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semi-overcast 18 °C

I spent the night before last awake. Sporadically covered in baby vomit. I don't get paid enough for this. Oh. Wait.

Having H away for days at a time up on the outpost is usually fine. Not easy, but do-able - I find we get ourselves into a little routine (and get have to get ourselves un-into-it when he's back). That night, however, I would really have appreciated the extra set of hands. When one twin is properly sick it turns out the other wakes up in sympathy at around 4am. To top it off, Ben gave me whatever he had, and I've spent the last 24 hours feeling seriously unwell. The only nice thing about being sick is that H is home again and doing a fabulous job of looking after the kids and letting me sleep. He even made me burnt toast, which considering we're on a crazy 'lose the baby weight and don't eat bread' diet involved having to ask the neighbors for the bread, I thought was pretty cool.

Because my children and I have been sick, the limit of exploring our new home has been reduced somewhat. I did, for the first time, strap the double baby carrier on and take the lads for a short walk around the immediate streets though. Here, unlike at home, the lowest floor of every residential building is shop front. Tiny shop windows that, like the tardis, are often a whole lot bigger inside than you would expect. Sometimes two stories worth of bigger. Carrying the lads, rather than pushing them in the extra-wide stroller is almost a requirement for this kind of exploring. The side streets are too narrow and there often isn't a place to leave the stroller outside because of the cars on the footpath. Gotta say though, the uneven nature of the roads does make for a good arm workout with the stroller, even along the boardwalk, which is wide and newly paved.

I find it interesting the kind of shops there are too. Nothing seems logical. There are quite a few baby stores and linen stores down our end of town, but this seems happy accident rather than grand design, and they are interspersed with more mobile phone stores than seems feasible, a small bottle store, a couple of 'four square' type grocery stores, clothing shops, shoe stores, electrical and electronic outlets, and a couple of veggie stalls on wheels that roam about selling fresh produce and water. There is also a tiny place that appeared to be selling archeological finds - but it was closed so I didn't have the chance to check my suspicion that they are actually real.

Tyre is the kind of place that has been constantly occupied for at least 2000 years. This means that there is an amazing level of 'WTF' kind of archeological surprise around many street corners. It turns out that the 'locals entrance' to Tyre's hippodrome is about a two minute walk from our place, and walking along the roman road to the triumphal arch is mind-blowing. Especially because Tyre takes absolutely no care of its ruins, and not only is it covered in rubbish and weeds, half of it has also clearly been used as building materials in the surrounding high-rises - which, by the way, are never finished due to some crazy law here that appears to tax only the buildings that are complete. I'm not kidding when I say that it is quite common here to see the bottom floor occupied and the top floor still unclad. Hayden reckons they are just doing it bit by bit as they have the money and as the family grows, which does make sense when you have no money, but also makes for some fairly unsightly town planning. Even the school out our apartment window still has the reinforcing rods sticking out the top of it, rusting. It does make you have a bit of a think about the building code, if, indeed, one even exists.

Posted by karicketts 02:30 Archived in Lebanon

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