After staying in the hotel for two weeks, I'm finally kicked out. Company policy thinks that a normal expat needs about two weeks to look for an apartment. It's better for me too because I can now officially qualify for housing allowances.
Unfortunately, unlike the normal expat, I'm more choosy, have higher benchmarks and a lower budget to satisfy those benchmarks. To be fair, I was also invovlved in a series of long meetings and didn't really have the time to look for an apartment myself. The company appointed an agent to help me with the apartment hunt. But as are most Lebanese, my agent likes to take his time and is usually non-responsive to phone calls.
Apartments in Beirut I have viewed are either old/big or new/small. The old ones were usually built before the civil war when land isn't that expensive yet, I guess. The new ones are constructed after the war and they are build small and cost a lot! Quite similar to our HDBs which are getting smaller and smaller by the day because of scarcity in land. I'm looking for an apartment that is near to a supermarket. Most of the candidate apartments near the supermarket are too old, too big or too expensive. Right now, there are a couple of candidate apartments that my agent has recommended. It all boils down to price negotiations and availability.
In the meantime, I'm homeless!