Monthly Archives: April 2011

Are we getting 3G in Lebanon or not?

Yes to 3G!

Le ministre démissionnaire des Télécommunications, Charbel Nahas, a annoncé hier que les premiers tests 3,5 G effectués sur le réseau de téléphonie mobile de troisième génération (3G) de l’opérateur alfa se sont révélés concluants.[LorientLejour]

No to 3G!

Cedarcom, a provider of fixed and mobile wireless broadband internet services in Lebanon, has issued a statement setting out its reasons for launching legal action against the 3G development plans [Link]

The Cheapest way to get a house in Lebanon

Here are four easy steps to acquire a house at the cheapest price possible in Lebanon:

If you wish to acquire an appartment

1- Head to one of the government-free open-construction areas in Lebanon.

2- Set up a meeting with one of the building owners.

3- Ask him to build for you an extra floor illegally and pay him a down payment.

4- Move in with your family

If you are aiming for an old traditional house

1- Head to one of the government-free open-construction areas in Lebanon.

2- Tip the local officials and choose a decent piece of land.

3- Build a nice old fashioned Lebanese house.

4- Move in with your family.

I sometimes feel we are being unjust to our government, they always have solutions for our problems yet we keep on complaining.

Women Car Wash in Lebanon?

Anyone who washes his/her car in Lebanon must have noticed how people like to do “sob7iyyet” while waiting for the car wash and seem to enjoy their time. Added to that, the washing business brings a remarkable income to the gas stations here.

As far as I am concerned, I don’t enjoy it one single bit but I was thinking on how profitable it would be if someone were to come up with a car wash and recruit sexy women or men only during the weekends. I am not talking about women in Bikinis here (Not that there’s something wrong with it) but just top models instead of the regular gas station workers you usually get. I am not quite sure car wash with only men will work because women rarely go to wash their cars here and Lebanese will probably label them as gay, but a car wash with female top models will definitly bring loads of customers.

You’d price the wash at 20$ the least and set up a nice lounge room or coffee shop and I am almost confident people will wait in lines for hours, plus you’d be employing more Lebanese that way.

This trend is quite popular in the USA so why not here? And there’s nothing demeaning to women or men top models about such work.

PS: A fashion house could promote such business by launching its new swim suit wear :P

WWE Wrestlemania Revenge Tour Doha 2011

WWE Wrestlemania is back to the Middle East after a decade (At least that’s what they said on TV) and Doha will be hosting the WWE Wrestlemania Revenge Tour on the 23rd of April 2011 at Qatar Sports Club.

I’ve never really been a fan of wrestling but my brother keeps watching it almost every night so I am starting to get the hang of it but I still find it a bit silly and very fake.

Nevertheless, I would go watch them if they ever come to Lebanon as you don’t get to watch wrestling every day.

Everything is getting more and more expensive in Lebanon except Pizza Hut

If you happen to have old delivery menus from the most popular restaurants in Lebanon (Roadster, Crepaway etc..) you’ll immediately notice HUGE increases in price. I got my hands on an old Roadster menu a couple of days ago. Did you know that at one point in time the Caesar Salad with chicken used to cost 8,000LL?? Compared to 13,500 LL nowadays.

You can say that the price of raw material increased, rent is getting more expensive and all that crap, but we all know that the only thing that didn’t increase proportionally to the cost of living were salaries…. and the price of pizzas at Pizza Hut.

Back when I was in high school and university, I used to order many times a month from Pizza Hut. I remember that the price of a large pepperoni lovers pizza was ~20,000 LL

I ordered a large pizza last night. It now costs 10,000 LL and it was delivered in less than 20 minutes!

So while the price of food in this country has almost doubled in the past couple of years, the price of pizzas at Pizza Hut has been slashed by 50%. I did some research and found out that there are 2 Pizza Huts in Lebanon: one is a restaurant, the other a delivery center.

Pizzas ordered from PHD (Pizza Hut Delivery) are ~50% cheaper.

I’m quite sure that the major restaurants in Lebanon have separate kitchens to cater for delivery services. Shouldn’t there be a separate menu with different prices for delivery vs. eat-in?

Cats in AUB

Gino’s post on the 8 reasons why AUB Cats are more awesome than you reminded me of how much I hated the cats back when I was a student at the American University of Beirut.

They were everywhere and always hungry and trying to kick them away could have cost us a dean’s warning. I did however push one into the fountain. Cats in AUB Rules & Policies and Cat’s Program

Cats are so popular in AUB that there are two Facebook groups dedicated to loving or hating them:
I love the way AUB has more cats than students
I hate cats especially AUB cats

Our Lady of Lebanon being renovated

I can see our Lady of Lebanon in Harissa from my balcony and I’ve just noticed that she’s not showing anymore. I guess there’s some maintenance work being undergone but I just remembered an incident that I witnessed during the civil war. It was in the late 80s or early 90s can’t recall, but I was still living in Jounieh and listening to music on the balcony (facing the street), when I saw people parking their cars in the middle of the street, stepping out of their cars and going down on their knees and praying, as well as all those passing by. Everyone was looking up at Our Lady of Harissa for some reason and it lasted a few minutes then they left.

I did look up but could not see anything different except that it changed color or something, but I did not give it much importance as I was still young and too busy listening to music. Not that I don’t believe in miracles, but it could have been a simple maintenance work like the one now. I tried looking it up in the internet but there’s no mention of it.

On another note, I like the Lady of Lebanon website. You can check it out [Here]

Antelias municipality sucks

It’s been 17 days since I posted about the accident on the Antelias bridge. One of our regular readers, Ronman, wrote the following comment:

i wonder how long before they fix the railings. he will be charged to pay for it, but it will never get fixed, and next time someone is unfortunate at the same spot, they will fly down and kill someone, maybe then, they will patch it up, but no guarantee unless it kills a minister’s loved one…

I usually never go through Antelias because of the traffic, but I deliberately took the bridge to see if anything had been done to fix the railing.

I don’t know what you guys think, but I’m trying to see the positive side of this huge hole. I think it’s good. This way, the driver gets decapitated before plunging to a fiery death.

Another thing that caught my attention is the fact that the bridge is used as an electricity relay point! Look at all this shit hanging on the railing! I wonder what would have happened if the car had hit this part of the bridge. I’m thinking: accident, airbags deploy, driver gets an electric shock and passes out, the gasoline tank catches on fire, car explodes, falls off the bridge killing people underneath it, some asshole politician does a press conference, everyone forgets about the whole thing 2 days later, and life goes on.

We need more accountability in this damn country!

Updated Travel Warning

You get the below information when searching for Lebanon on TripAdvisor. I mean things are pretty safe in Lebanon but when you take all the incidents and put them down on paper it does sound a lot worse than it is…or maybe it’s because this is all normal for us.

The potential in Lebanon for a spontaneous upsurge in violence is real. Lebanese government authorities are not able to guarantee protection for citizens or visitors to the country should violence erupt suddenly. Access to borders, airports, and seaports can be interrupted with little or no warning. Public demonstrations occur frequently with little warning and have the potential to become violent. Family or neighborhood disputes often escalate quickly and can lead to gunfire or other violence with little or no warning. Under such circumstances, the ability of U.S. government personnel to reach travelers or provide emergency services may at times be severely limited.

U.S. citizens or other foreigners have sometimes been detained by militants for hours or longer. In September 2010, two Polish citizens were detained in the Bekaa Valley; they were freed only after Lebanese army intervention.

On March 23, 2011, seven Estonian bicyclists were kidnapped in Deir Zenoun, between Masnaa and Zahle in the Bekaa Valley. The kidnapping appears to have been pre-planned and well coordinated, according to Lebanese authorities. As of the date of this Travel Warning, the location of the Estonians was unknown.

Here is the link to the US Department of State [Link]

Thanks Alf