Sunday, August 07, 2005

Where we used to live - message from Mum

Dear Charles and Fred

I enclose a street map of Beirut (not sent) and I think we lived on a street at right angles to the street that goes along the coast to the left of the picture, probably a little way down from the U of university. With your back to the sea the flat was on the lefthand side, a modern place with a balcony and a few yards from a cross roads. But there must be hundreds of roads just like that and I don't know whether that area was severely bombed or not.

It doesn't seem as though the taxi drivers have changed since the sixties as they were always blowing their horn then touting for business. When I used to walk you along the promenade towards the Corniche the area was always filthy with squeezed orange peel on the pavement from the orange juice sellers, and also loads of nut shells.

The Hamra was always the smartest street in town and no doubt still is.

Have you had many lebanese meals yet - the starter was always the best with its vast array of rich oily dishes.

Love to you both Mum

Charles - As it happens we are staying just off the Hamra. It was not severly bombed out... that happened more to the east, but it is no longer the smartest place in town... that is now downtown, with its VERY expensive shops selling Chanel, Prada, Trussardi and the like. So, it sems we are staying very near to where we used to live!
Also, we had another very trying day with taxi drivers, trying to change the price as soon as you are sat down. The bus was better... much cheaper and fixed prices.

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