College hasn’t even started yet and I still managed to fuck shit up: a story.

For those of you who don’t know, I’m majoring in English. 

Classes start on Monday, and today – Thursday – was the Orientation day at the college I’m attending (the Lebanese American University), where we meet the faculty and staff, our advisors and supervisors, get to know the (worryingly large) campus and all its buildings, learn where we will be taking our classes, and most importantly what to do on the first day.

Or so I thought.

I got up early this morning and got dressed in what I hoped would be something presentable but casual. I mean, I didn’t want to look like I was going to a funeral. It would look like I couldn’t wait to get to college and be a grown up. Which I completely am; but I didn’t want that to be the impression I gave off.

I arrived 5 minutes early (I live just a few minutes away from college), and headed for the weirdly named building I was supposed to be at. There were lots of students – none of which I knew. They were all congregated in small groups, chatting and fussing over their papers, and as I kept walking towards the registration table it hit me how lonely I was going to be for the first while. I mean I always knew it was going to be this way… But it became very real at that moment. I’m now writing this post teary eyed because for some reason 80’s Films by Jon Bellion just reminded me of school and that made me bawl. Back to my wonderful story now.

I spotted my name tag, pointed it out to the lovely lady at the table so she can hand it to me along with a platic case and register my name, and looked around to see if other newbies were wearing theirs. They weren’t, so I slid mine into my pocket. I walked a few steps away and leaned against a pillar as casually as I could. I had hardly begun scrutinizing my peers before some old lady came and shuffled us into an auditorium.

I sat in the front, but not too in the front, otherwise you will threaten the man (dOeS ANyOnE gEt tHe reFeREnCe???2). 

It was at that point that I started getting annoyed, as I knew I would. For starters, in true les gens chics sont toujours en retard fashion, we had to wait a good half hour before everyone could be assed to take a seat. Second – actually I’m gonna need me a whole paragraph for second.

Honey, I get it. You’re at the Lebanese American University. You know English. You even passed the SAT to get here! Well done! But can we focus on our college’s name for a second? Let’s see. LAU. Not ALU. You’re in a primarily Lebanese university, because it’s located in Lebanon, it’s run mainly by Lebanese people, and most of the attendants are LebaneseYou do not need to speak every sentence in English with that horrible accent of yours. We can understand Arabic, we’ve been speaking it before we knew what English was, and attending an American university did not take away your ability to speak it like you do everywhere else. How can they not hear how obnoxious they sound? Sestras and Brotha Sestras, I’m an English major; trust me, I can write and speak the language more efficiently, fluently, and with a far less atrocious accent than any of you. I’m aware of how pretentious that sentence was, but the key point is that I don’t do those things in your face. This is getting me boiled up all over again, I’m gonna stop. I’m certain you got the point.

So there I was, sitting there waiting while having to listen to people english-ly talking in obnoxious cliché phrases, thinking of creative ways to shut them up, even though deep down I was craving for someone to talk to myself.

At long last, the presentation started with some man whose attire suggested he waited tables in a Lebanese restaurent making us play a game (we had to count to 20, if two or more people said a number at once we started over) and it was funny for the first 4 seconds before a bossy girl (I’m settling for bossy to keep it civil) decided she was going to run dis shit (“Can’t some just lead them?!”) but actually ruined dis shit because the point of the game is the suspense and hesitation before saying a number and not knowing who’ll say it with you, not pointing at people and making them say the numbers in order. We’re not learning to count. But good for her for thinking she saved the day.

We met the soon-departing Dean of Students, who introduced himself by making us play a small game where whoever guessed what was in his bag won it. Turned out to be Mars chocolate bars, and the whole point of this was so that he could say “I brought Mars bars because actually my name is Mars!!!!” A cute old man (not in that way you pervert), but as I said he’s leaving soon so we met the new Dean who was considerably younger, considerably larger, and had a considerably better accent.

The rest of the presentation was a series of videos depicting skits that brought to life the boring rules and regulations no one would have bothered to read otherwise. There was also that infamous Consent With Tea video which was really awkwardly timed because we hadn’t been even a bit near the serious topic of sexual harrassment, and everyone was laughing at it because they thought it was another funny skit while I, having watched the video before and knowing it wasn’t about forcing tea down someone’s throat but something much more -ahem- solid, sat there torn between shaking my head in cringey desolation and downright laughing at the situation. I can still hear how the room rang silent when the video ended with something like “if it’s not hard to understand the concept of consent with tea, why is it hard when it comes to sex” and the Dean continued about how no one basically owes sex to anyone. Yeah. You can imagibe.

The disastrous part came at the end of the presentation. Disastrous for me, that is.

They divided everyone into groups according to their majors and fields. Biology, Chemistry, Business, Pre-Med, Psychology, Journalism… No mention of English, languages, or humanities. Finally, there remained a bunch of people including me, and the waiter guy said “the rest of you are Arts and Sciences Freshmen, right? Please follow whateverhisnameis”.

When I heard “Arts and Sciences”, I relaxed: that was the name of my departement! Phew. I got up and happily went with them, completely ignoring the key word in the sentence: FRESHMEN. Not that I didn’t hear it clearly; it just meant nothing to me. I had no idea what Frehsmen in college were; I just assumed they were first years, which I was. And so I went with it, and followed them.

Two friendly and thankfully down to earth a.k.a arabic speaking advisors showed us around the campus, told us about the different buildings, and warned us about a particularly slippery staircase. I was absorbing everything in as Always. (Does anyone get that reference?)

After about an hour, we went to an out of service cafeteria, dragged chairs into a bad circle and sat there looking awkwardly and furitively at each other while the advisors attempted to make us play a game (2 truths and a lie, which was a frankly moronic choice since none of us knew anything about each other so all we could do was randomly guess which fact was the lie). That was where I started picking up that something was off: they all came from weird and unfamiliar sounding schools, they looked confused when I said I studied General Science as a high school senior, and they were talking about chosing their majors. Weren’t they supposed to already have chosen one, like I, and all my friends, have? Naturally I brushed it off instead of asking the advisors about it, because that’s just what you do in this type of situations.

The final stop was a lecture with the woman who was in charge of the whole freshman program, and that was where I discovered the huge mistake I had made.

Freshmen were people who didn’t graduate high school. They didn’t pass their official exams, and they didn’t have a major yet. 

You can only imagine how embarrassing and suffocating it felt, realizing I had been sitting with the wrong crowd the entire day. My hands started fidgetting, my forehead began sweating, and my high school diploma and official exam scores were deeply offended.

I felt trapped: what was I to do in that conference room, with the woman going on and on about the freshmen requirements that did not concern me in the slightest? Raise my hand and confess I had spent 4 hours being oriented to a completely wrong direction? That would just be humiliating and SAD.

I thought about what choices I had and I came to the conclusion that I could do nothing but get the fuck out of there. So I just pretended my phone was ringing, got out of the conference room and ran accross the halls, twice in the wrong direction like they do in cartoons. I was pissed at myself, and that’s putting it lightly.

It doesn’t end there, though: as I was running away, I spotted an advisor getting out of the toilets. I tackled her. I told her all about what happened to me, and I could tell she was fighting that laugh so. damn. hard. But she was extremely nice and didn’t even tell me I was an idiot. She checked her schedule, and told me the devastating news that the English conference took place during the first presentation. I had subjected myself to endless cringe and awkwardness for n o t h i n g. I was close to crying, but of course I didn’t because fuck it Anthony, you’re in LAU and you’re not going to cry over a missed conference even though it was probably the most important thing like ever. I was upset, and I was angry; like excuse me but that was an Orientation day, for new students. How was I supposed to know everything? Couldn’t they have a done a better job making sure everyone was where they were supposed to be? 

I don’t know if she said it because it was the truth or because she sensed that I was devastated, but she told me that the conference wasn’t really that important anyway and that I didn’t miss anything major. She then proceeded to take me on a personal tour of the college to make sure all my questions were answered (most importantly, the location of the Library) and I got out of there knowing everything I needed to know.

Maybe it wasn’t a disaster after all, but I just couldn’t believe I missed my first ever college lecture concerning my major. I feel considerably better now, even though my nerves are building up. I’m going to be a huge knot of crippling nervousness by Monday. Hopefully it will peak at 1:55 PM, and by 2:05 it would have died down. 

TWO MORE DAYS AND I’M A C T U A L L Y GOING TO COLLEGE.

YOU GUYS.

A trip around the country!

I initially wrote this for my last post, but I thought it’d be nice to have it be a standalone. I have recently discovered how wonderful it is to read past posts about special events you want to remember. I stumbled upon my First Day of School post, and honestly I wouldn’t really remember much of what happened weren’t it written down. I do have a diary, but it’s rather messy and way less detailed. That’s why I decided to make a single post for this, with all the pictures included, so I could look back on it one day and smile 🙂

The school trip! It was so good.

We went to Zahle, a city in Lebanon you’ve never heard of because you barely know what a Lebanon is. But fear not! I made sure to captute everything in pictures, just for you 😀

First, we visited Ksara, a renowned winery.

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We arrived, and watched a short documentary about the history of Ksara, and how they produce wine. Just like with all documentaries showing how a factory makes its products, it was extremely satisfying.

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Then, we went to the tasting bar, where glasses of white wine were awaiting us (yes. Wine tasting school trips for us 16 year olds. Your faves could never.)
May I just say, they tasted AMAZING. I usually don’t like wine but this tasted like *insert very sophisticated and hard to spell adjective here*.

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Now came the awesome part: we got to visit the caves where they kept the wine barrels!
It was like we were transported into war catacombs (by the way, according to the tour guide they were used during wars for people to hide). My and my Potterhead of a bestie felt like we were exploring the Chamber of Secrets. See for yourself!

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After the winery, we visited a couple of touristic places. This is the Berdawneh:

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It doesn’t have anything too special but it’s just a nice place. It’s usually ‘active’ only during summer, so when we went the restaurants weren’t open. It was still a nice walk by the river.

Next, we visited the Lady of Zahle church. I didn’t take much pictures of the actual church because we were all too busy with the awesome tower:

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See that? We had to climb literally fifty flights of stairs to get there. But it was so worth it because the view was breathtaking:

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Here is my pathetic attempt at taking a dramatic picture by holding out my phone over the edge of the balcony:

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As you can see I was a weeee bit shakey. I mean come on what if I dropped it.

On the way back, the landscape was nice.

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But sadly it was littered with trash.

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Oh look sheep!!

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By the way, I can’t believe I forgot to take pictures of the mounds of trash in Beirut. It’s TERRIFYING. And disgusting. Just look it up online.

After that we had lunch in Burger King (SO YUMMEH) and went to an ammusement park. It was fun, aside from one tiny incident where I almost died.
You know the Pirate Ship? The one where you swing in a ship and you reach an almost upside down position at the summit?
Well, when I was at that summit, the seatbelt/bar that held us safe from falling unlocked and opened.
You couldn’t believe the amount of freaking out I was experiencing. Me and my friends next to me tried our hardest to push down on the bar and not fall over when the boat went up again.
But that’s not the worse part. When the ride was miraculously over with no harm done, I went off panicking, but the guy who was opperating the ride came up to me. He looked livid. I could tell he wanted to yell or to hurt someone from his eyes but he feared doing so in front of so many people. He spoke in such a heated and angry but low voice and basically threatened me that no one should know what happened, that I better keep my mouth shut and that he’s watching me. Obviously then I understood that he pushed the unlock button by accident and was scared he’d be fired if someone came to know about this. But the way he handled it was downright evil, and it left me seriously traumatized. I was scared. I couldn’t wait until we left. I kept thinking about this incident during the next few days and it bothered me a lot. It just spoke so much about what was awaiting me when I grow up, what kind of people and situations I’ll have to deal with.
Still, I didn’t let that ruin my day. I continued to have fun, and actually experienced my first 5D/XD cinema experience and it was SO COOL! I watched 2, in the first we were on a Temple Run style ride in a wagon and it was MAJESTIC. All the thrill of being on a roller coaster minus the possibility of getting killed! And the second was a very Harry Potter-esque horror movie. My friends shat their pants but I enjoyed it a LOT. I wish they made full length movies in that format. Imagine living the Battle of Hogwarts in that setting!

At last, we returned home. I ate all the left over sweets as I participating in the iconic post-trip ritual of trading pictures with everyone and laughing at the faces we made in the amusement park.

Here’s to the next trip!

Fuck you Obama.

‘This is an attack not just on Paris, not just on France, but all of Humanity.’ Says US president Barack Obama, a short while after the terrorsit attack at the Stade de France.

Oh… So it takes a football game to make it a tragedy that affects humanity, right?

If it’s the same terrorists, with the same death toll, in a different, less ‘popular’ country, why would he bat an eye? What news site would cover that story?

I’m so disgusted.

What’s more awful to note, is that he might be ignoring what’s going on in my poor country on purpose.

Oh the corruption. What are we going to do. What is this. What’s going on.

Is this just the beginning?

After all we’ve been through; my country’s people are still dumb. And dead.

Today, around 6 P.M. in my country Lebanon, the news broke with reports of a terrorist attack in Dahye, which is part of the capital Beirut.

The infamous terrorist scum who call themselves ISIS (or Daa’esh in Arabic) decided it’s time for another bombing, since there hasn’t been one in a while and they were getting kinda bored.

So they chose a guy, told him ‘kill yourself, take as many with you and go to heaven where 100 ladies will welcome you to live with them forever’. Naturally, he said yes.

The bombing happened as planned. 20 died.

Now, what do we do in case there’s a bombing near us?

a) We quickly regroup all our family members and get as far away as possible to stay safe.

OR

b) We make plans to stop by and take a look at the dead people, maybe take some selfies with the remains, and heck if we’re lucky we might even get on TV!

If you’re Lebanese, you probably chose b).

Well, congratulations! Another bomb went off and you’re all dead now!

LIKE. SERIOUSLY. WHAT THE FUCK.

How can people be so careless?! This is so horrible to talk about.

Oh my fucking gosh.

I think I just understood, like literally in this moment, the meaning of ‘Curiosity killed the cat.’

So now there are over 45 dead people, and 180 injured.

What’s better? THERE ARE STILL MORE PEOPLE STOPPING BY TO WATCH.

I’m done with this. It’s really hard to feel sorry right now.

Oh and also I don’t know how but they just announced that schools are to resume as usual tomorrow morning.

I really, really want to leave this shitty piece of land we call ‘country’. Like right now.

*****
This was written yesterday, when the events happened. I couldn’t post it at the time because my Wifi is full of shit.

For some reason, when I woke up today my mom told me to go back to sleep because school is canceled again. I should have known this because since when do my people come up with definite decisions?

I don’t know what made them change their minds, hopefully there hasn’t been ANOTHER bomb but I frankly don’t want to care right now.

Happy Halloween! NOT.

We don’t celebrate Halloween.

Why? Because it’s ‘satanic’.

Are you all like Miranda or something?!

If I was to ban everything that’s considered satanic from my life, I’d be bored to death.

In case you’re wondering NO, I’M NOT SATANIC and I could never be.
I’m referring to the people who kill animals and drink blood and burn crosses and stuff like that.

But that doesn’t mean that everything out-of-the-ordinary is inflicted upon us by some devil! Come on people.

Just because you’re scared of anything weird, doesn’t mean you should make it into something sordid.
Like Harry Potter. What’s satanic in that? Magic?! It’s not hurting anyone! It’s just your stuck up and limited beliefs. Just like stop.

Lady Gaga is very unconventional. I get it. I don’t know, however, how that makes her a devil minion.

They tell us ‘Halloween glorifies violence, abnormality, witchcraft’ and all that. I swear guys, I just wanna dress different once in a year. Stop making all this fuss. It’s really not going to turn me into Satan’s slave.

There is one holiday similar to Halloween we cebrate which is St. Barbara’s Day on the 4th of December, where basically kids dress up and go with their parents to a few houses and eat candy and sweets. It’s just very basic and childish, and there’s nothing special to it.

Halloween isn’t banned. Not at all. It isn’t that serious. But we just don’t celebrate it, and anyone who does is considered a weirdo and a hippy and lost in his ways and whatever.

I just would like to experience it, that’s all. But by the time (and if) I leave the country, I’d probably be way too old to trick or treat.

50 Awkward Stages of my Airport Trip

Today we went to the airport to pick up my uncle’s family who are coming to stay for two weeks to attend my other uncle’s wedding. While I went mostly because I wanted to listen to a new album on the road, it was quite a process. 

1. Omagash we’re goin to the airport like cool people who actually aren’t confined to this country do omagash omagash

2. Let’s sleep early so we won’t feel sleepy on the road. *reschedules alarm to 3 A.M.*

3. *3 A.M.* What who where what’s happening what am I doing here who am I what’s going on what’s that sound 

4. WHO TURNED ON THE ALARM CLOCK THIS EARLY IS THIS A JOKE IT’S ONLY 3 A.M. I WANNA SLEEP

5. Ohh right. The airport.

6.*Clumsily puts on clothes*

7.*Realizes shirt is on backwards and readjusts it*

8. Off we go yaaaay

9. Shit that’s a long ride.

10. My butt is hurting already gosh how can they bear sitting in that airplane for 14 hours straight

11. Let’s not talk about my headphones that are pretty much sewing my ears to my skull.

12. And we’ll never be royals (rooooyals)

13. Are we there yet

14. Are we there yet

15. Baby I rule I rule I rule I ruuuule

16. Are we there yet

17. Fucking finally.

18. OH GOD THE SMELL. THEY WEREN’T KIDDING ON THE NEWS.

19. Ooooo we’re goin in omagash omagash omagashh

20. So many peoplezz. Why do they all have to look cooler than me. I didn’t really think about all the damage to my self-esteem this trip would cause.

21. Oh great a caffeteria.

22. 20$ for a coffee no thank u. Also I don’t even drink coffee so.

23. Selfie time with sis.

24. No wait lemme fix my hair.

25. No wait until this man passes so it won’t look like we’re taking photos of him (but I mean look at him why would we)

25. No wait we should move a little so the airport signs are visible and people know how cool we are to be involved in airports and such.

26. Hmm this filter looks better actually

27. Lemme post it on insta omg we’re so cool out n about at 5 A.M.

28. There.

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29. Okay so maybe we should go and wait for our cousins to appear because that’s why we’re here?

30. Omg I want his hair can I have his hair

31. Lol is she lost

32. OMG THAT’S THEM THAT’S nope wait it’s a man in a dress.

33. Look at all those old people why do they get to travel and not me 😦

34. This kid is such a diva.

35. Finally it’s them yaaaaay omfg they’ve changed so much it can’t have been two years only

36. *awkward confusion* do I stay here do I go meet them do I do a backflip

37. Um hi hello hi how are you how was your flight are you tired okay well great hello hi

38. And the award for the most awkward welcome goes to… *no drumroll cz winner is obvs*

39. Um I’ll go with dad you go with the others what no please I have anxiety oh alright fine

40. Hello young shy cousin welcome to Lebanon. No it does not smell that horrible everywhere. Also this sand storm isn’t permanent. Wow what a great first impression we’re making.

41. *awkward silence for about an hour* 

42. Okay then if you don’t mind imma play on my phone for a bit

43. Seriously now you bother to ask me questions when I’m in the zone – um no uncle how many times have you asked I am not in college yet and I do not have a girlfriend to go marry in Australia. Though I wish both were true.

44. OMFG SLOW DOWN THERE’S A RETARDED DOG SLEEPING IN THE MIDDLE OF THE ROAD!!1!

45. *texts dad who’s behind us so he watches out for retarded dog*

46. Yes now open your window see it doesn’t smell like trash everywhere

47. Oh well it does here but only because of the fertilizers.

48. Yay we’re home

49. *stands smiling awkwardly in the back with dad and sisters watching cousins being greeted by everyone and cried upon by grandma*

50. Alright well you enjoy your breakfast I’ll just go sleep for days 🙂

Wasn’t this fun.