Thursday, August 14, 2008

Mourning period math

Yesterday morning, 14 people were killed and a further 35 wounded in a bus bombing in downtown Tripoli. In response, Prime Minister Saniora called for "one hour" of mourning today. What happened to the three-day mourning period for every two-bit politician?

In case you harbored any doubts about the heart-felt priorities of the national power-hording clique, one "elite martyr" receives (1 x 14 x 24h x 3 days = ) 1,008 times the mourning period of your average, hapless, public-transportation-dependent citizen.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Your government on the web

If you've never had the pleasure of perusing the Lebanese Internal Security Force's website, I highly recommend the English version. Not only will they advise you on some common sense means of "limiting snatching of handbags", such as keeping "your bag hung around your neck" (with a priceless photo of a woman in a short-skirt struggling to wrench her purse from the clutches of a thieving motorcyclist), but you can also learn about the history of the ISF.

Here's a highlight (emphasis in bold is mine):

"Emir Fakhreddine II is the founder of the modern Lebanese State. After a perturbed childhood, he acceded in 1589 and started working for the unification of the country, by destroying some independent objecting Lebanese families. In order to keep order and execute the usual police missions, the Emir created a group of armed men, “Zelems”, i.e. direct servants. There were also other little groups of “Zelems” for feudal lords. when internal disorders used to threaten the security of the country, the Emir did not hesitate to ask for the help of his professional elements “The Sikmans”, who were foreign mercenaries. Nevertheless, he avoided the participation of “Bedouins”, known to be thieves and murderers."

Nothing like a "perturbed childhood" to prepare you for the founding of a modern state. When in doubt, "destroy" objecting families and exclude those murderous, thieving Bedouins from your police force.

The rather self-deprecating forward by ISF Chief Ashraf Rifi is also well worth a read, which begins: "
Lebanon has always been the heaven of security and peace and the oasis of the East, in spite of the tragic circumstances he endured." (Note the final, "Good Willing" [sic].)

What struck me as odd, however, is the "Health Guidance" section, which offered three points of advice (with accompanying power point presentations): "25 Reasons Why You Should Start Drinking Green Tea Now", "Honey & Cinnamon" and "Brisk Walking."

In case you want to learn more about some of the less well-known lawmakers in Lebanon's new cabinet, you can also consult their public profiles on Facebook:

  • According to his Facebook profile, the new Minister of Justice, Ibrahim Najjar, is "conservative" and "married" but was recently hugged by an anonymous admirer.
  • Dr. Antoine Karam, Minister of Environment, only has 9 friends.
  • Gebran Bassil's profile is closed to the public but a group called, "Gebran Bassil is gay... I swear!! :D" boasts 96 members.

Cops, fireworks & summer savings

Hezbollah's TV station, Al-Manar, has been running ads for a restaurant called K-33 on the Airport Road. For 33 days, between July 12th and August 14th, customers can dine and smoke narghileh for 33% off, to commemorate the anniversary of the July War.

This is perhaps the least volatile period I’ve witnessed in Lebanon; to deal with the unbearable calm, people everywhere set off fireworks all day long. Even the Armenian Patriarchy next to my house sporadically fires volleys of deafening fireworks from the top of their majestic compound. “What is it now?” I wrack my head for possible holidays and commemorations that might justify breaching the peace after midnight on Sunday. “Oh it’s this Saint’s day,” or, “Oh, its Mika—that half-Lebanese pop sensation. He’s playing in downtown. He has an eight-octave voice.” Occasionally, fireworks mix with gunfire; this usually signals a wedding or – to justify a whole day of nerve-wracking explosions—the publishing of the baccalaureate results.

But the wounds have not yet healed from the last 18-months of internecine strife. I spotted a few cars in Hamra with photos of the “Two Ziads” plastered on their rearview windows—the 12-year old boy and 25-year old man who were kidnapped and murdered last year in a vendetta killing, both “active members of pro-government parties” according to the pro-government propaganda outlet, Now Lebanon. In Caracas, a poster spanning the full-width of the street, displays a photo of a teenager who was kidnapped during the May events. In the picture, he is wearing a T-shirt with “Still Virgin” emblazoned across it in big block letters. I have seen this T-shirt slogan before—but I couldn’t figure out if the slogan was later photo-shopped across his chest or if the family decided this was a most fitting image to remember their son.

In the meantime, most people are buckling down to enjoy the summer at beach resorts along Lebanon’s polluted coast. An Italian scientist I met alleges that many hospitals dump their waste, untreated and un-incinerated, in urban areas. That perhaps explains the sheer volume of hypodermic syringes strewn across the sand at Beirut’s Ramlet el Baida beach, which is sandwiched between two sewage pipes. “If Beirut was on fire, I wouldn’t jump into that water,” F. says. And while forest fires are a regular occurrence during the hot summer months, Saad Hariri, Lebanon’s own Saudi billionaire, can be counted on to pitch in and rent fire-extinguishing helicopters from Cyprus.

In the meantime, the Internal Security Forces have new toys, courtesy of the American embassy and MTV's Pimp My Ride.

It’s only a matter of time before someone starts sniping at their lights—which they have on at all times. “This isn’t an American cop show,” I yelled at one patrol vehicle, which was creeping along at a snail’s pace down Gemmayze street, blinding lights and wailing sirens in full regalia.

Not that the security forces have anything better to do these days. L.S. was reminiscing the other day about an old policeman who used to regulate traffic at the Bechara al Khoury-Sodeco intersection. The man was illiterate and therefore couldn't write up traffic tickets. Instead-- when faced with an infringing motorist-- he would damage the car, punching or kicking it, suitable to the amount the violating party would have had to pay in official fines. He passed away a few year ago. They don't make 'em like that anymore.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Profane passenger

A few days ago, I hailed a servis from Geitawe to Raouche. As we were inching through traffic towards my destination–– after the other passengers had disembarked ––the driver began to ask me the usual questions:

Are you married?
Of course.
To a Lebanese?
Of course.
What religion does your husband belong to?
No religion.
Nothing? No. I mean, is he Muslim or Christian?
Not Muslim, not Christian. Nothing.
No he must be Christian or Muslim.
He doesn’t believe in God.
No, its impossible. He doesn't believe in God?
No. I don’t either.
You don't either? You must believe in God. You will be more satisfied. You must! You must!

As I reached into my wallet to pay him for the 45-minute journey across town, he refused payment with a plea to save my soul. I got out of the cab and left my godless wad of thousand lira bills on the back seat.

Monday, July 07, 2008

Telepathic handyman

I moved into a new apartment; to furnish it as quickly and inexpensively as possible, I borrowed a spare refrigerator from a friend. After we had moved, cleaned and let it sit for 24 hours for good measure, the refrigerator didn't work, instead emitting a sporadic rumbling sound.

Half-a-dozen of our new neighbors came to our rescue, offering their “best refrigerator repair guy”, until the shopkeeper next door convinced us that his “was the best in the entire region.” The handyman was duly summoned. “Don’t be worried, because he is a cripple,” the shopkeeper whispered loudly, as the repairman retrieved a wrench from his tool box using one of two deformed arms.

He never did put the wrench to use; instead he sat down at the kitchen table and over endless cups of coffee and half a dozen cigarettes, listened to the refrigerator hum–– his eyes closed, his chin resting on his chest. I sat across from him, pouring him more coffee. At times, I thought he might have nodded off, his breath perfectly synchronized with the soft rumble from the refrigerator, the ash from his cigarette growing longer–– a hovering, precarious arch. I nudged the ashtray closer. Then he would raise his head, his eyes still closed, and mumble, “It might be the thermostat, in which case you had best throw the whole thing away.” Or “It might be the motherboard. Don’t bother. It’ll cost you more than a new one to repair it.” After 45 minutes, I left S. and the repairman to their own devices. Not long after I left the room, S. discovered a dashboard with buttons, hidden behind the flap on the front door where he could adjust the refrigerator’s functions.

The handyman had another cup of coffee before he left; he refused payment. “Next time,” he said, waving a contorted arm at us as he shuffled out the door.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Sunday jitters

I have come to dread Sundays in Beirut. Previously my favorite day of the week, Sundays now instill a sense of dread that the artificial calm might collapse-- with breaking news of street battles, car bombs; or that this time perhaps—Monday could dawn on a country at war.

The short list of Bloody Sundays in recent memory include the Danish cartoon riots, the 2006 Qana massacre, the beginning of the Nahr el Bared siege, the car bomb at the ABC mall in Achrafiye, and the deadly riots in Shiyah last month. This might be a bogus calculation. On second thought, Tuesdays and Thursdays have a commensurate penchant for turning violent.

Frequently these days, there’s talk of a civil strife being an inevitability; we spend hours debating when—in hindsight—historians will say this war started. In 2004 with UN Security Council Resolution 1559? On February 14th, 2005? On July 12th, 2006? In November 2006, when Hezbollah and Amal quit the cabinet? Some of my friends argue with near conviction that Iran will be attacked by the US or Israel (which I don’t believe), that the region will go up in flames, and a global recession will usher in a world war. R’s mom—"Information Central"—is already carving plans for “after the war”.

Friends who were children during the civil war now customarily share stories— devastating stories of narrow escapes, of wedding parties under fire, of Picon processed cheese (a treat compared to the Ramek and Smeds variety, I am told), of munching on sunflower seeds holed up in a bomb shelter for hours, days.

Cab drivers pull out all the stops for an increased fare. In the seven- minute car ride from Tabaris to Mar Elias, a driver detailed how his mother, father and sister were killed by Israeli bombs in Marjayoun during the July War; a year later, his favorite nephew was wounded in Nahr el Bared, and now his car had not a drop of fuel left in the tank. Look at the gas meter. Empty! He expressed bewilderment that the car could even make it uphill. With every tragic detail, I found myself groping for extra cash in my pocket.

Unlike the deadly riots last January, the feudal political class has not responded to the proliferating incidences of street violence with hollow good-will gestures and talk of compromise. The rhetorical escalations continue with Sleiman Franjieh deriding the Maronite Patriarch as a senile old fart, then denouncing Lebanese Forces leader Samir Geagea, as “a criminal, and to top it off-- an impertinent one”, who killed Franjieh’s mother. Jumblatt just made a speech that rivals Goebbel’s finest moments—"If you want chaos, we welcome chaos. If you want war, we welcome one."

The March 14th Forces have called upon their followers to come out in droves for the third anniversary of Rafiq Hariri’s assassination. A source close to army intelligence claims that Hariri plans to “sweep” the tent city downtown. That would be an immeasurably reckless and stupid thing to do. I can already see the Grand Serail in flames.

I left Beirut to take care of some unfinished business and will return in March. The Martyr Prime Minister Rafiq Hariri Beirut International Airport (M.P.M.R.H.B.I.A., for short) is a deceptive gateway in and out of the country. After weeks of turmoil, departing passengers are left with the spurious impression of a stable, modern state. Shiny marble floors, tarted-up duty free saleswomen, eager baggage attendants, neon billboards which depict bustling cafes in downtown Beirut and other attractions, a competent immigration bureaucracy and a soldier who reviews your passport and asks you, “Please don’t leave Lebanon.”

Sunday, February 03, 2008

Anecdotes from a banana f**k midget republic

One of the most invasive features of blogging is the sitemeter, which allows you to trace all visitors to your website. Good blogger etiquette dictates that the sitemeter should be open to the public-- a nicety that some bloggers, such as GPC over at "Friday Lunch Club" have chosen to ignore.

With a sitemeter you can detect the location, operating system, domain name and time spent by each visitor perusing your blog. You can also see how people found your blog-- usually through a Google search or when another blog has linked to you.

For a while now I've been tracking "unique visits" and what led people to my blog. As I expected, most unintended visitors hoped to find information on the "Banana Republic" clothing label. With perplexing regularity, people in search of pornography are directed to this site. Some ten months ago, this blog ranked second in a Google search for "pooping female pictures" and "fucking girls Irbil" -- a city in northern Iraq.

Other highlights included Google searches for:

--Iraq + fatwa + women + banana + cucumbers (this blog ranks 2nd place)

--Nasrallah + son of virgin (4th place)

--What makes cheerleader uniforms so provocative?

--Do Lebanese people have Christmas?

--Midget + get + fuck

--Al Qaeda how to join

--fat fat Fatfat ass

--Lady using banana for fuck

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Energy riots & Sunday snipers

"This country is like a person with liver failure who continues drinking," L. said, her head in her hands, as news of the day's first casualties broke.

At around 4pm this afternoon, dozens of men--mostly followers of Nabih Berri's Amal Movement-- gathered near the Mar Mikhael Church in Chiyah (in Beirut's southern suburbs) to protest electricity shortages. Riots over living conditions have been an almost daily occurrence in recent weeks; some neighborhoods outside central Beirut receive only 2 hours of electricity per day.

When the impromptu rioting broke out, the army routinely moved in to clear the burning tires from the road and disperse the angry crowd. They were met with a barrage of rocks. A scuffle between soldiers and protesters ensued; and then-- sniper gunfire from an unknown location. A local Amal leader shot dead. On TV later, continuous rounds of gunfire could be heard; panicked soldiers ducked and elbowed their way along the ground as protesters tried to flee the scene.

We had been at R.'s house in Mar Elias earlier that afternoon and had just left to go to a cafe in Clemenceau. R.'s mom called and insisted she come home immediately; she called back five minutes later and told her not to come home at all that night-- the protests had spread to their neighborhood and other areas. On TV we watched a mass of young men light garbage cans on fire just a few feet from her house. One young man interviewed on New TV yelled, "Let's see whose stronger now. Sunni or Shia!" Everyone gathered around the TV set gasped. "Why are they showing this? Can't they edit it out?" S. complained.

Outside Mar Mikhael church--more wounded, more dead, amidst reports that the army had retreated under fire. The violence continued into the night. I finally decided to take a cab home. R. and S. took down the driver's name and told him to take me straight home to my front door. The driver and his friend-- who was riding shotgun-- were on their way to Casino du Liban for a night of gambling. They invited me to join; I politely declined.

At home, more bleak news: a grenade attack wounded 5 people in the Christian neighborhood of Ain el Rummaneh. An RPG was fired in Chiyah. Just before midnight Hezbollah security finally stepped in to help the army control the situation. Snipers were apprehended and arrested. The tally-- 8 people killed, and more than 22 wounded.

S. works in Burj al Barajneh -- originally a Palestinian refugee camp that now is also home to many Shia, poor migrant workers from Syria and southeast Asia. That area has barely received any state-supplied electricity and so most people are forced to subscribe to power supplied by a generator. The man who supplies the generator power to her building-- a Sunni Beiruti merchant, as she describes him-- was mobbed by dozens of angry residents last week when the electricity went out every five minutes. He was reportedly stabbed five times, but survived the attack. J. reports the same from the southern coastal city of Tyre, where his local generator supplier was shot after he announced a hike in prices. "Our standard of living only seems to decrease here," L. laments.

Prime Minister Saniora just declared tomorrow--Monday-- a "national day of mourning". All schools and universities will remain closed. Yesterday was also a national day of mourning, in honor of the 10 victims who perished in a car bombing the previous day. It seems we now have a day of mourning, followed by events that warrant a further day of mourning. "One day yes, one day no," to borrow from my first Beiruti landlord-- a phrase she employed to describe the erratic supply of potable water.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

The current blog layout is a work in progress... do not be alarmed by my inability to color coordinate.

The banner photo was taken by my friend Hisham Ashkar on January 23rd, 2007.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Ashura refreshments

On Saturday I attended my first Ashura in Nabatiye, which commemorates the anniversary of Imam Hussein's martyrdom in Karbala some 1300 years ago. I had warned my friend D. before our early morning departure from Beirut that this might be the only Lebanese event where there is no street food and insisted we stop for a manaeesh on the way down south. But in fact there were plenty of refreshments being sold -- the metallic smell of blood didn't deter bystanders from wolfing down kababs, chickpeas and corn.

Ashura in Nabatiye is a pretty bloody affair-- young men (age 3 to 30, usually) participate while the rest of the town and visitors watch. As soon as we arrived, groups of 10-12 young men started to pour into the street from the local mosque, white cloths draped around their necks and bleeding from a (superficial) cut in the front of their heads, which they smacked with a sword or their hands, creating a flow of blood down their faces and staining their clothes. (I thought that a good advertisement for laundry detergent would show a mother trying to wash blood out of her sons clothes after Ashura).

Banging the wound ensures that the blood doesn't clot and continues to bleed, but it also means that bystanders are often covered in specks of red. I was standing back a little behind my friend S. who was getting the brunt of the spray. Suddenly a serious amount of liquid hit the side of my face. I dabbed it with my hands-- the liquid was clear and smelled acidic. Then-- another splash of liquid, this time drenching the sleeve of my jacket. I turned around and realized-- to my relief-- that I was leaning against a juice cart and was being sprayed by freshly squeezed orange juice.

Orange juice man hard at work

Two boys enjoying orange juice at Ashura


"Gaza plunged into darkness"-- last night's headline read on the BBC website.

Doctors in Gaza are being forced to choose between heating the maternity- or the emergency wards in hospitals. The Israeli government yesterday maintained that the humanitarian catastrophe was "exaggerated... because they have an interest in exaggerating" and a "ploy to attract international sympathy." After five people allegedly died in hospital wards from the shut down of Gaza's power plant, Olmert proclaimed that the Strip's residents "can walk" and added, "We won't allow the Palestinians to fire on us and destroy life in Sderot, while in Gaza life is going on as usual." 'As usual' in the relative sense, I'm sure. Because life is usually a fucking tea party in Gaza.

In Beirut we usually have 3 hours of electricity black-outs, which is totally manageable. Today I went downstairs to use my neighbor L.'s washing machine. We loaded the laundry, filled the detergent drawer and pushed the 'on' button. "It'll turn itself on when the electricity returns," L. said pragmatically. Then we went to make breakfast and coffee in the kitchen. When L. lit the stove top, the flame flickered and extinguished. No gas left in the tank. So instead I took the pan with the raw omelette upstairs, made coffee and breakfast on our camping stove, and brought it back down to her house. On the stairs I passed our neighbor M. He laughed when he saw me carrying a pan and a steaming pot of coffee. Even with neighbors like L., in Gaza there's not much you can do under a total blockade.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

On Authority

M. tells us the following story:

Late one night, his friend Samir is driving through Beirut in the torrential rain. He passes under a bridge; suddenly his car is submerged in a massive puddle, a veritable pond. Water begins to flood into the car's interior. Samir calls for help; he calls his friends, his family, his acquaintances-- to no avail at this late hour. Finally he dials 112-- the emergency operator-- and explains his situation, only to be informed that this did not fall under the jurisdiction of the police department. Well who do I call, Samir asks. I don't know. Try another number.

Samir waits. He again attempts to rescue his car. A passing motorist stops to help. Knee-deep in water, Samir gives up. He's cold, he's wet. He calls the emergency responder again. The same officer picks up. "Listen you son of a bitch. I'll screw your sister, you useless piece of shit..." Samir unleashes a stream of vulgarities and personal insults. "You idiot, I'm fucking insulting you. I'm cursing your mother and your sister. Come and fucking arrest me. I'm under this bridge. And please rescue my car while you're at it." He hardly got a rise out of the guy. Again he was politely informed, that such emergencies were not the business of the police department.

On Loss

We met S. at my neighbor L's house. A tranquil, portly man in his late 30's with a neat beard and a penchant for guzzling vodka, S. works as an architect. He nestled on the leather couch cradling his drink and said very little for most of the evening. After the first few minutes of animated chatter (I haven't seen L. in months), she introduced S. "This is S. by the way. His house burned down two days ago!" M. interrupted her, grabbing my arm. "Burned down, you say? He lost everything! Every last item he owns! You won't believe it, man. He sunk 20,000$ into that house in renovations. He had just moved in four days before the electrical wiring caught on fire." M.'s laughter rumbled; S. nodded. A jovial grin spread across his plump cheeks. Then, as if it had just occurred to him, he added, "You know it's funny that 25 years of civil war couldn't do to my house what the fire did in 3 hours." Laughter all around.

My friend D. asked if S. was sad about the loss of his house. He thought about it for a while. "You know, once I had a friend who died. And I only started to miss him a year later. Perhaps it will be the same with my house."

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Feltman's farewell

A roadside bomb targeted a US embassy motorcade this afternoon as it passed through Dora, along the coast to the north of Beirut. We were up on the roof in my pied-a-terre in Rmeil, when we heard a massive explosion; I jumped up from my seat and looked out the balcony window. A vertical gray smoke cloud shot into the sky near "Normandy"-- a picturesque grassy landfill of garbage, just off the curving coastline. "Its in Dora," S. observed. "Probably a gas explosion of some sort. An accident." T. had just come over for coffee. "Well we can still have coffee, " I suggested, opening my laptop to inform anyone online of the explosion.

We all tried to make phone calls but the lines were already overloaded. The power had been out for two hours that afternoon; when electricity is rationed, it usually turns on after three hours in our neighborhood. "Hey look, the electricity went back on just seconds after the explosion," Danielle noted. "It's our consolation prize."

For the next half hour, I re-loaded the news websites to look for updates and chatted online. Sirens wailed as ambulances raced to the scene. First, they reported that 10 were wounded; the source of the explosion yet unknown. Then three dead. Then four. I told my friend Danielle, who is visiting from New York, "Usually when they bomb during the day it means somebody has been targeted. The symbolic bombing that is just meant to scare people usually happens after nightfall." She looked at me as if I was trying to convince her of something utterly unscientific.

A few minutes later then, the news broke that one of the targeted cars had US embassy license plates, that in fact outgoing US Ambassador Jeffrey Feltman had been on his way to a farewell party at the Phoenicia hotel. Then they said, two Americans were wounded. Then the State Department denied any Americans were wounded. J. claimed an American guy called "Matthew Clayton"-- an Evangelical preacher, apparently-- was wounded and brought to Geitawe hospital. D. -- who lives in Washington D.C-- kept us informed of live news coverage on Al Jazeera, because we don't have a TV. No Americans were wounded, he said, but a "Lebanese personality" from March 14 was riding in one of the Embassy cars. Apparently the car that was hit was a decoy for the Ambassador. And so on and so forth.

Two and a half hours later, I'm getting hungry. Feltman's farewell bash at the Phoenicia hotel was canceled. I told J., "Just yesterday I said something was going to happen this week." He replied,"Oh really?!? Well if this were Sweden, I'd be impressed."

Monday, January 14, 2008

Back in Beirut

Man in Hamra straddling two ladders

I found Beirut much as I left it six months ago—stagnant and uneasy. At night, the army and darak (police in gray camouflage uniforms) patrol Beirut’s abandoned streets; tanks sit idly stationed at every big intersection. R. complains that –since the end of the Nahr el Bared campaign— the army soldiers have started to behave obnoxiously. “It’s gotten to their heads—all the praise. Now they’re behavior is indistinguishable from the darak.” On our third night in Beirut, a soldier menacingly trailed us through the streets as we walked home-- just a foot or so behind us, not a taxi in sight.

Billboards and advertisements tailored to the current woes of the Lebanese line the highway from the airport to Beirut: for the many citizens dependent on remittances from abroad--Western Union pledges to “Send Peace” with your money order. The city’s billboard-scape also boasts USAID’s newest PR campaign—“A gift from the American people to the Lebanese”, as well as a few new entries to the martyr hall of fame. Regal portraits of Army Commander General Michel Suleiman, the unlucky president elect, have been erected under the banner “Our Savior.” Rafiq Hariri has been dead for 1000-and-God-knows how many days, according to the gigantic counter at the entrance to Hamra; my friends joke that they want to erect an additional counter to track how many times the presidential elections have been postponed. Is it 11 or 12 now?

Prices for every day things have gone up; an Almaza beer will cost you 1250 LL, a manaeesh jubneh up to 2000LL, a one bedroom apartment in Rmeil or Jeitawe $400. Narcotic- and alcohol abuse is rampant; on Sunday afternoon the little bars in Gemayze are packed. "I drink because it makes me calm," S. says. "For twenty-five years, I lived in a bomb shelter. Now I'm free and I drink to forget those twenty-five years."

On Tuesday, then, a series of violent incidents down south—a car bomb targeted a UNIFIL vehicle wounding two Irish peacekeepers--hardly upset the routine of most Beirutis. People were preoccupied with the possibility of a surprise visit by George W. Bush. R. called. "Do you know if he's coming or not?" she asked. "How come the shit hits the fan as soon as you arrive in town?" Hezbollah threatened to bus in hundreds of thousands of protesters in the eventuality of a presidential visit, to put him under a "tight siege" but prevent any "assault" against him by Al Qaeda or the likes.

I am writing all this from a cafĂ©-bar where the house specialty advertised on the menu is a “Sex with the Bartender” cocktail. More soon.