Diaries of an Indignant Lebanese — part 3

Monday, August 16, 2021

Photo by Usman Yousaf on Unsplash

8:30

Good morning from the land of uncertainty, complexity, ambiguity, and volatility. The amps and volts and watts are in place; the norm has become a strange surprise. Surreal.

Had a guided meditation for stress relief. HAHAHA. A very calm voice told me to drop the judgments and the stories I tell myself about situations that are outside my control in order to uncover the truth. No, what works is that I actively look for solutions to mitigate the detrimental power cuts, not that I sit in front of a candle and contemplate the truth of our dependence on the current. And the actual truth is that a corrupt political class, thirsty for power, has lost control of the ship and is struggling to keep itself afloat while drowning everyone else.

8:38

The combination of “when do I need to start the washing machine?”, “how long will the washing cycle take?” and “how much time do I have before the next power cut?” is essential to decide whether or not it makes sense to clean the pile of clothes now, in a bit, later this evening or next week. I call it the “decision making arthritis”: pain, stiffness, and swelling around every single calculated choice you make to function.”

10:45

Next step in the survival game?

11:41

No electricity. No internet. It has been the case for a fair few minutes. Not sure when you’ll be receiving the message…

After more than three hours of electricity this morning, I naively thought there might be a glimmer of hope, that of a fully functioning day that doesn’t need plans B, C, E, all the way through Y, to work.

It’s obvious what plan Z is, right? Z stands for “airport”. Yes, I know there’s no Z in “airport”. But we are living in suboptimal times, we can live with suboptimal thought associations.

13:29

Update: still nothing.

13:30

This week, it’s not Britannica that’s saving my productivity (ehem, sanity) but Notion. Discovered the app a few weeks ago and slowly building a second brain through it. To my absolute joy, I realized that it can also function offline. But when the Notion-based part of my work and schedule is over, and I need to move to the next digital mission, what will I do?

Madness looms around the corner.

14:04

Remember the days when you knew the State-managed electricity was going to be cut off at 10:00 or 14:00 or 18:00, and that the power cut will be followed by the swift activation of the privately own generators? Yeah… Me neither.

There are levels of dysfunction, and then you have a separate category where nothing functions at all. And we are still not there yet!

Anyway, how was the first day of your holiday?

14:19

You are slowly transitioning to insanity - if that’s not the case yet.

First day of holiday was gloomy: lots of wind, lots of rain.

16:04

Went to a friend’s house who has electricity to host my online meeting. Guess what? A power cut welcomed me!

16:33

Ok, electricity is back. Living life on a thin panic line.

16:47

Meeting in 13 minutes. I am going to make it!

19:50

Finished my meeting. As I was leaving my friend’s house, guess what happened? Another power cut! It never happened to them before.

I disrupted the Force.

20:14

Just arrived home and I think I might have accidentally bought drugs.

So… I entered this shop, asked if they had what I was looking for, and seeing the empty shelves, guessed they didn’t. I went in nonetheless, searching for something else to slide under my tooth. The man approaches me inside and asks me if I wanted what I was looking for. Obviously. What kind of silly question was it? But it was so inconspicuous that I didn’t quite understand what or why that was happening. Then it clicked.

I pretended I was searching for whatever my eyes landed on, got myself a pack of biscuits, passed by his booth and got a closed bag from him.

When I wanted to open it at the counter, the cashier strongly discouraged me. “Open it in your car,” she said. A woman was standing behind me. Another person was standing outside. I paid my dues, carried my bags, and went straight to the car and away from the shop. When I opened the bag, I found exactly what I was looking for: bread. It felt like I was buying drugs.

Bread is now so scarce that it has to be smuggled, in closed, opaque bags. Am I part of the bread dealing / smuggling chain, now? And if so, why me?

20:37

You are the chosen one.

20:38

Let’s wait six hours; if by then I had no hallucinations, it’s just bread.

This is based on an actual conversation with a friend in France.

The Connection Creator | Founder & CEO of PersEd | Speaker | Author | G20 Young Global Changer | UNLEASH Talent | UNESCO APCEIU Youth Leader | Dancer | Polymath