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Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Lebanese Don't Love Rock N' Roll

What is with Lebanese and their non-existent taste in music? I would say god awful, but that would be just a tad arrogant, no? Allow me to explain …. As this week has consisted of one holiday after the other, I have been stepping out on the town quite a bit with the usual suspects, give or take a new addition or two. As is usually the case, I get really bored with the going out scene mainly because the music at most places (with the exception of my favorite haunt in Monot) is so bloody terrible. It’s like people in this country can only like one song at a time, and they obsess over it for an entire season, so that it’s played over and over and over – you get the picture? – again until the mere opening bars start to make your ears bleed. But no matter how over-played the tune is, when it comes on at whatever club you happen to be at, Bimbo Barbie jumps on the table, ‘whooing’ until her shrieks break glass while Macho Man waves his hands up and down in his best ‘gangsta’ impersonation, with cigarette in one hand and whiskey in the other. Yes, tres cool. Ask them what this song is called or the name of the singer, though, and you will be met with blank stares.

Now, I’m not saying I have superior taste in music or anything - actually most people here hate my music, which is fine - but at least I have my own individual taste. I know the names of the songs I like and who sings them. I even have favorite bands – shocker! Okay, so I know this country has major problems that go way beyond no real music knowledge, but it would be nice to mention a singer and have the other person know who you’re talking about. There are a few exceptions, like Mr. B, for example. We don't have the same taste, but at least we can have discussions about different bands and genres. We argue a lot - he thinks British Pop is a genre on its own, I insist it's part of the Alternative group; he thinks The Clash rock, I think they suck; I think Moonlight Mile is the best track off the Rolling Stones' Sticky Fingers, he thinks it's the worst, etc. But at least I can have a conversation about the Rolling Stones with him ....

Which is totally not the case with MadGlam, who was at a club in London where a Rolling Stone - identity still unknown - was partying and she didn't even know who it was!! An actual Rolling Stone!! Can you believe it?
"Oh, I was at a club with someone from that band you like," she brought up nonchalantly.
"What band?" I asked.
"I don't know, the one on that t-shirt you wear."
"The Rolling Stones?? Was it Mick Jagger?" I asked, excitedly.
"Yeah, the Rolling Stones. No, no, not Mick Jagger," she answered, "it was the other one." Hmmm, very helpful.
"Was it Keith Richards?" She had no clue who that was, of course, and trying to get any further information out of her was about as effective as getting water from a stone - no pun intended - not surprising considering that she wandered onto the set of the latest Pirates of the Carribbean movie and thought it was a Halloween party ... where everyone was wearing the same costume, but that’s another story entirely.

I guess, then, that I'm only to blame when, on discovering that one of my all-time favorite bands Guns N' Roses will be playing in nearby Abu Dhabi, I asked her to go with me. (In my defense, I did ask Mr. US first, but he replied, "I only like two of their songs." Hmph!) MadGlam's reply? "Isn't that a clothing brand?"

I guess Huey Lewis was wrong - the heart of rock and roll is not still beating ... not in Beirut anyway!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Beirut Knows How to Party

This past weekend, a group of us decided to go to a hot new club that opened up not too long ago to ring in the upcoming holidays a little bit early. We were a big group that included MadGlam (of course), Mr. Borrring + 1 (his cigar), Mr. HJNTIY (minus his 'sister') and Mr. US (nothing scandalous on him yet, except that he NEVER reads my blog). A bunch of other people were also there, but I can't be bothered to make up nicknames for everyone (whatever, it's Monday!).

The place itself is really nice - you know, tasteful decor, good service and food, and the entertainment is really cool. But the people - OH MY GOD. I seriously felt like I was at prostitute central. No, it's not like the women merely dressed like ladies of the night, they actually were ladies of the night. It's the kind of place where hookers are given out like party favors and you don't want to get caught rubbing your nose because people will automtically think you're a cokehead. The bathrooms even have ledges for easy snorting and I have allergies and a weak bladder so I can only imagine what kind of impression I made!

So scantily clad were nearly all the women there that I felt like I was Maria from The Sound of Music - sersiously, the ladies on our table were probably the only ones wearing bras and clothing that covered all our 'kibbles and bits.' There was one chick wearing gold sequined shorts with a black bustier and bustle over her rear. It was probably one of the most hideous outfits I've ever seen in real life. Mr. US still can't get over it. The funny thing is, she probably paid a fortune for it and I would be too embarrassed to give it away to Goodwill.

On the table just in front of ours, 60 year old men were fawning over 20 year old girls, who were sitting in their laps and acting about as inappropriate as you can imagine ... in a public venue ... that is supposedly not a brothel. On the table to our right, about 20 women were all over balding old farts, dancing in leapard skin outfits so trashy Courtney Love wouldn't be caught dead wearing them (okay, maybe Courtney Love). Funnily enough, they all looked remarkably similar. 'They must be sisters,' said Mr. US. 'Uh no,' I replied, 'they just have the same plastic surgeon.'

All the men, not surprisingly, were overweight, balding or bald, smoking cigars and drinking whiskey, thinking they were totally important and cool because they were with barely legal, semi-dressed, trashy women. Yes, very tasteful indeed! Well, here's a news flash: paying women to be in your company is about as impressive as being able to pee upright.

Of course, Mr. US and Mr. Borrring had a field day -'What, we're only people watching!' Uh huh, well, there certainly was a lot to see. My eyes are still burning!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Free Peep Show and Other Unfortunate Events

I know that everyone has had that excruciating embarrassing moment - the one that they can't seem to forget no matter how much time goes by. You know, like the time you were walking down the street, head turned in the opposite direction as you were talking to someone and then walked straight into a lamp post, hitting your head. Or the time you fell out of your chair at the computer lab in college one evening when it was PACKED with students so that about 10 of them jumped up to 'see if you were ok' when you were desperately trying to pretend that nothing happened so no one would notice. What?? None of those things ever happened to me - no, of course not! But my karma must've been really wonky one day not too long ago as I did have a moment and it was pretty embarrassing to say the least.

So, my good friend Mr. B just wrote a book and I was invited to his book signing. I decided to wear a light, airy dress, even though it's been getting kind of breezy lately. BIG mistake. I think you can all tell where this story is going. Anyway, I arrived to the place, and as I was getting out of the car, my dress flared up just as this guy on a moped passed by. He obviously got a great look because he said something smarmy and I was just so incredibly mortified, you can't imagine. For the first time, I was totally grateful that my Arabic sucks because I did not understand what he said. I knew it was a nasty comment, though, because he had a chick on the moped sitting behind him, so he wasn't exactly going to compliment another girl in front of her.

It was like I timed my exit from the car perfectly to give the sleazy dude a free peep show. I was soooooo embarrassed that I wished I had the opportunity to explain myself to him. You know, like scream after him I DO NOT FLASH PEOPLE ON THE STREET like trashy starlets have a tendency of doing. IT WAS THE WIND!! I'm usually so careful when getting out of the car when I'm wearing a dress or skirt. I even watched this episode of Oprah once years ago and she had this etiquette expert on, who described how to perfectly get in and out of a car without making a spectacle of yourself. And I paid attention! Stupid wind.

This was even more embarrassing than the time I was bending down to get something from my purse one night when I was out in seriously low cut jeans and I realized a little too late that buying those jeans was a really bad idea. Or the time I was walking down Bliss Street, again in a dress, and again it flared up because of the wind, and it was broad daylight, and the street was packed with pedestrians and cars. But the difference between those times and this time is that no one made any rude remarks so I could soothe my mortification with a whole lot of denial and convince myself that no one saw anything. It's not like anyone came up to me, pointed, and said, 'Ha, ha, saw your underpants,' which is basically what that idiot a**hole on the moped must've said, give or take a lewd word here or there.

Yes, embarrassing things happen to me a lot and now I know why they say ignorance is bliss! It really is, trust me!