It feels surreal to know that violence and bloodshed are happening nearby but yet I am completely ignorant until I learn about them much later.
I didn't know that fighting has started between Lebanese security forces and militants sympathetic to Al Queada in Tripoli, north of Beirut, until I read the CNN a day later. 27 soldiers and 10 militants were killed in the attack. It seems to me that those poor Lebanese boys doing national service never stood a chance against the well trained Islamic extremists.
Neither did I know about the bomb that went off in Beirut on Sunday until I spoke to a staff in my hotel.
"Did you hear about what happened in Ashrafieh last night?"
"Some bomb went off at ABC"
"Wow, I was just there one day ago!!! Anybody got injured?"
"A women died."
"Wow! That's terrible. Was she nearby?"
"She was sleeping in her bed when the wall came down on her"
"Two guys from Emirates, staying in this hotel were injured also, do you know them?"
"One guy got a cut from a stone on his head. Another guy had his ear injured."
"Are they going to be Ok?"
"I think not so serious. Be careful, don't go out at night, if you can, stay in the hotel."
The same night, another bomb exploded in Verdun, an upscale shopping area I visited several times.
"Did you hear the explosion yesterday night?" A colleague was asking this morning? We are both staying in Hamra, which is near to Verdun. I didn't. I was eating dinner at the Hard Rock Cafe, a good distance away from Hamra.
I remembered taking a nice stroll after dinner along the beach and Bliss street before returning to the hotel. It was still difficult to imagine that just a few streets across, firemen were trying to put out fires from the explosion.
"Be careful." The same colleague said before ending our chat. Hmmm... how to be careful? I don't think I'm able to spot a car bomb anywhere.
Cleanup after Beirut blast (Source: CNN)