Happy New Whatever | by Art Hake

Recovery took longer than expected; after all, it was New Year’s Eve and Lebanese parties are not really limited by dawn!

Best wishes to the GiB community, may we have a breakthrough year in terms of social rights, freedom, blablabla*

Seriously, what the f*ck happened this year? As usual, my plans were drawn as the evening went by. So I had my fair share of hopping from place to place, swinging like Tarzan on his liana, but without the scream, although it could’ve come in handy -anyway, it was all within walking distance, including (not so) private residences, pubs, streets and random WC’s. New Year parties are always something around here, but that one was kinda exhilarating. While the BCBG crowds overbooked the various restaurants and upper-scale clubs promoting constipated entertainment at crazy rates ($450 for an Elvis lookalike party or an average of $1,200 per person in the main hotels), we GiBs along with the “others” decided (quite randomly I tell you) to merge throughout the streets of Downtown and Gemmayzeh.

The Cotton Candy party attracted quite a GiB crowd (mostly undertwenties, drove me nuts) but the streets were overflown with real sweets. People were striving for attention: dress codes, attitudes, a perfect blend of sassiness and provocation. There were people dancing on the police trucks, the ones that are supposed to remove your car if you’re parked on the wrong lane. Many Arab fellows everywhere, Jordanians specifically, or did I strike Jordanian repeatedly? At some point, I found myself with a bunch of Italians but we had communication problems. Then a Brit came from behind (sorry for the bad choice of word) and started asking the weirdest questions. I snoozed him, many times. Yeah that one was completely off tracks!

But even that did not make me berserk. What did were the horses. Not the ones you see after popping many themed pills. Real horses, with cops on them! That was our government’s gift, unleashed in Downtown on the 31st : a mounted force (what an exciting label). We can now claim to be a JiD. Jungle in Development. I hope that won’t scare Tarzan off…

* Seriously, I mean it!

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