It seems that I attended my first rave. I didn’t know it at the time, because the place seemed like any other night club. Actually, more interesting because it is also an art gallery, which had a black and white photo exhibit up as well as some other stray pieces and posters from previous exhibits. The space was set up like a big loft warehouse and was lit with purple lights. There was a face painter on staff who was using paints that would make the designs glow when people danced to the techno beats. I decided that the theme for my last night in Beirut should be face painting because we went to this club after attending a four-year-old’s birthday party at a place called Banana Zoo, which reminded me of a place in Boise where Divy had a birthday party a few years back. There were lots of video games, kiddie rides, and climbing installations, and face painting artists to entertain the kids. At the end of the party, as the toddlers were making their way out, a group of older kids entered to play there and challenge each other in a breakdance competition.
I had spent the day relaxing at my friend’s home, a good thirty minutes outside of Beirut. I had watched the news, albeit only CNN (which curiously also airs Jon Stewart’s The Daily Show on its network–curious because it blurs the line between entertainment and news, despite its disclaimer before the program began). CNN had not reported any local Lebanese news so I was surprised to learn that there had been a large demonstration in downtown Beirut that day. Hizbullah organized an anti-U.S. student demonstration, holding posters saying “all our disasters are from America.” An interesting conclusion to my visit.