Monthly Archives: April 2011

How many Lebanese people were on the Titanic?

76!

This is kinda cool! 3.42% of the passengers on board were from Lebanon. Full list

I have a theory on why the Titanic sank:

Lebanese passenger 1: “Shou ya man? Shou 3am bta3mol hon?”
Lebanese passenger 2: “3am betsayyad samak, a*** bsou2alak, shou ma32oul koun 3am ba3mol hon??”
Lebanese passenger 1: “Rou2 ya zalame, shou bek 3am btetmanyank???”
Lebanese passenger 2: “3am bemza7 ma3ak. Leyk, shou 3emel halla? Ba3ref el captain, mashe ma3e nekhod kess ma3o, yemken bikhallina nsou2a lal bekhra”

Crepaway Sodeco Opening

BlogBaladi’s team was invited to attend Crepaway Sodeco Branch’s opening two weeks ago. Chahe & I attended the event which was very successfull and pleasant.

There’s one thing that I love about Crepaway, is that they chose the best locations for their restaurants. Either in Kaslik, Maameltein, in the middle of Hamra street or Broumanna, they are always great hangout places. My favorite was and will always be Crepaway Kaslik. [Link]

Similarly, Sodeco branch is located after Dunkin Donuts and on the street where there are lots of restaurants (Piazza, Bodeguita del Medio, Falamanki) and pubs (Gold, Element etc ..). It has a huge parking lot right next to it which is very convenient.

As far as the party is concerned, there were lots of entertainers, all wearing costumes or eccentric clothes and fitting the “Come as you are” theme. Mini burgers and sandwiches as well as chicken wings were being distributed for everyone and it was an open drink night.

Another theme of the event was peace (Since it was the civil war remembrance day on that day:April 13) and there was a tank-shaped balloon at the entrance along with its guns covered with flowers and sandbags around it and at the entrance door. Turns out those sandbags contained seeds ready to plant and were given as souvenirs for all attendees.

I must congratulate Crepaway on this very successfull event and I have to admit I’ve been really impressed by he professional work their marketing team have been pulling, however there’s always the customer service issue (mainly the waiters/waitresses) which is yet to be resolved at Crepaway.

There is no noticeable consistency in the service as it’s sometimes perfect and quick and other times slow and full of mistakes, and those other times are pretty frequent.

Nevertheless, I always keep coming back to visit Crepaway every now and then, as they have more items on their menu than any other diner, including their awesome crepes, and I’ve noticed a major improvement lately in the service but still not enough to make me re-become the regular I was few years back, but I am quite confident they will get there with the professional staff they have.

PS: BlogBaladi was featured in the April-May Hangout Magazine. You can check it out here. [Link]

Ma’amoul from Ghazir

Some friends of ours from Ghazir (Keserwan) got us during Easter some weirdly shaped and stuffed maamoul they are apparently known for.

Their Ma’amoul comes much bigger than the usual ones, with a white dough (barely baked?) covered with sugar, and stuffed with almond and walnuts (very similar to the Katayef stuffing during Barbara).

It tasted pretty good, but nothing beats the real Ma’amoul.

Karaoke nights in Lebanon

I was invited to dinner on Saturday night at a place called “Le Pacha” in Amchit. It’s a seafood place right next to the famous (yet highly overrated and overpriced in my opinion) “Chez Zakhia”.

We sat down and start ordering before some woman took the mic and welcomed everyone to the Karaoke night! I wasn’t informed that there will be Karaoke as I usually stay away from such nights, but I said what the heck! How bad could the singing be?

Well it turned out to be pretty bad, at some points even terrible and I noticed almost the same trends I see in most Karoake nights in Lebanon:

1- There’s always a couple of semi-professional singers who want to impress the girls with their charming voice. They come prepared and well dressed as if it’s some sort of competition or maybe just “la yichedo banet”. Doesn’t that beat the whole purpose of Karaoke nights?

2- Many Lebanese think they are so damn talented and request songs that are almost impossible to sing. Some dude requested Bohemian Rhapsody and I only wish I recorded it for you guys to hear the horror! In some countries, you might get shot for doing that. [Link]

3- There’s always a girl who wants to put up a show by taking the mic, going on stage and dance like a stripper. Maybe this is how new artists are recruited in this country?

4- Some guys think of themselves as the Wassouf or Melhem Baraket and get in the mood to the extent of walking among tables while singing.

5- Some people are too cool to stop smoking the arguile while singing.

I am not a big fan of Karaoke nights in the first place, but what happened to just going out with friends, having a few beers and singing acceptable tunes without putting up a show or dancing for everyone to see?

Heading to Kobayat

I am heading in 2 hours or so to Kobayyat, a town in the district of Akkar in the North. It’s a town almost at the borders with Syria and takes a 2 hours or 2 hours and a half drive from Jounieh. I haven’t done such road trips since a long time, so I kinda am looking forward to it, even though many warned me that the road is not that good, long and tiring.

Kobayat is a very big town for those unaware of it and even has its own website which is pretty cool. [Website]

I am not planning on taking my computer with me since I will be back by tomorrow and don’t expect to find any internet up there. You never realize how much you are hooked on the internet until you do such trips. It’s been since ever that I was unable to go online for more than 24 hours.

Anyway, hope you are enjoying your holidays and Happy Easter again!

The Lebanese version of “El Classico”: Hekmeh vs. Riyadi

We have our own version of El Classico in Lebanon, the one opposing Hekmeh (Sagesse) and Riyadi (Sporting) basketball teams; however the only difference is that El Classico games between Real Madrid and Barcelona always come to an end, while Hekmeh Riyadi games are 90% interrupted for some reason and end up in riots and fights.

I was just flipping through TV when I saw Hekmeh and Riyadi playing, and all of a sudden some fan jumps on the basketball playground and stays there and then everyone goes down and the game is stopped and now security forces are all over the place.

Is it so damn hard to control 2000-3000 fans? Why don’t we put fences and stop pretending to be civilized?

Speaking of basketball, my brother sent me this picture while he was watching an NBA playoff game in Atlanta. Will we ever get there? I don’t think so.

Visiting 7 Churches in Lebanon

I’ve always liked this tradition every year on Holy Thursday, not just for the religious part, but also because I love visiting new churches in Lebanon and I must say every year I discover some beautiful ones I haven’t heard of before.

One of the churches I visited this year was inside the Notre Dame University (NDU) in Louaize and was within our Lady of Louaize monastery. It’s a beautifully renovated complex with the church right inside of it. The church dates back from 1700 and is done with old Lebanese stones.

You enter the monastery and go through a long hallway that gets you to a courtyard. The church is accessible from a door on the left of the hallway. I could not take a picture inside of it unfortunately as it was late and they had turned off the lights.

Here’s a picture of the courtyard: