MY BEIRUT / random thoughts


There comes a time in your life when you need to google a word in order to keep up with the trends and DIY is one fo the words that i kept stumbling on while browsing my 1000 blogs, without really knowing what it meant. Well it is very simple; DIY stands for Do IT Yourself!

As in DIY projects for the weekends; repainting a bedroom, making a basket out of straws from your garden, creating a princess tent out of your scarfs, making a sunflower cake our of cupcakes…and so on…

Great ideas, and lots of fun. But: when you live in Beirut, the land of “Don’t DIY”, you tend to forget what we, human beings are  actually capable of, if only we try to DIY.

Here is a funny list of  Lebanese “Don’t DIY” :

1.Parking our own car (I have not seen any city with so many “VALET parking” as in Beirut, even the local hair dresser has a person to take your car, park it and return it to you (filled with the smell of cold smoke) as you finish your errands).

2. Filling our own fuel tank (In Lebanon, you just need to roll down your window, tell the gas tank guy to fill it up,  sit and enjoy your rear window becoming pseudo-clean (washed with a blackened cloth that has seen better days), the tires measured and the tank filled. The only thing left to do is pay the guy and include a soft tip to ensure the same level fo service at your next re-fill!

3. Delivery from the pharmacy down the street; you call the pharmacist, place your order and less than 10 minutes later your medicine is delivered at your door by a smiling young boy (usually the son of the pharmacist). I  must admit that this special service saved my life one night when at 3 a.m. my daughter started a severe otitis. How wonderful it was that i could get delivered ear drops at 3 a.m.!)

4. The beauty department offers a huge range of services where the ladies are pampered from head to toe without so much as lifting her eyebrows! Manicure, pedicure, hair and make-up, all available at your local beauty salon or even better at your home, where the beauty experts arrives with her nick nacks and transforms you into a perfect beauty queen! Again, i enjoy the pampering but find it very difficult to allocate time and money to these services, when i can do them myselves, and sometimes even better!

The list of “DON’T DIY” is very long in Lebanon, and it makes me wonder what the Lebanese are really capable of doing themselves, should the need occur. Being brought up by a Danish mother, and having lived in Denmark during my teenage and young adult years, I have only known the DIY culture, which is something that i carry with me until now, and try to transmit to my kids, even  though they are born and are living in Lebanon.

Nevertheless, I have also creativity blossom among Lebanese artists, ranging from handwork, to jewelry, to lamps, to clothes, to paintings…And they are all Doing it Themselves, which is a treat for the eye! So, on the creative side, you can find a lot of people that are using the DIY principle, but when it comes to making life easier, then the DON’T DIY principle applies!

Are you a DIY person? personally I am one, and I believe that it has taught me to rely on myself, to become independent, more active and less lazy, to be more self-sufficient…What about you?

5 thoughts on “DIY…

  1. I for 1 TRULY belive in DIY 🙂
    Like you said, it makes you feel you can depend on your self to fix what ever situation you might end up in.
    I made birthsdaycake for 17 girls at my daughters birthsday party wednesday, and my daughter asked the week before ” dont you think the other girls might find it wierd that we do the cake ourselves, rather than buying it ?” I replied that” Im pretty sure most of the mums would love to do it themselves if they knew how to and took the time to try.”
    I might add that the cake looked and tasted amazing, and the kitchen-chef at the cafe asked for the recipe;) But I didnt tell him that I had messed up the first bash of frosting using preadable light butter, instead of normal Lurpak, but thats the thing about doing it yourself…You try !
    I belive that I can do much better than the painter, electrician, or even the plumber…but I at times need some advice or guidence, and that is hard to find here in Lebanon….at least useful advice or real professional guidence.
    But if you dont belive you can do it yourself, then dont bother.
    Cause the biggest difference will always be :
    Whether you belive you can do it or not!

    • way to go Mette!!! Homemade cakes are So much better and gives you the feel of doing something special for your kid!! I think your kids are lucky to have you!!! and yes, we CAN do a LOT our selves…It just needs the courage and the belief that we CAN do it…

  2. …And YES it definately makes me WAY less cracy!
    My husbond will testify to that !!
    He also understands my need for IKEA, my roof garden, why I dont have a maid, and other DIY-issues…lol!

  3. I’m all for DIY. You don’t have to sit around for others to get moving and you are sure to get the result you want AND you save A LOT og money. And it’s not hard a all. If there is something you don’t know how to do yet, just check out all the DIY videos at… Its all there.
    My lift motto: “How hard can it be to learn??? There is nothing I can’t do!” (But there are somethings I don’t want to do – but that’s a whole other story… )

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