Tuesday, 15 December 2009

Chez nous

"Excusez moi madame, votre carte étudiante SVP?"
I take it out from my wallet. The classic white student card with the old crest. None of the kids around here remember how things used to look, and I've only been out 1.5 years.
"Merci, mademoiselle."
"De rien."
I'm in. It's 12:15am, I'm coming back from the Guerilla Magazine party where I was mistaken for my sister a few times and asked if someone's ever told me I resembled Demi Moore. Yes actually, my mother. And thank you for the kindest of compliments.
I'm wearing lipstick and heels, but I'm going to see a friend at the library who is now in law school. I stare at the sign that reads "pas de nourriture chaude." I smile. It was my actions that got that sign up there to begin with. The infamous pizza order on the third floor during my fourth year, and maybe a variety of ethnic foods courtesy of U of O's ethnic population. Van Wilder? No. I graduated in four.
I take the elevator up. The jogging pants, UGG boots and girls that drink too much and take birth control stare at me. Once upstairs I get the looks from "studying" students, i.e. students awaiting the slightest distraction to look up. This is where I made most of my friends, looking for distractions in the library and not studying. I don't recognize one person. I used to be able to tell you who everyone was.
Near staircase B, we discuss his visit to Lebanon.
"Where'd you stay, Beirut?"
"No my family is in Saïda," he responds.
"Saïda, there's a hospital named after my uncle there. Where else did you go?" I ask.
"Everywhere. I even went to Baalbek. Man the meat pies there are amazing!"
"Oh man I want a meat pie so bad right now."
We chat about how everyone is so young and then we take out our ancient student cards. The first, second, third or fourth year students behind us are staring. The photos are fading. And it's not the unrecognizable faces that surround us that make us feel old, or how our faces have changed, but how the picture is fading, and how the cards are discoloured and how I feel I've been away for so long. Oh my, it feels good to be back, even if it's brief, because this is the place where most people will answer your text messages that contain sentences like "for a limited time only I'm in town. Meet me now!" And most of the time, they will meet you, wherever you may be and for however long you are staying.

Timothy's the Glebe is Timothy's the Leb. Only in Ottawa.

Speaking of Ottawa, my friend Lamb-Ice told me about this video below and asked me if I knew the guy that made it. I said no, but it turns out I do, he was in my program at Uni. Good job Abbas, it's quite the accurate portrayal of [almost] every Leb in Ottawa!


  1. WOOP WOOP i was mentioned in your blog!
    so honoured yo.

    xo your biggest fan


  2. Danah! hahaha you are so awesome. i loved this. i also hate going to my university library but recognizing no one :(