Saturday, June 19, 2010

Lebanese Day

I got an invite earlier this week to attend a Lebanese Day* festival with the Ambassador and a few others from the Embassy.  The event was thrown by the Honorary Consul from Lebanon at his beautiful home.  Besides the Ambassador and his wife, the two political officers, one of their husbands, and the new intern (who has actually arrived more recently than me).

The event was held at the Honorary Consul's home, which was absolutely gorgeous.  The event was outside on his large tiled veranda, which was surrounded by a beautiful stone wall.  The interior of the house was even more amazing.  Tons of mahogany with a warm, inviting, Mediterranean feel.

The event began with a reception line, followed by a cocktail hour.  There were probably close to forty people there.  (I'm not entirely sure, but it seemed to be split evenly between Lebanese and members of the international community.)  While I tend to stick with beer, the honorary consul wanted me to try a traditional Lebanese drink. I had my doubts, as I don't really like hard liquor, but I made a pact with myself that I would try almost anything, so I gave it a shot.  It is called Arak and although the liquor is clear, when you mix it with water, it turns milky.  It smells and tastes like licorice.  I enjoyed half a glass, but it was too sweet to drink the whole thing.

I had no such problem with the food.  Once again, following my mantra to try everything, I did.  And it was fabulous.  There were three different types of kabobs - chicken, beef, and I'm not sure, which were all cooked perfectly.  Hummus, several different types of flat bread, olives, and tomatoes, garlic paste.  It was absolutely fabulous and there was so much.  The picture at the left is after the meal is over and everyone has been up two or three times.  This doesn't even take into account the desserts that were brought out later.

All in all, I had a fabulous time.  I got to meet a few interesting people in Belize.  I got to know a few of my co-workers a bit better.  I discovered that I could happily work in Beirut - at least as far as eating goes.

*I don't think today was any kind of Lebanese holiday or anything.  I'm not sure why they were calling it Lebanese day.

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