Yesterday evening I arrived in Beirut, after a long journey which send me over Bremen, Duisburg, Düsseldorf and Istanbul. While the airport in Düsseldorf was empty, the one in Istanbul was well visited, and the one in Beirut was fully crowded. From people of Europe, Africa, Latin-America and many parts of the arabic world.
The situation in Lebanon itself is ones again tensed, after the lebanese currency fall to almost 15.000 Lebanese Lira to one US-Dollar. Pharmacies in the whole country closed their doors in protest to the governments behaviour towards pharmaceutic products, just as many petrol stations, who now have great difficulties catching their needed fuel.
All of these events were unvisible to me on the first sign. Looking out of the plane, I was able to see the light of the metropole Beirut, starting at a strait line at the seaside just to find it´s way up to the mountains, where it slowly disappears in the darkness. The mentioned chaotic traffic at the airport Rafik Hariri, named after the rebuilder of the city after the desastrous civil war, immedietely had an impect on me. And so I was finding my way throught passport-controls and get-my-luggage areas.
A special event was once again the corona-test. After being send to a guy at a small, really small table, he asks you about your passport and the flight you used to arrive in Beirut. After knowing this, he is looking all across an impressive, chart-filled pile of papers, to finally write a phone-number on one of these. The subsequent test is performed as uncomfortable as fast, the tester says hello, is pressing the bar in a single movement right into the nose, is pulling it out again just as fast and says good-bye.
As the sympathic taxidriver let me out at my hotel, the chaos of the day turned into the silence of the night. And so I´m here, back in Lebanon, and curious to see what the future might bring.