Beirut - Sweating it!

On Wednesday morning I was picked up at the hotel by Helena and we drove to the dance studio where she was teaching a class.
As soon as you are away from the center, you are lost without a car. There's what they call the highway, but it's really more a multi-lane street with business buildings on the sides. Addresses are given like "close to XY building" or "behind AB restaurant". Nobody bothers with street numbers. And yes, even locals have to ask for directions if they don't know the landmarks.



The dance studio we went to is on the 10th floor of a bank building.



Helena had four other students that day. The class was mostly held in the "follow me" style with repetition of some choreographies. I got some interesting steps out of it.
The dance students wore street shoes, mostly high heel pumps.



After this I had my private lesson, as usual with a lot of new stuff to remember!



Then I was really hungry and went to eat at a pretty new restaurant close to the hotel. While waiting for the food I had time to observe the other guests. THE mobile phone to have in Beirut seems to be the Blackberry. And of course the Lebanese are just as addicted to their phones as people elsewhere, they are communicative people :-)



I had a siesta after lunch since it's no use going out before 3 PM - it's just too hot!


I got a taxi down to the St. Georges Marina to check out the prices and opening times for the beach club.
Then I walked along the Corniche by the sea. And it's a loooooong walk! After about an hour I went to a reataurant by the Pigeon Rocks for a rest and a piece of chocolate cake. By then I was so sweaty I had to go to the restroom and whipe the sweat off. Did I mention that it's hot here?







Then I walked back to Hamra street to finish my shopping mission there. While I was in a shop looking at earrings suddenly the lights went out - there was an electricity failure. Nobody seemed to care much, people are kind of used to it I guess. The shop assistant gave me a flash light and I continued my browsing.



A general thing about the shops here is that there's always an assistant following you as you look around. I guess it's considered to be good service but it drives me crazy.
In one shop the girl even immediately rearranged everything I had touched as if I had disturbed the greater order of things. I try to ignore them as much as possible.

There was another power failure back at the hotel so I chose to use the stairs instead of the elevator for some time...



When Zaher picked me up in the evening he decided that it was too soon to go to a bar and we took a walk to Downtown. Somehow we got into a deep discussion about religions - I guess that happens in a place like this where people define a part of their identity by their different religions.
Zaher finds it very disturbing that I am an atheist and he basically wanted to convince me to become a good Christian. Poor guy, he talked over an hour and achieved nothing! Maybe also because he is not the best example for a Christian himself...



On the way back we went to one of the many bars on Gouraud street. They all seem to be loud and cold, so we chose one where I liked the music. They even played some old French 80ies dance tunes that I remembered from back when I was 16 and spent a year in the French part of Switzerland. I had a blast! We finally left because Zaher needed to go to work the next morning.