How weird is the fact that whenever I go to Beirut , I become the hero of some sort of adventure? Sometimes I wonder if it has to do with Beirut or with the person that I am.
Last Tuesday was the longest day of my life. I had 6 periods to teach @ school, then I had to directly go to Beirut to attend a sort of workshop by McMillan. It was at the Metropolitan Hotel, from 4 to 7:30 that’s why we took off immediately after school. I bought a man2ousheh and tamr hindi juice and bribed my hungry stomach. I knew before time who was going to ride in the school car (I asked) and I could say I prefer the burning feeling of my stomach acid when I wake up early in the morning after having eaten huge quantities of garlic at the dinner of the previous night, than being with them. I tried to get rid of this outing but there was no chance. Thank God I like one third of the ppl, that would make us nos/nos..
It took us about 1:30 hour to get there, I didn’t feel the time not because of joy, but because I spent it arguing with them whether there is pointless maters in life. We arrived really early. And what a lovely Hotel it is! I must say I haven’t seen the variety of flags that were present at the entrance since the 2006 world cup! The workshop-I don’t know if it should be called that since they were trying to sell the book- was held in Dubai Hall.A stupid name considering it’s a Lebanese Hotel. And I spent some time actually wondering why it would be called that way. Is it because it’s big? Or because of the giant chandelier hanging from the center of the ceiling? Or is it to attract the Gulf tourists? Nothing seemed reasonable enough. I told the other teachers who came with me let us sit at the back, just in case we found it uninteresting we could leave the room, call the chauffeur and go home. Of course they took advantage of what I said and almost lectured me on how devoted I should be, almost just as they are! The burning sensation rose in my throat in such a way I wished I could turn into a dragon to burn them all! The two third led me to the front seats.I can’t believe we’re going to sit in the front seats! Don’t they know me at all??? It was like they did it on purpose. Whatever! I said to myself, it’s just a day with them and it’ll be over soon.
I decided to ignore them. I took my cell phone and made an imaginary call, then hung up. The third I liked wanted to have a photo of us so she asked a lady sitting behind us if she could take it for her, and gave her the camera. The woman declined first claiming she doesn’t know how to use it, then accepted as it was one press on the button. I thanked her and introduced myself. She did too. We had half an hour before starting so I said to myself, here’s ur chance Ymn to polietly leave the impressed with the hall two thirds. The woman was middle aged, she had an antique beauty, like that of a black and white movie and a bit fat. She asked me how long I havebeen a teacher. 7 years I proudly replied. She said I looked like a fresh graduate, not a day over 20. It also turned out that she has been teaching for 30 years now! I felt like crawling back to my shell. 30 years! That woman is a survivor, I thought…. I don’t know what drove her to endob 7azza in front of a stranger she has never met. Maybe the fact that I can’t hurt her as she comes from 3jaltoun and I from Tripoli. She said I’m too tired and old to teach, but I have debts I need to cover. I looked her in the eye and I felt hers glitter with tears. I said to her, you’ll see… something good will emerge in your life. How can you be so sure she asked me? I told her I just know. Maybe it sounds stupid, but she actually gave ma big smile confirming that she approves my beliefs.
At last, the presentation started and I almost fell in a coma…The book was supposed to be for elementary level but it must be for KGs! We sang and played collective games (because we were sitting in the front). The poor woman taught grade 12 imagine how annoyed she was!Then, Mercy has finally landed and after 1:30 hour of torture, they announced time for break. I ran out and had some brownies with juice.
Back to the second half of the presentation, another book for intermediate level. The only reason most of the ppl stayed is because there will choose after the presentations 1 teacher to go to a free teacher training session in England for 15 days! And when the time arrived, You could hear everybody’s heart beatings like drums around you. Everyone wanted to win. I didn’t win… I said to myself well, it’s ok it hasn’t been long since I won a free dinner @ Chopsticks. I forgive them, especially that they let us go half an hour before the time!
The woman came to me once again, asked for my phone number and I took hers although we both knew we won’t call each other.Then she said to me. I wrote u this:
الصدفة العاشت بين عباب البحر بعرضو و بطولو
بتلبسها الموجة حجاب تغطي حبات اللولو
سامية حداد شديد