Eric and I decided to splurge and go out for a Margarita last night. There is a hotel-restaurant nearby that claims to serve them. The hotel has several restaurants; unfortunately it turned out that the place that makes Margaritas was charging 20 cedis to get in. (All you can drink Saturday!)
We decided to just go to one of the other restaurants in the same hotel, where we know we can order a cheap bottle of wine (9 cedis). We enjoyed sitting in the traditionally decorated patio and watching the people pass through. Groups of very young Americans trooped through on their way to All-You-Can-Drink, looking slightly guilty and scared to be leaving their cultural exchange experience or volunteer program to go get some underage (for American) intoxication.
Three very beautiful, young, and sexily dressed ladies sat quietly at a table across from me. They didn’t talk to each other, and they didn’t order a drink. They studiously ignored the 70 year old infirm white man leering at them, perhaps hoping for a younger, richer client. It was a quiet night, and there weren’t many options. In fact, 2 of the 6 tables of people seemed to be women waiting for money-making opportunities.
Behind us sat a group of Lebanese men. Live Lebanese music started in the third restaurant in the hotel complex; we could see the singer through the window and hear the music. The singer was impressive; I don’t consider Arabic a language that soothes the ears, but he rendered it into something nice. From our perspective, it looked like the restaurant was full of white men, clapping along to the music and laughing.
I heard the group behind me call out something to us, and understood that we were being nicknamed by the bottle of wine we had in front of us (Baron D’Argnoniac). I turned to the older, thicker Lebanese man as he encouraged us to enjoy the music. He clapped his hands in rhythm in the air. “You need to enjoy life”, he said. I said he should show us how. He didn’t require any armtwisting, and immediately stood up and danced. “Now you should!” he said to me. I said I would give the floor to my husband first.
Eric didn’t take any convincing either, and was suddenly up dancing with the Lebanese, trying to imitate his moves. Suddenly, everyone in the restaurant, from the prostitutes to the ex-pat family, was clapping along and smiling as the two men danced in front of me to an Arabic song in the next restaurant.