Saturday, December 11, 2010

Winter in Beirut - unprepared!

When we were getting ready to move to Lebanon, we noticed among all the information that we gathered that we should expect rain during the winter months. After three years of nothing but sun and heat in Egypt, this seemed too strange, too much of a theoretical forecast, for me to prepare for before we came here.

Today therefore, when the skies of Lebanon opened up and poured rain over us, blew strong winds, performed huge displays of thunder and lightning, and the Mediterranean Sea looked like something from the movie “The Perfect storm,” we were completely unequipped. To go to campus for the boys’ Saturday sports, we wore our light, open shoes and hooded sweatshirts, and neither stood a chance against the rain and flooded streets. All I had for Abraham was a fleece shirt and converse sneakers – luckily he had the stroller cover to keep him from getting completely soaked, but his little lips were still a light blue when we got home. I felt bad to put him through that, although he was mighty cute out there with the wind beating against his little face, blowing his wet hair backwards, his eyes blinking as he commented “A-wain! A-wahdeh!” All we could do was strip down – even our underwear soaked – and throw everything in the dryer.

As unpleasant as it is to get wet like that, we were all intrigued, not having experienced dramatic weather for so long, and the boys studied everything on their way home from campus with great enthusiasm: the impressive AUB drainage systems, waterfalls, wells, birds coming out to eat worms and bugs, the less impressive drainage system of Beirut’s streets, and the direction of the water. Of course, all water at this side of Hamra was flowing towards campus, which is at the bottom of the hill. I noted that cars in this weather show increased disregard for pedestrians, and we got more soaked from cars speeding past us through puddles, spraying us with water from the streets, than we did from the actual rain.

After a nice walk home though it was nice to change into our warm “stay-at-home-clothes” as William calls them. Next time we have to go out in the rain like that I would like to have more appropriate attires for everyone: rain boots and coats. I don’t know where to get them yet, but I’m sure I’ll find some when I go out shopping - after the rain stops.

1 comment:

  1. Wow! A drainage SYSTEM! Think of that! :)

    Cairo doesn't have anything like that!