I was standing outside “Wok It” on Bliss Street when I observed two guys coming out of Malak al Tawouk with their bags of food.
I stood there and observed them..making a note of their tight pants, their button downs that seemed to be bursting at the seams (why do Lebanese men insist on wearing clothes that are too tight for them?), their slicked back hair..I watched their movements, their behavior….I listened to them gossiping although I couldn’t understand a word they said.
I could almost predict what was coming next..
One of the guys, who must not have been a day over twenty, took out his sandwich, crumpled up the bag, and threw it on the floor..He couldn’t even be bothered to walk a couple of steps and throw it in the garbage..
I was furious, disgusted, ashamed. How could he do that to his own country? To beautiful Lebanon?
I wanted to say something but I didn’t know if I should..after all, what business of it is mine if a person decides its ok to litter their own country..
And then it hit me, “This is my world too, and I will not stand by and watch someone else destroy it..because if I do, that makes me just as guilty.”
And with that, I opened my big mouth..“Umm..excuse me..I’m sorry..but their is a garbage can right there. You really shouldn’t destroy your country like that..”
The two guys, who now looked like boys, stared at me in disbelief. The litterer went back and picked up the bag he threw carelessly on the floor..he held his head down low while he shoved it in the garbage…his friend turned to me and muttered something in Arabic.
My friends came outside to see what was going on.
“Jeeze! We leave you for one second and you’re already causing a scene! What happened?”
I told them what had happened..
“You know Dani, it’s really not a good idea to react like that.. you’re lucky that they didn’t retaliate. Especially cause you’re not Lebanese..Why do you even care?” one of my friends said..
“Really? What would they have done? Attacked me? Pleaseeeee..He needed to be taught a lesson..”
My friends laughed and shook their heads. “Your lucky..” they kept on saying..
Why was I so upset about this person littering? Perhaps because Lebanon is slowly becoming the place I call home..and perhaps because I really do think that change begins with one. I hope he thinks of me next time he goes to throw something on the floor..the next time he goes to spit on his beautiful Lebanon.
I hope I taught him a lesson.