The Dynamite trip: justified panic attacks and beautiful weather 

Day 2 of The Trip To See Dynamo Lawfully Wedded: Who’d Have Ever Guessed He’d Find A Woman Crazy Enough To Marry Him.

Nobody told me Beirut is so beautiful. Behold the Raouché, at Bayrock, with views of the skyline.

In the evening we walked through the Hamra shopping district, up into a residential pretty area. Pretty, but I needed to pee. Awkward situation. Luckily, before I offended the locals by creating my own form of liquid pollution, one of the boys was overwhelmed with a desire to have deluxe pastries rightthisinstant and whisked us into taxis and to a jewel of pastry shop. Relieved, I ran to the washrooms. And then stopped short.

A cockroach. 

A red, juicy, healthy, plump cockroach. An inch and a half. It’s cardio was heathy, because in the 5 seconds I stood petrified, it ran back and forth the bathroom twice (unlike North American washrooms, each “stall” is a fully closed space, with a door, walls to the ground, tiled.)

I stood with the bathroom door open, hoping the cockroach would have a desire to explore wide open spaces and leave the bathroom stall. It didn’t.

I considered not peeing. My bladder called me a little wimp. 

Resigned, I gingerly stepped into the bathroom stall. I hiked up my dress until it was in my armpits (so that it wouldn’t trail on the ground and give the Roach an opportunity to climb onto me. I lifted my flip-flopped feet off the ground, trying to pee airborn. I hung my purse on the doornob, and watched fearfully as the Roach climbed up the walls. At this point, I was hyperventilating and so distracted monitoring my dress, feet and purse, that I had performance issues- I couldn’t concentrate long enough to pee!

Finally, I finished. In reaching for the toilet paper, I accidentally hit the lightswitch. Maybe I screamed as the stall went pitch black. Maybe my hands were trembling so much I turned the light back on and off twice before getting it right. Maybe my heart stopped beating for a few beats as I tried, and failed to locate the Roach, convincing myself it had moved into my purse. (It was hiding behind the garbage bin.)

I bolted from the stall, dress still hiked up, to the sink area, before calming down enough to fix my appearance and do breathing exercises.

I tried to look normal as I walked out to my friends sitting in the restaurant. They saw me arrive, and wondered, “Vanilla, we left you alone for TWO minutes, how can you possibly have gotten yourself into trouble?!” They listened to my tearful account of events. Did they comfort me? Were they supportive of my trauma? No. They laughed at me. They reminded me I am a brave boxer  – AS THOUGH THAT IS EVEN RELEVANT TO THIS KIND OF BRUTAL OPPOSITION.

Hmph.

The pastries were delicious though. 

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