I am sitting outside a little street food joint on Bliss Street in beautiful Beirut, where I have been vacationing the past week. The sun has set and my friend has left me for a little while to go find a group of other friends, who are not so familiar in the city. So in the meantime I have bought myself a delicious crepe with Nutella and banana. Yummy.
I am sitting on a doorstep next to the food joint and eating when I can feel somebody’s eyes on me. I look up and correct – there is a guy staring at me a few meters away while pretending to be talking to his friend. I think nothing of it, I don’t know the guy.
A few minutes later when I am finished with my Nutella mayhem he is all of a sudden right next to me. “Would you like a napkin” he says – and hands me one.
I smile. It was a nice gesture.
He sits down next to me and starts talking. He is half British half Syrian. He asks me where I am from and immediately starts talking about the Danish football players he knows. And soon the fun really begins.
He asks me how old I am. Pretty bold for a random meeting on a street. I tell him 30 and after the initial “Oh really? I thought you were 24-25” he orders me to guess his age. He looks 19 but I play nice and tell him “24-25”. He plays the role of a game show host and with his hand in the air, lifting it higher and higher, he indicates that I need to raise my bid. I guess again “27” but the game show host still lifts his hand. Third guess “29” and he stops and tells me it’s close enough. “I am 29 AND A HALF” he tells me. Hahahaha – who above the age of 18 count their age in halfs? I still believe he is closer to 19 than 29 (AND A HALF).
Then the courtship begins. “I just spotted your beautiful blue eyes and I had to come and talk to you”. “Do you believe in fate, Nadia?” (Yes I do – but I am pretty sure this is not it). “Are you single?” (Yes, but that is not an invitation). “What would you do if a handsome guy came up to you on the street and asked you for a date?” (That would depend on whether or not I found that guy interesting and attractive). This is where the beauty begins, Nadia – I will come and visit you in Denmark and we will have a beautiful future together (Hold your horses!!! I don’t even remember your name).
Next up. The guy who sells flowers on the street passes buy and offers his products. And of course – the guy buys a damn rose. Holy mother of something – this is beyond funny. He offers me the rose (red of course) and then says words that will turn out to be the highlight of the night:
“Do you know what Shakespeare said about roses? (Me: No) He said, I love two things in life. The rose today and you forever.”
Oh my God. At this point I was about to burst. And my friends had returned in the meantime and were of course listening in to the conversation and secretly laughing their asses off.
After another ten minutes of intense effort to get my number and a date one of the coming nights, I finally managed to move away from Bliss Street in a kind manner.
Funny rendez vous. If nothing else – he gets and A for effort