Et oui, la French bureaucracy is just splendid in its spectacularly tentacular intertwindedness, carefully designed to consider each and every special use case — initially. Today, no one remembers why things are ainsi, just that they are — Pink form it is then!

Don’t rush to assume I’m talking about the public sector, oh non mon ami. I mean, that too has its own splendeur that merits encyclopedic detail of storytelling absurdness, but read on. …


Photo by Luis Reyes on Unsplash

After two years of nothing, that is. After two years of resolute absolute, nothing. I mean zilch, nada, rien, null, void, black hole kind of no.thing. We clear?

Not that before that I was preparing for the olympics, but I did manage to get in some kind of activity. A yoga class here, a 5K run there, running to catch the bus, every.single.time! But I’ve never had the kind of incentive — or interest — one needs to actually work out, say, to fit in a smaller size jeans or be healthier and fitter, not even for the fun sports…


Photo by Alisa Anton on Unsplash

“How about this table, here?”

“No, Let’s sit inside.”

“But the weather is grand! Come on, this is a great table. What do you think?” Came the command disguised in a rhetorical costume of suggestion, complete with a nod of the head, slightly tilted in the direction of the desired table.

Everything went into slow motion, a single hand slowly came up, and waved at sloth speed, mouth cracked open one tooth at a time: “Ssiiiit hEere!” Fingers closed together, wrist bent, palm open, parallel to the angle of the head, underlying the previous command.

As the scene unfolded under…


Lebanon, the home I lost, the home that is still there. The happy place my yearning for simmers incessantly on the back burner of my being, restrained from overflowing by the rage I know will flood into me as soon as we meet again.

Photo by Abbass Zahreddine on Unsplash

Dear Lebanon, I hope this letter reaches you well. (No, no, no, scratch, crumple and into the bin with that — figuratively, of course, for that is the Microsoft bin). Who starts a letter like that? Idiots like me who still write letters, that’s who. I’ll just go over there, have a nice face off with…


The family was gathered in the living room, a small space compared to the dimensions of the house, but it was the room everyone settled into each day after dinner. It was also the room the kids will one day, smoke their first cigarettes in, and make other intimate excursions. A sectional sofa lined three walls, circling the room’s central occupant on the fourth wall, the television set. The sofas were made with thick foam, and covered in faux velour in solid black with tiny yellow and blue triangles. Not in bad taste, considering this was the 80’s. …


Or, why it’s near impossible for me to work from home. Near impossible.

I’m an early bird, I’ve always been one — in every possible context, but where in the past I used to get up early for no particular reason, nowadays, I get up and start ticking off my to do list for the day. I like to cook breakfast. My kind hearted husband insists just cornflakes or toasted bread is enough in the morning. I concur, but I cook up a breakfast anyway. I have yet to convince him in words why I do it. Perhaps this particular…


Photo by Etienne Boulanger on Unsplash

I parked the car and killed the ignition. It’s 10 till 6 in the pm, class starts at 6. I needed to get the kids to stop yapping, get out of the car, to not forget to take their bags, walk all the way across the parc into the gym, out of their clothes and into their kimonos, before 6. Ten minutes is plenty! Time has a comfy mellow paced flow here, as opposed to whizzing by in a loud confusing haze back in Paris. I glanced in the rear view mirror “Grab your bags and let’s go, yalla”. My…


Photo by Berkeli Alashov on Unsplash

Strolling down avenue de Palavas on a lazy Sunday afternoon, my husband and I, and our two boys, the air was brisk but the sun shone through softening the crispiness of the famous South wind. We kept to the wide concrete sidewalk to avoid the wet sand from the beach. We were discussing some random subject, speaking all at once of course. Our hands were all covered with the cinnamon sugar that stout lady just dropped the hot churros in, and now we were munching on. The smell of crepes and gauffres mixed with sea salt and sand in the…


Photo by Nathan Dumlao on Unsplash

The hybride café, or café hee-briiid in French, is a hip place on a large and sunny boulevard in Montpellier, south west of France. Montpellier has 300 days of sun a year, or so the city Mayor keeps telling us. Which makes it a city drenched in natural light, even the moon is brighter around here. How much brighter? I was deep in slumber one night, woke up to a brilliant light shining into my room. I looked up expecting some urban lighting fixture that should not have been turned on so high at this hour, only to find it…

Maha Bawab Tourbah

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