5 (Wed) December 2018
Deep-Fried Red Mullet
-General de Gaulle Sporting Club Beach, Beirut-
Mission to Lebanon, Day 4 (see previously 9.333 Grilled Halloumi Cheese) – personal deviation.
In Beirut. Deployed to attend a Meeting of the Regional Parliamentary Working Group on Universal Health Coverage in the Eastern Mediterranean Region – Monday to Tuesday. Now just hanging out for a couple extra days – who knows if ever I’ll be back in Lebanon?
Feluka is a Lebanese seafood restaurant. Daily fresh specials on display, cooked to order.
So glad for a meal that didn’t involve mixed grilled meats.
The food was good. Fresh ingredients, simple preparation.
It was kinda lonely having a seafood feast by myself.
Earlier in the day, I went diving – sort of. On our initial descent, at a depth of around 15 meters, my rental regulator suddenly flooded while I was inhaling, and I swallowed water down the wrong hatch, causing me to cough uncontrollably. Even worse, panic quickly set in, and I started hyperventilating, and my heart began to pound, and all I could think about was finning like mad back to the surface – even while a part of me, the trained rescue diver part of me, told myself to relax, and switch to my octopus (spare regulator), and calmly inflate by BCD (buoyancy control device) to gently rise to the surface. I returned to the boat, belly queasy from taking in too much seawater, head throbbing, heart still pounding, and waited for the others to finish the dive. Later, the fucking dive operator – National Institute for Scuba Diving – tried to defend his improperly maintained gear by claiming that I must’ve “inhaled too hard” – this would be like saying the wheels of a car fell off because of rapid acceleration. Asshole. Anyway, I was utterly surprised at how easily panic could set it, even with my training and experience, even with such a simple malfunction on a simple recreational dive. Good lesson that every dive must be taken dead seriously.
Lebanon is the 6th country and the Mediterranean Sea is the 7th body of water where I’ve enjoyed the privilege of diving.
- Philippines, Balayan Bay (Anilao) (9.042 Garlic Squid + Buttered Vegetables); Batangas Bay (Puerto Galera) (9.115 Budae Jjigae)
- Fiji, Nadi Bay (Nadi) (6.104 Seared Mahi Mahi)
- Maldives, Arabian Sea (Male) (9.190 Grilled Snapper)
- Malaysia, Tunku Abdul Rahman National Park (Kota Kinabalu) (9.248 Homemade Chicken Curry)
- Jordan, Red Sea (Aqaba) (9.265 Mixed Grill)
- Lebanon, Mediterranean Sea (Beirut)