Fall Seven Times and Stand Up Eight

Fall seven times and stand up eight – Japanese proverb

So yesterday was a very mixed bundle. Since, as will soon become apparent, the number seven was key, I’ll start by giving seven examples of the emotional roller coaster ride I went on in the space of a day.

1) The day began terribly. Everitte and I finally made it to the Indian Embassy, after two mornings spent trying to find it last week and failing miserably, only to be told that they would not issue us with a tourist visa for our trip, which is in less than a month, because we don’t have residency permits.

2) We came home and spent several hours looking on the internet for possible solutions, stressed because we had already spent over $300 each on non-refundable flights and apparently shipping passports across international borders to get visas elsewhere is very difficult and possibly illegal. I was running late for my internship at the newspaper by this point, and had an article due in a few hours, and ended up screaming at poor Everitte like a demented harpy-woman, which unsurprisingly lead to a fight. It was raining and life seemed like too much hard work. Continue reading

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A New Life in Lebanon

Moving to Lebanon

As a freshly minted university graduate, unsure what exactly to do with the rest of my life, moving to Beirut to ostensibly improve my Arabic and do some vague sounding imaginary job in some way connected to journalism and/or human rights charity work seemed as good a plan as any. Lebanon, once the ‘Paris of the Middle East’, has for the last 35 years been considered one of the Middle East’s most unstable countries. With its beautiful expanse of Mediterranean coastline and its lush green mountains providing hiking in the summer months and skiing in the winter, it has the potential to be a prime tourist destination. However it is landlocked by Israel and Syria which have directly contributed to Lebanon’s political problems, including the civil war which lasted from 1975 to 1990, and the subsequent skirmishes between Israel and Hezbollah. Somewhat ironically, Continue reading