Friday, 12 December 2014

Circles of Birds

In British English there's a term for the strange love some people, mainly men, have for flying rodents: pigeon fancying.

It's normally a hobby confined to older people and it's seen as a little odd and, perhaps old-fashioned.

Maybe that's also the case in Lebanon, I don't know any pigeon fanciers here, but it's common enough to see clouds of pigeons circling above Beirut of an evening.

Birds, in a circle

If that's not amusing enough, the accompanying whistles and claps coming from the fancier create a sort of soundtrack to a lazy evening. The kick of it is that Lebanese pigeon fancying is a competitive sport. Yep. I called it a sport.

Fanciers compete, clashing their bird clouds together and attempting to trick birds from another coop to join their pack of flying rats. Yes, the competition revolves around "stealing" your neighbour's birds. I'm sure that the average bird probably changes teams on a regular basis.

Pigeon fancying, in a city. In a country that is notorious for shooting and eating anything that flies. Odd. But fun.

Monday, 8 December 2014

The Digital Hobo: Urbanista, Hamra

This is the first entry in my new Digital Hobo series.

After a delay, mostly down to work, visa visits and all sorts of fun and games, I recently visited Urbanista, in Hamra, for a spot of digital squatting.

Firstly, I was amazed to discover that the password for the Wi-Fi in Hamra was the same as that in the Gemmayze branch. So simple, so clever.

I’m a fan of the original Urbanista, I love it, it’s a little pricey, but the coffee’s great and I’d recommend the baked chicken rolls.

Anyway, enough of the food, I was more interested in discovering if I could watch Zoella’s latest offering without having to wait 45 minutes for the stream to buffer.

Here are the results:



Well, after waiting two minutes for the page to load, I actually got a pretty good result.

Taaa Daaa!

Fast, clearly it’s never going to be as fast as Ookla says (0.94 Internets), but it was fast enough to learn about Zoella’s latest skin regimen.

As this is the first Digital Hobo review, I’m unsure as to what rating to give Urbanista, Hamra.

I’ll plump for a good 4/5 WiFis.