It’s late on a Saturday night and I’m sitting in the comfort of our home, playing a really cool board game with our friends called Takenoko, where we’re trying to cultivate bamboo to get a panda to survive. This is all set to 80s music that we’re live-streaming from some radio station in the Netherlands.
It’s a pretty cool game and I’m a sucker for 80s music.- So it doesn’t seem so weird that this is exactly how I want to be spending my Saturday nights.
That may sound strange to you.
I’m in mid-twenties and I live in Beirut- the “party capital of the Middle East” if you believe all those publications. So I shouldn’t be at home playing board games with the guys (and attempting to write a blog post).
I should be out partying.
But that is not who I am. I’ve never gone to a party and had fun. In fact, I have always emerged with a headache and feeling like an evening had gone to waste. That is, of course, if I’ve actually stayed up long enough to go to one.
Trust me, I really tried-several times. But the moment the music starts getting louder and louder and the people around me down one drink after the other, I increasingly become uncomfortable to a point where I’m leaving the venue before the party has even hit its stride.
And it used to bother me, that I couldn’t get myself into the scene- especially because it seems to be the cornerstone of young adulthood in Lebanon. At least the pictures on Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat seem to suggest so.
You haven’t gotten the full experience if you haven’t partied until the sun rose.
But I just can’t wrap my head around the idea that people willingly want to damage their hearing when they could spend the evening arguing about strategies and attempting to beat that one guy who always wins (notice that I said attempting).
So at some point, I just stopped caring. I am not less of a Lebanese young adult because I have never been to B018 or Decks on the Beach.
We do things differently at our household and in our friend group- and to us, that’s just a lot more fun. Especially that it can be done in the comfort of our home, to our own soundtrack (often changing the song lyrics to reflect the game we’re playing), in the comfiest clothes possible.
Now, if you excuse me, some friendships are about to be destroyed. And it’s all because of a Panda.