Almost Fearless

Our House in Beirut

We’re renting a little house in the Ashrafieh neighborhood of Beirut.  The main draw for us was the big private garden in the back, with a full gate so Cole can go in and out without on his own, without us having to worry about him wandering off.


The roses started blooming this week.

These are OUR BANANAS.  From our banana tree.  Drew says he’s going to climb something (and I assume fall and break his neck) in order to cut them down, so we can eat bananas and be like, “Oh these, yeah, we grew these in our backyard. In our banana tree.”

We bought Cole a bouncy house so he can practice his routine safely in the backyard before taking it to the big show — in our bed and on my head — at night.

After months of Cole drooling over other kids’ bikes in Thailand, we are now able to get him his own tricycle.  He’s ridden it twice.  It’s just not as much fun if you’re not chasing a 16-month old around and trying to steal their bike from them.

This is what Cole does instead.  Everyday.  It’s so much part of my childhood — playing in the dirt — that it’s bringing back all these memories for me.  He plays out here for at least two hours a day.

The view out my kitchen window.  Roses are growing up into the  house.  They smell lovely.

Decorative vase we inherited with the house.

Pillows that were here too.  They’re kind of beat up, but still cute.

My Arabic textbook.  It’s IN ARABIC.  I really didn’t think I’d learn how to read and write in Arabic before speaking it, but now that I understand the script, it is making it much easier.

Notes from my class.  Nothing feels more bad ass than writing a bunch of stuff in Arabic.  I am like, “I am the smartest person in the world!” but actually it only took us three days of class to cover the whole alphabet.  Still, it looks impressive, no?

Cole gets to play.  Outside.  And strew his toys everywhere.  It’s the little things, but this is why we wanted to stay put for six months, so he could do all that kid stuff that everyone else takes for granted.  I don’t have to pack these into a suitcase in a few days.  He can leave them outside over night.  He’s freaking loving it.

Our neighbors.  Everyone has a little terrace.  Despite Beirut being in a state of ill-repair, people take really good care of their personal spaces.  They are growing things. They create little outdoor spaces.

This is our roof.  You can see the Armenian church next door and the tops of the trees from our garden.  It’s huge.  I’d like to do something out here this summer, maybe bring up some chairs and pillows and make-shift sunshade for Sunday brunch with friends.  Maybe a potted herb garden.  Or a BBQ.

The neighbors on the other side.  You can’t really see in this picture, but they’ve planted flowers and have this furnished little terrace.

I am loving it here.  It’s so perfect for some many reasons.  By the way, if you’re visiting Beirut and want to rent a flat there were two resources that I found helpful.  This Facebook group (more for shared apartments, if you just need a room) and this Facebook page (which is who we used to find this house).

Christine Gilbert

I’ve been dragging my husband around the world since 2008 always with the promise that, “Yes, Drew there will definitely be hammocks there.”



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