l'histoire de bhamdoun

And une histoire it is [not, really.]

A word that rolls off your tongue with ease, almost sending shivers down your spine [Freddie, oh Freddie]. Okay, no, it doesn't. It sounds like someone clearing his voice. Ahem ahem.

Bhamdoun is my weekend prison during summer. It is a happy prison, if you enjoy awaking sweaty and uncomfortable at night after a massive mosquito attack, and if you like looking through your window pane at cars passing by during the day for a sport, or if you look forward to being deprived of electricity for four hours a day. This is when Bhamdoun becomes your ideal location.

No, I'm just foolin' yah.
I like Bhamdoun. I won't lie and say that it is the place to be. But it has its own charm. At least it's clinging to a charm it once had. You see, Bhamdoun was something before the war. It was a summer vacation destination for such chic people as my mother, her parents, her grandparents and their relatives. With houses situated within walking distance one from the other, communication was easy, and late afternoon gatherings inevitable. Next to the houses was Bhamdoun al Mahatta [Bhamdoun the station, referring to the railway station that existed there], the place filled with restaurants and shops. Now I did not unfortunately live to see what these shops used to look like; I only know the [I am going to refrain from adding an unfavorable adjective here] ones we have today. And they don't impress me much.
But my nanny's Mahatta story is one that I've heard one too many times. That she used to take my mother and my uncle walking along the street, "from one end to the other of the Mahatta", and that they all had a great blast. That's the story.

Sadly the war came, and Bhamdoun became a demarcation line. Many of the houses were destroyed, and had to be rebuilt or renovated. Ours, obviously, has been renovated, hence the post.

Sunday we went to Bhamdoun, to walk, socialize, and to check up on the apartment. The latter looked fine on the inside, save for the bird chirping we heard as we walked in. It was apparently a bird nest set up in the outside blinds. But considering the fact that a robber broke in twice [not once, twice,] last year to steal some bed covers, a rug and two gas bottles, the bird nests were a blessing.
Of course a Bhamdoun trip could never be complete without dropping by our neighbors/relative/friends' house, where we had coffee and small talk.

Right before we drove back to Beirut, my mother and I went for a long walk. [like the walks you take to: 1. enjoy spring and all his green friends, 2. be deluded into thinking that you are burning fat and calories].

The walk was not effective, burning-fat wise [to me at least], because I spent half of it snapping pictures on my iphone here, there, then here again, already planning which instagram filter to use on them. I had my sunglasses on, and my earphones plugged in my ears, which meant that I heard nothing and my vision was blurry because of the lack of contacts.

So when I got the palpitations for a beautiful, broken old house, I got so lost in tapping that iphone screen, that I missed out on some men from the army getting alert, and approaching my mother to inquire about my conspicuous picture-taking. After explaining to them my innocent motives; that I was not attempting to document their barracks unbeknownst, to reveal the location later on. That, according to my mom, my pictures were needed for a project. [She meant a blog post of course. But she didn't know that yet.]

The truth is that since these barracks have not moved since the beginning of the nineties, there was no way I could not be of any threat to them. People have seen them more than a billion times. My poor iphone, and my poor picture-taking could not have harmed them in any way.

Not that I was aware of their presence while taking my photos. Remember that I had music in my ears, and contactless shaded eyes.
But I comprehend their fear.

The walk ended without further interruptions. I will share with you my instagram overdose right away. So you'll see green Bhamdoun in spring, before it turns yellow and dry in summer.

And toodles!


Popular Posts