“OK see you at 8:00”
I saw myself arriving at 9:30, and he didn’t even blink.
Arriving early/late/on time or not at all doesn’t seem to be a problem for anybody living in Beirut or passed through Beirut at least once in a life time. Elena, a Spanish writer who moved to Gemmayze 2 years ago for the love of Lebanon and who happens to be one of my dearest friends, has written a book during her stay that symbolizes our pros and synchronizes our cons.
In “Marina Di Beyrouth”, Elena writes “Le Liban n’est pas un pays pour les rendez-vous mais pour les rencontres”. And yes, she is right! Trying so hard to let me be on time, Elena surrendered after years of long waiting hours and classified me as a “desperate case”.
Personally, I never felt offended by being called “never on time”; I always had a backup reason that I chose from the following list:
On my last birthday, I decided that I need to change and lifestyle improvement is now a must. So I called a friend of mine and set a date on a Saturday at 6:00 pm. I arrived at 5:00pm so happy that I am improving and that I am a new person now who is compatible with international standards.
5:30pm: I ordered a coffee
5:50pm: I ordered another coffee
6:00pm: I ordered a club sandwich
6:30pm: I ordered a red wine
7:30pm: my friend called me and apologized using my backup reason number 1: Flat tire.
In conclusion she stood me up.
With all the Ice Watch and the Omorfia ads all over the highway billboards, I still dream of a super huge training center established in the middle of downtown with the cooperation of the Ministry of Education willing to give away free time management courses around the clock, in case someone is late for class.