Living in Lebanon – part 1

Welcome to BEYThis article is meant to provide a clearer image of the lifestyle in Lebanon. Take into consideration the fact that I do not work and I am not exposed to any restricted areas. For me it’s great.:) The first thing you need to know about this country is that you will never understand what is going on here, so don’t bother trying to figure it out. Why did a bomb explode today? Where there any targeted victims or it was just another suicide bomber? Hmm! Going into politics is not my business and it shouldn’t be yours either, except of course, you are working for an institution that deals with such aspects or you are studying the subject.

On the other hand, Lebanon, and especially Beirut and its surroundings are an amazing place to live. You can go skiing in the mountains and from there, in maximum 3 hours without too much traffic, you reach the beach. Yes, traffic is a big problem in Lebanon. Well, the public transportation is very poorly developed. What can we do? On the bright side, gas is not as expensive as Europe. Concerning the climate, you have all four seasons and all kinds of landscapes. You will be surprised how alive Lebanon is in summer and how fresh in spring and autumn. Winter is a bit annoying mainly because of heating, which by the way doesn’t truly exist. Why? Few buildings have systems that can provide proper heating and if so, it is not cheap at all, and the rest either have heaters in the house that work on electricity or stoves that work with wood. But for 2 months this isn’t such a big deal. The only problem in winter is incredibly powerful storms that can literally make the building shake. These are one of my favorites. Since I was a kid I used to watch with my dad the lightnings from our balcony. I’ve never seen in my life what I saw here.Here we are talking about sea storms. They are completely outstanding.

Electricity. The most debated aspect in the country. Every day Lebanon witnesses electricity cuts. Fortunately, there is a generator that provides you with enough power in order to be able to heat your house , your food, turn on your boiler, but not all at the same time. Generators have a limit: 6 amps, 10 amps, 20 amps. You choose the one you want. Of course, the pay grows with the numbers of amps. It it also quite annoying to turn on the switch every time it cuts because you plugged in to many things and the generator couldn’t support it. I might be a bit weird, but I love it when it cuts in the mall or in Byblos on the street, or in clubs. For me it’s kind of a fun thing. I enjoy it :). It might take you weeks to get used to this issue, depending where you are from, or days if you adapt very fast.

Restaurants.  Oh my! The cuisine here is unbelievable. It made me love food. I used to eat like any other person and not really care. Lebanese food made me picky. I do not know if this is a good thing or a bad thing, but I sure know that I’m eating more greens, fruits and vegetables than ever and I cannot even remember when I ate pork last time because I love sheep meat more. Let me clear things up. It’s not because of the religion. NOOOO! You can buy pork from anywhere, but the climate makes it a bit harder. It’s too hot for so much fat! Plus sheep and lamb are affordable and delicious. Why eat pork? 😛

What to do in Lebanon? Well..this is something that needs a lot of time for me to write almost everything down. I’ll see you guys next time. Hope you enjoyed few of the details I shared.

Take care! Cheers!

Mino

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The World and YOU

“An unconscious part of the mind profoundly influences behavior”. Freud thought that illnesses in the body that have no apparent bodily cause are caused by psychological issues. A therapy for the unconscious, psychoanalysis, was an amazing perspective of what the mind can create or destroy. Skinner, on the other hand, had this perspective: “A person does not act upon the world, the world acts upon him.”

Now, I believe anything is possible. However, in order for Skinner’s theory to be entirely true, some things such as instincts must be explained. It is true that no matter how you act and what you choose to do is because of your situation, which was caused by the world (your surroundings, how things work, fate etc.). we cannot explain why certain things happen, but we have a subconscious power to control their effects. We choose what we want to change or not. We are those who make the unconscious decision of acting in a certain way. The last statement has two aspects that do not really go together. How can we take decisions if we act subconsciously? Well, can you explain every time you took a decision why did you take it? No! Why is that? Because you were driven by your instincts, by your gut, and not by the world and what’s logical for the majority.

Ok, it is true that even the part mention above is still part of the world. Nonetheless, the two psychologists have great theories and many aspects that could be debated until the end of time. I took only these two sentences literally without analyzing the meaning behind them. My point is: “Are we toys of the world or not?” Well, as much as I do not agree with the answer “yes” because each one of us has his unique features and can act regardless of what is happening in the world. But, if we think about it, we will realize that we are shaped by what happens. Now, how we react to the world’s effect is a different aspect. That is why I do not like to think that we are toys. We are victims better said, but we aren’t robots. The same thing could happen to two people, but for one it might be devastating and for the other educational. The truth is that the subconscious acts in a mysterious way, and no matter what the world does to you, you becoming a brainwashed robot is not a general rule.

We wear the same clothes, we watch the same things, we eat the same food. Culture makes each of those things different (the Chinese don’t eat the same food as the French), but in the end we are all formed by it. Our mentality is influenced by our culture. Our mentality is completely different than our environment if something else from the world had an impact upon us. In conclusion, the world has its saying. This is mainly clear, but our subconscious….well, that’s why we cannot say that everything is about the world. You are part of the world also, but the unconscious mind has a pattern that does not seem wordily.  This is was can produce miracles, this is what we truly have to deal with. Ourselves! Somebody who does good things will eventually get something done wrong due to the world around him and in reverse. The paradox is that the world controls us, but we control the world.

 

These are just some ideas, and I haven’t really went deep into the matter. I ‘m trying to show that psychology is more important than any other science. This is what I’ve noticed in my life experience and this is what I’m trying to write about in the next articles.

3D Movie Experience – “Gravity”

Being anxious about watching a movie in 3D? Don’t worry! Many people understand you perfectly. Why? Because of the negative flow that comes from so many others that have already been there, done that. The headaches, the tired eyes, the effect that is not so overwhelming…uff. You just feel that you might as well forget it because it is not worth paying for something you won’t enjoy. How about you just go for 4D and you see how it turns out.

Why bother watching 3D also? Here’s why. First of all, 3D headaches or no 3D headaches, it is an experience that is worth living (simply because everything new is worth living). Secondly, if it scares you or makes you anxious you should really try it. You are probably lifting your eyebrow and wondering if I’m crazy :D. No! It’s just the fact that after the experience is over, not only that you will realize that it wasn’t that bad, but you’ll have more self-confidence because you did something uncomfortable ;). And, another aspect that is very important: not all movies are made to be watched in 3D. Some very popular movies that have great effects are put in 3D just for the sake of being there. Watch a movie like “Gravity” and you will realize that is it the best way to watch it :). Yes, I mentioned a movie name. “Gravity” made me feel amazing. The feeling of being in space and seeing each movement of the human body like it was happening close to me was life changing. The simplest things are the most important and the slightest gesture could bring more awareness than you’ve ever imagined. It literally places you in a complete different world.

I was alone in the cinema. I’m not sure I was even there. Sandra Bullock was with me all the way. That’s the way “Gravity” made me feel. I felt every single emotion, I was part of every action, I was there when every decision was made. My life, my mind and my body were in space, fighting and enjoying life at the same time. For the first time in my life I forgot my husband is near me. Yes! I cannot truly describe what happened to me. Maybe, if you guys saw “Ratatouille” , you would remember the scene where the rat gives cheese and strawberries to his brother in order for him to experience the amazing feeling caused by combining two different foods. Yeah! Weird comparison, but I felt that there were fireworks exploding in my head (in a good way of course). That’s what happens when u mix cheese with strawberries I guess. I mixed a 3D movie with my mind, and the result was … cosmic.

I highly recommend this movie in 3D, and if you don’t like it blame it on nothing. It just happens that we don’t have the same tastes. You guys enjoy!

A piece of midnight’s contemplation (after watching “Water for Elephants”)

You are walking… You are walking on a path filled with success and hope. You are becoming somebody who will bring the proper contribution to this world. You are living your dream…You are living in your world full of small worries, full of unnecessary things, full of people who make you feel great or small. And after years of fighting for something you thought was right, life comes in like a bolt and takes all away from you. Yes, my friend, it is the naked truth, an unbearable truth, but in the same time it represents your blood.

Each drop of blood you spilled or you will spill comes with a change, comes with a choice. You can fight or you can reconcile with it. They used to say that all happens with a reason. Maybe you will find out a greater path, but maybe you will struggle and suffer and eat up all the crap that you can swallow. Nobody knows what the next second will bring…

Life has it. It is in her hands… You cannot take it from her. But why is she born with this gift? Why can’t we control our own lives? It’s a question that can bring many answers and many doubts.” God has a plan for all”…Really? Then why did He give us our free will. I think He has a plan, but we are the ones who change it, we choose our path, we choose if we die of sadness or if we die of stupid courageous acts, we choose if we let the world kill us or if we will fight until our last breath, and then this world will say:  ” Damn! This was a hard one, very spirited one!” . God only gives us a vision of His plan….we are the ones who accept it or not. We are the ones who control everything….God is different in the perspective of each and everyone of us.

Love…the ultimate power. You go on a stage full of different colors, a stage which is near the crowd or somewhere where you can barely see it. This stage is decorated with your thoughts, with your actions, with your feelings. Your mind and your soul creates the show (in many cases the soul is the boss, but it is not a rule) and after you are done watching your own show, you decide you should do something because even if your mind and your soul are present, you feel your body’s absent. You start touching, tasting and smelling each part of your show. That’s the moment when you make the discovery of your life, that’s the moment when you really start living. Now don’t get me wrong! Don’t take the denotative meaning of each word. Your body doesn’t have to be there , in order to actually be there. Think about it! Love, love is what allows us to see, to taste , to feel , to smell each beautiful thing this life offers us…love, hope, but hate and hopeless thoughts as well. You cannot be really happy if you haven’t experienced the real suffering. Until you haven’t lost what you loved, you won’t be able to appreciate what you have. Don’t wait for the loss…don’t make that so typically human mistake. Love in order to live!

Have you ever needed an advice, but no one was there to give it to you? Have you ever needed a hug, but no one was there to hug you?Have you ever needed anything, but in that moment you couldn’t have it? Have you ever needed love, but she turned her back at you? I can believe you, if you  say “yes” to all the questions except the last. She is like God…she will never abandon you; only if you drive her away, but she will come back whenever you call for her. You know, my dear reader, those foremost requests are very often met. Do not wait to answer “yes”  the question ” Have you ever needed life, but she didn’t come?”…