Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Love America, hate America?

Lebanese people aren’t so much fans of Americans.

Sometimes it’s outright, awkward dislike. Example: The guy who works at our hostel introduced us to another couple in the lobby one afternoon. He says: “They’re Americans too! I hate Americans! Ha, ha! I hate Americans!”

Other times, it’s slightly more subtle. Example: One night, we sat in a hipster bar in Gemmayze while the crowd ferociously cheered for Germany, against Ghana, in the World Cup. A few nights later, we sat in a café across the street and watched the crowd freak out with joy, cheering for Ghana, against the U.S. Like, stop everything, whistles and horns freak out.

And yet – A hipster gallery on the same block sells prints of Jimi Hendrix. The “Corleone” restaurant is entirely based on American cinema iconography. The DJs in the local bars mix Akon and the theme from Pulp fiction. Live bands play covers, badly, of decades-old Pearl Jam. Everyone is wearing 7 for all Mankind.

If you hate us so much, then why …? Or is this why you hate us?

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