We entered Byblos late at night. Built our tents on the barren camping place. The camping area was part of the hotel, but nobody remembers here tourists sleeping in tents anymore. The oldest grandpas in the old city maybe. The hotel was also empty. The air was hot so we refused to spent precious time by building such a useless thing as a ten, which we even did not have with us. What for? Rain was here at the beginning of this year for the last time. We laid down our bags by the fresh olive tree and left camping place for the hotel bar. There are 40/60% inhabitants christian/muslim in Lebanon. So you can buy and even drink in the public delicious wines and quite tasty beers. Although here was only one beer label possible to buy called Almaza. But it was quickly drink-able.
When we ordered third round of beers for our group of five people, the barman sent young boy to the city for some more bottles. When we ordered fourth round, the barman sent us to the city for the bottles. So we left hotel bar and ventured into the night life of the sleeping little Byblos. We did not walk for long when we found small grocery. We wanted to buy our stuff and left, but the shopkeeper hold us for the talk. He brought plastic table and some chairs (they were less then were us, so we had to sit on the pavement), opened the bottles and we talk. About everything. From the everyday problems, to the multi cultural and evolutional problems of mankind. He knew English very well, so some of us we ashamed by his speaking ability.
We talked also about religions in the country and around. Mostly about Israel, Jihad, Hezbollah, Palestine, Syria and Jordan. We were going to see Syria and Jordan as well so we were curious about all that stuff. He also told us about Palestinian camps and about their life there.
These refugees are people without papers, without home, without identity. They do not have immigration, or exile, papers, nor passports. So they do not exist in that country. That is why they can not get work, buy a flat, build a home, put children to school. The work under the counter, sometimes without payment, only for food. They are unwanted here, they are unwanted in place of their birth. They can not go back, they can not stay. So for many years now they are stuck in that camps, waiting, hoping, giving birth to their children.
Some days later we passed by such a Palestinian camp. It was rather a big settlement than a camp. We stopped quickly by the crash barrier on the main road and saw the city laying in ruins. Smoke was still going up for this mountain of bombed house blocks. It had 70 thousand Palestine inhabitants. But they were revolting. So the Lebanese president asked them to leave or he will raze the city to the ground. All of them left except for the core consisting of three hundred rebels. The Lebanese president bombed the city, leaving it smoking in the shape of burnt mountain of concrete, as a living warning memorial for the future tendencies.
Suddenly the light went off in the shop, and in the second we all set in the dark black night. “You know, before, there was electricity all the time. Now they stop it for the night time, or we do not have it completely. But we do have our own generators.” And he pulled up a battery-operated neon light on the table. We drank all of his beer and went sleep. Tomorow we are heading to Tyre.