An update: I will be heading to Turkey soon, most likely this Friday. I will be taking a bus to Aleppo for one night and then take a bus to Antakya. From Antakya, I will head to Diyarbakir a Kurdish town. From there, I will be head to the most eastern towns by Mount Ararat. About 95% of travelers, I have talked to concerning Turkey expressed that they wished they had visited the East. From the East I will head to the Black Sea and then into the interior and visit the capital, Ankara. After visiting the Cappadocia valley, I will travel south to the Mediterranean coast and slowly make my way up to Istanbul. The next two months is looking like some fine traveling. However, I will be visiting Byblos before I leave Lebanon.
Going into Costa Coffee, every morning for some herbal tea has allowed familiarity and created a comfort zone among some of the staff. One woman specifically, we have been having good conversations and she accepted to go to dinner with me before I leave. Visiting with many different people here in Beirut, life is difficult here in Lebanon as in other Arab countries, although women are allowed to work in the public and dress the western style openly. This woman is 19 and lives away from her family, an occurrence that does not happen in many Arab countries. Personally getting to know a few people, the people I have gotten to know are nice, kind people.
However, I am eagerly waiting to leave Beirut. The energetic entrainment causes an awful reality for many people here in Beirut. The majorities are unhappy people; in fact many are miserable, grumpy, angry people. Discontented and oppressed because of a corrupted government, ethnic strife, and economic inflation that outweigh personal wages; a problematic existence the people are subjected under—boredom, loneliness, and a lack of intimacy rules the norm. The culture of Beirut has its foundation under the traditional Arab mentality. The anger among the populace is rooted due to the western influence and drawn into western culture—that most people desire—though the Arab cultural is resistant. Visiting with several different types of people, a culture of gossiping, labeling, ridiculing, and caustic judgments do exist; a populace of people that minding your own business is unheard-of; a conflict exists within because of a lack of free open expression, a common quality around the world. However, the fashion of dress and the outward appearance is accepted—a problematic ethnic society exists.
On the other hand, the city of Beirut is a lively, social city. People are out in the evenings walking the corniche, out at the bars, nightclubs, and coffee shops and enjoying fine cuisine.
Observing people in the coffee shop tells the story of the level of stress people experience. Many people come in uneasy, worried, disturbed, agitated, stressed, discontented, and bored; relaxation is afar distance. Some people will smoke seven cigarettes in an hour time, trying to puff down their stressful problems; nicotine and caffeine only append to their quagmire predicament. The stress level of the world will increase due to the need for fuel; converting corn and soybean into fuel is causing inflated food prices. The lack of free economic opportunities in a country causes an enslaved reality. Even though the free opportunity is slowly fading away in America, it still prevails.
By the way, an Egyptian woman from Alexander, gave birth to seven healthy babies. The couple had three daughters, and they desired a boy, which is common in Egypt. She started taking fertility pills—surprise, surprise, they worked.