Monday, May 05, 2008

Overnight in Beirut

In the 1950's my Father worked in Iraq on the oil pipeline and I would go out for vacations ever summer. The company he worked for would rent part of a plane to carry the children of the various employees stationed out in the field. We usually flew British Airways and always first class. In those days the flights took several refuelling stops between London and Baghdad one of which was Beirut.

I remember one particular trip when we had an extended lay over in Beirut, I can't remember why but we were bussed into the city and stayed at one of the better hotels. To amuse ourselves we decided to play cards. I had never played much more than Snap at the boarding school I attended but I remember us all sitting around one of the suites that had been provided for us, and one of the boys trying to teach me to play blackjack. I was never any good at cards and soon lost interest but that trip sticks in my memory because later we went for a walk into the city, the whole bunch of us pampered teens. It was the first time I had seen a child begging for money and he was begging from me. We gave him some money and we were swarmed by other children, it was a very frightening experience.

No comments: