Monthly Archives: December 2011

Lebanese vs. Australian taxi driver

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An Australian taxi driver was Wednesday ordered to pay Aus$1,415 (US$1,417) for wearing jeans to work despite insisting they were tailor-made and suitable for the job. In South Australia state, taxi drivers must wear smart business-style shirts and trousers, with jeans and tracksuit bottoms banned. [Naharnet]

What can one say about Lebanese taxi drivers? With a few exceptions, most of them have wrecked cars, no seat belts, no mirrors, no brakes and drive like crazy. Let’s not talk about what they’re wearing because the “flanelle” is good enough sometimes especially in summer.

Despite all that, it’s a fun ride sometimes and better than a slow-driving well-dressed and polite driver. I remember having the best rides from Dora to AUB university with “Malik el Gharam” and his 1960s taxi. This guy always wore a hat, has a long white mustache and tells funny and interesting stories.

It works!

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I passed by this morning after 7:30am and the Heineken Green Bottle was lit!

As explained yesterday by one of the people behind the campaign, the bottle is in direct synch with the digital feed and lights up in specific hours during the day (7:30AM-10:00AM & 3:45PM-2:00AM).

If you wish to help light up the Heineken Giant Bottle before Christmas, all you have to do is visit

Turns out it’s a scam

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I posted yesterday that a girl called the ISF in Tripoli pretending that she was kidnapped and managed to escape.

As it turns out, Sawsan was fooling the cops and pretending to be kidnapped along with some friend of hers (Khaled). According to the ISF, both are Syrians which is quite weird as I would have never expected non-Lebanese to pull something like that in Lebanon.

They must be really stupid or maybe that’s not what really happened.

Giant Heineken Bottle not working

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Update: I received an answer From Carol, who’s apparently one of the people behind that idea, on why the Giant Heineken bottle was not lit. Apparently the bottle is in direct synch with the digital feed; however, it’s on energy saving mode and lights up on a certain schedule as indicated on the map (if you click the Dbayeh button on the website): 7:30AM-10:00AM & 3:45PM-2:00AM. I will make sure to check it again tomorrow morning as I will be passing by Dbayyeh around 7:30 am.

In the spirit of Christmas, Heineken launched a website called where every new click lights up the giant Heineken bottle in Dbayyeh. Yesterday, I saw a small part of it was lit up but this morning, nothing was showing.

I don’t know what went wrong, maybe the electricity went off but it seems to me they are lighting it up manually. It would have been cooler if the website and the giant bottle were synchronized.

PS: It could be that someone drunk went up and tried to drink it. This remains to be seen.

Here’s how it should look like:

Lebanese Girl flees her kidnappers

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VOL radio reported half an hour ago that the ISF in Tripoli received a call from a girl called Sawsan who told them that she was kidnapped by 4 people in a white Taxi in Jbeil and managed to escape but her location is still unclear.

Let’s hope she calls back if she has a phone on her so that the police can find her quickly.

Disappointing Fayrouz Concert

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Every concert Fayrouz has held in her 30+ years career has been a major success and a night for all to remember. Back in 2010, people stood in line for hours to attend Fayrouz’s performance at Biel, and she managed to exceed their expectations even after 4 years of absence.

Having said that, the last two concerts Fayrouz held at Platea in Jounieh on the 9th and 10th of December were pretty disappointing, or not as expected, from what I heard, and they were not marketed as well as a Fayrouz concert should be. Indeed, I was surprised to hear many Lebanese unaware that she is holding new concerts.

To begin with, this new place “Platea” is unheard of and its location (Sahel Alma) is a nightmare for concerts. There are 4 restaurants facing it (Schtrumph, Al Balad, Tilal al Sahar and Serail), no parking lots, poor residential areas around it and small roads leading to it.

Second of all, I was told this place is supposed to be an opera house in the near future, but from what I heard, it is still unfinished and not well prepared to host a concert worthy of Fayrouz. Lighting was bad and there were black drapes all over the place.

Third, a friend who went there told me the orchestra was not that good and Fayrouz took a break between every 2-3 songs while they continued singing her songs. Added to that, she did not surprise the audience with new releases.

Fourth, even the closest seats were far from the stage and you could barely spot Fayrouz. No cameras were allowed and there were security everywhere monitoring those who take pics. I never really understood why we are not allowed to take pictures in Fayrouz concerts. I guess she likes it that way and we have to respect it.

Having said all that, watching Fayrouz live is a dream for many, and I am sure fans were pretty happy to see her perform again on stage, but it seems as if those concerts were rushed and badly managed and not worthy of a legend like Fayrouz.

PS: There are still two scheduled concerts at Platea on the 16th and 17th of December.

What currency is this??

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What currency is this person counting? It’s not old 50LLs, I zoomed in. Maybe Naharnet should take a picture of people counting Lebanese Liras. If the idea is to use any picture that makes reference to money, why don’t they put a picture of a bag with a large $ sign on it?

“So, 10,000,000 pesos, convert them to Liras, carry the one….”