Posts Tagged ‘Smack on the bum’

In a month of being here, I feel as though I’ve finally had my first Lebanese experience worth writing home about, though it’s not what I expected it would be.

I finally mustered up the courage to venture down the hill.  I say this because earlier this week, I realized I had been playing it safe.  So I said to myself that this week I would take a chance and venture down the hill (without accompaniment) and speak Arabic (at the risk of getting laughed at).

Well, the Arabic wasn’t so hard to accomplish because we finally started Arabic class.

But given the steepness of the hill, I knew the descent and the climb would require a little bit more prodding.  However, today, when I glanced in my cupboard and realized I was running low on a few things, I didn’t need much convincing.  I changed into my Pumas, grabbed my umbrella, just in case, and headed out.

I was warned that my biggest danger would be the traffic, and they were right!

Living in Spain at the Adventist school, which was also situated on a steep hill about 15 or 20 minutes from town, I learned to walk in the direction of oncoming traffic.  In this way I can see the cars as they approach me (or in the case of Lebanon – as  they hit me!).  So I headed out this way, walking into the oncoming traffic.

I was ever cautious, a little anxious and on my guard (that’s the Chicago girl in me).  Each roar of an approaching motorist behind me, however near or far, caused me to spin my head quickly, just to be aware of impending death.

One by one, the cars passed.  Some going up, and some heading down.  And each time, I made sure to stay out of harm’s way.

As I continued the descent, in the background, I heard a sound that resembled the persistent rumble of a bumblebee.  With each step the sound grew louder and louder, until finally I turned my head to swat it away.  Only instead of a bee, I saw the source of the sound: a small scooter carrying two teenaged boys, who I’d later realize were hooligans.

As though somehow caught in the act, they quickly jerked their bike out of the left lane and into the right, almost hitting the car that was passing by.  The car honked furiously, and rightfully so, at the act of poor judgment displayed by the boys.  I shook my head, without much shock, at the display of poor vehicle manipulation.

I continued along, mentally jotting down my shopping list, when suddenly the low annoying buzz of the motorbike returned, only this time the sound was fast approaching.  In just the moment that I turned to make sure I wouldn’t be run over, I felt the hard sting of a pimple-faced boy’s hand connect with my bum!

In that moment, shock, along with a few choice words registered in my mind and slipped out of my mouth.  God please forgive me, but it was reactionary.  And there’s no telling what my reaction would have been had I been within arm’s reach of them.

Never in my life, in all of the United States, with all of the rude things men have said and done to me, has this ever happened before.  I shared the story with a friend from Brazil and she said the same.  Never in all of her life, in all of Brazil, has this ever happened to her either.

Is it possible that Middle Eastern men can outrank Brazilian men in their brazenness?  The country of the Brazilian bikini?  Have you seen those things?  If there’s anywhere where men would be inclined to such moments of indiscretion, it seems as though it would be there!

I’m still registering shock at what happened and a lot bit of disbelief.  I felt quite disrespected, and before you ask, I was quite modestly dressed.

All I can say is welcome to Lebanon, with a smack on the bum!