I currently live in the nicest apartment I’ve ever rented, but it’s still no villa in Hazmiyah or duplex in Ramlet al-Bayda. Recently, a new couple has moved in above us on the seventh floor, which means that there have been some parking complications (which usually means their Jeep Cherokee is taking up their parking spot as well as ours, so that we end up blocking them in with an 80s model Honda Civic or Datsun) and we’re now constantly submitted to the torture that is the tic-tac of stilettos on a tile floor at all hours of the night. The husband is a former ambassador (to where, I’m not sure), and his wife teaches something or other at the Lebanese University.
The other day, one of my roommates was working on his car on the ground out of sight, when Madame el-Brofessor from upstairs came down to get into her Jeep with her friend:
Madame el-Brofessor: Have you seen these cars? Shou hayda, what is this?
Tante: Ouf, mish ma3oul, unbelievable! I bet they’re even manual!
Madame el-Brofessor looking into the Datsun: Yeah they are!
Both women laugh. And then my roommate looks up and surprises them to say hi. They nervously jump into the elevator to avoid the embarassment. La classe, il paraît, ne s’achète pas.