lebanese but I live all over.
That wasn’t much help, so I dug deeper in my mind and imagination (which sometimes takes over). By over travelling you pick up aspects and traditions from other cultures and they become part of who you are, they might even change your whole perspective on things, won’t that mean you’re no longer lebanese other than by name and the small connection you have left to it? Then what? Imagine it develops into some sort of cultural schizophrenia, then how will you answer the question of who you are and where you are from; the link that you had to that country is what made people recognise you in certain settings, if you no longer act lebanese how can you say you are lebanese?

In my previous post “Save my home!” I saw a different side of this cultural schizophrenia, but happening to a country as a whole, not to an individual by himself. A changing country is easy I believe, we can grow and adapt within it, but when it happens to one person alone, how can he evolve without disrupting his origins?

I Am Lebanese.(Full stop)

T.

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Bombs, fire shots or simply fireworks?

I have to say living in Lebanon can be quite exciting sometimes. Don’t misunderstand what I mean by exciting, since it’s not necessarily in a a good way. Sometimes it’s more of a scare, that you might laugh at a few minutes later, at other times it’s a scare after which you’ll call your loved ones and make sure they’re  all safe.

Living here you learn to live with these explosions sounds, and learn to make up the difference between each on a daily basis, sometimes you might misunderstand them because of the city’s echo; and sometimes they might be so loud that they will confuse you.

Now I’m not sure if that’s the right way to live, but hey, I’ve been here since forever, I can more or less easily recognize the difference between a bomb and a garbage truck; fireworks and gun shots. But I have to say it doesn’t make things any easier.

 

I sometimes wonder. Why?

Why aren’t we trying to change that? why did we simply accept that this will always be our way of life instead of working for the opposite? why do I have to live in constant fear? why aren’t we, the Lebanese crowd, tired of this?

So many questions, but who has the answer?

I personally would never leave this country, for my own sake, I love it too much, I love my habits in this city, the mountains, the sea, the plains, and the valleys; they are a part of who I am. Even though staying here might be the end of me, in more ways than one. 

Todays’ youth, and the many generations before it, as well as the future ones I believe, will travel to more stable countries, find a good and stable job, and live a happy life with no such excitements. But I can’t help but wonder, will it ever end? or is this the simple yet ugly life that will always be expected of this country? is this what we will always be known for and recognized as?

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I don’t know about the rest of the Lebanese, but I believe that sticking around and taking a stand, at least speaking out our mind might help sometimes, or at least make it all clearer and better until the next time we hear these explosions of excitement.

 

T.

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