I am typing this from the balcony of the 6th floor of a Beirut apartment which I saw several months ago on Craigslist!  Craigslist international – red flag!  It’s a scam!  You don’t know who you are dealing with!  Watch out!  Even the Craigslist managers put a warning note on their site to that affect.

What happened to trust and good old instinct?  I have been burned time and again by trusting just about anyone to be honest and well-meaning.  But no matter how many times I was wrong, I have not yet thrown trust over board; but more so:  instinct.  If we would just listen to it more often.

When I saw that picture on Craigslist of a mattress propped up on wooden blocks, a simple room with a night stand, a bath and a small balcony overlooking “the ocean” (well it’s more like a bus junk yard and industry with a bit of water peeking through in the distance) – something beckoned to me:  That’s where you need to be when you are in Beirut. Not some fancy hotel, not some cheap hotel.  But right there.   So I replied.  To make a long story short:  First I could not afford this place ($45 per night does not seem that much, but it was blowing my budget), then it was taken, then I got funding, then it became available again – destiny!  It’s meant to be.  I just have to go with the flow and follow the signs.  This is Ganesh hard at work for me.  Thanks, Ganesh.

And now I am here.  Exactly in that room.  But what is incredible – I did not know anything about the host.  Not even if I was dealing with male or female, one or more people, etc.  My host Setareh is a young female Iranian. An artist, who now lives in Beirut.  And when I saw a German book on her table, it turned out that she grew up in Germany and speaks flawless German!  I think she was as surprised to find a German art historian flying into her world as I was to find myself at the home of a young Iranian/Lebanese artist.  If there is not a bigger plan behind all of this then I don’t know.

Obviously, I made it to Beirut.  But who wants to hear about boring flight details.  And since I am dead tired now, I will talk about my first night out tomorrow.  I have internet for the next two weeks!  Yippee!  You will hear from me.  Good night.