A week in Beirut: Thursday

by thelifesavour

On Wednesday evening, washing finally done, but still waiting for the water delivery, I was standing in the kitchen thinking about my cleaner when the phone rang. To my surprise, it was her. Actually I wasn’t that surprised as I consider her a sort of oracle anyway, and this particular call proved it. She told me about a bomb that had just gone off relatively close to our area and wanted to check all was OK, which it was.

This time the thwarted suicide attack was less that 2km away and I was wide awake but still I heard nothing. We checked the local news sites on the internet and our phones for messages from security- nothing. But then we heard the sirens screaming down the Corniche and the rest of the world caught up with my cleaner (and the TV- where she gets her information from!).

If you had asked me a few years ago what I would do in a situation like this one, I’m not sure what I would have said. But I’m pretty sure my answer wouldn’t have been ‘make watermelon granita‘ which is exactly what I did. This may seem strange but I guess it is just another version of my ‘if in doubt, bake’ philosophy.


Watermelon granita, made with traditional 'pink' and not so traditional 'yellow' watermelon.

Granita in my daughter’s two favourite colours, made with traditional ‘pink’ and not so traditional ‘yellow’ watermelon.

The ‘baking’ was in preparation for a paddling pool play date at our place the next day, which I wondered if I should cancel. But on Thursday morning we received a ‘situation is normal’ text message (and the water finally arrived!) and decided to go ahead. The granita was a big hit with both babies and mamas, despite nearly breaking my freezer in the process and giving me flashbacks to my fridge nightmares this time last year. And seeing five little ones splashing in the pool also gave me flashbacks to last summer, when we spent similar days with different babies (the original famous five-now scattered far and wide), and tried to keep cool, while all around us things were hotting up.

What is it about Beirut that regularly makes you feel like you’ve been here before?