11th December 2011- WE REFUSE!
We are just about to fill a whole trout fit to burst with lemon, garlic, parsley and tomato when we realise that the gas has run out. We go to the local shop where we think we can get a new one but lack of Arabic and confidence in ourselves to actually change the bottle means we leave empty handed. On the way back up upstairs we stop at our neighbour’s house, hoping she may be able to advise us. Despite our best attempts we can’t refuse her offer to come in and sit down and eat cake!
We give up on the idea of gas for tonight and instead of fish for dinner we have pastries, piled high with cream and golden cubes of mango or layered and smothered with chocolate.
Our neighbour, a widow who lives alone with her 18 year old son has guests, her excellent English speaking sister and her sweet spectacled niece.
Somehow we end up talking about war. One sister says she doesn’t think Lebanon will remain stable for much longer, even though it wouldn’t be fair, as they have already had their war. The other sister, our neighbour, says that we can’t have another war,
‘We refuse!’ and she brings her hand down hard on the arm of her chair.
Her sister shrugs ‘You refuse but they won’t listen’
‘No we have to refuse! We refuse!’ our neighbour says again stamping her foot almost like an indignant child. She is laughing, we are all laughing, but there is something resolute in her eyes.
As we go back home I wonder if the will of the people will be enough. I stamp my own feet up the stairs, it will have to be. We refuse!