I had been awake 28 hours and had been on a plane or in airports for 24 of them.
Sadika says, “You must sleep in tomorrow, as we will be awake all night long from iftar (the sunset meal Muslims break their fast for Ramadan) to sohur, the pre sunrise meal Muslims enjoy before fasting all day.
Major problem, I’m not a night person. I go to bed early and wake up early. Jet lagged how will I get to sleep and how will I stay awake? I’m the houseguest from hell.
Then I start hallucinating. I’m hearing drums banging outside her resort.
“Oh that’s normal” Sadika says. They are just reminding people to wake up for the sohur meal.
I take a sleeping pill and sleep until 11am. I’m never in bed that late.
Sadika directs me to the beach at her house and I start my Lebanese vacation with a warm swim in the Mediterranean Sea. I stop for my first shanklish sandwich- an herbaceous yogurt, tomatoe, cucumber, olive combination. Yum, yum and yum.
We then sea some old and modern buildings in Tripoli.
I manage a short nap at Sadika’s son’s house while an Lebanese version of Family Feud plays on the television. I don’t understand a word, but apparently like in the US the host is funny.
We head to Sadika’s daughter’s Rana’s in laws house. Lebanese hospitality is insanely gracious. This is when I would curl up and say goodnight- but the night has just begun.
I tag along with Sadika and her husband, to a gala on an island. Traffic is snarky apparently the Lebanese Minister of Interior was attending.
There is music and food, lots more food and drums. Across the bay the skyline of Tripoli lights up.
“One of those guys was in our neighborhood this morning.”
We finish the day, or is it night or morning. I smoke a lemon nargilleh and sip tea with a new friend at a cute tea shop run by Sadika’s son.
The prior Saturday night I was asleep in bed getting ready to wake up early to watch Rafa demolish his opponent at the French Open.
This night I’m living a Lebanese version of an 1980’s Lionel Richie pop hit.
Travel has gotten me out of my comfort zone- even if it took a long flight and loud drummers to do so.
Love Love Lebanon All Night Long!