Beirut: Second week

I am slowly settling down. The apartment remains almost empty; our furniture, I estimate, is now in the middle of the Atlantic.  I give it at least two weeks before we have our “stuff” in place. I miss my white chair the most, our bed second. I already see that not everything will fit, including the bed…

It takes a while to get used to life after the Bank. Without the boundaries imposed by having to commute to work, attend meetings, manage budgets, and meet deadlines entropy can quickly take over.  It is a very elegant law and it applies to everything, every natural system, including us, humans. Without routines, goals, and passions our days converge to disorder and we gradually decompose both mentally and physically. I am not there yet.

First thing in the morning, just after basic bi processes, I walk and feed the dogs; now that I am a stay-home spouse it has become my duty.  Boiling water for coffee is the second task of the day.  We haven’t figured yet what is the most efficient technology to produce a couple of cups of coffee per day.  I don’t want to continue using expresso machines with pods and I don’t particularly like drip coffee.  The alternatives are a French press, and Italian percolator, or a true expresso machine. I would go for the latter but there is an important price difference and, now that I don’t a job, like in modern, functioning democracies, the value of my vote within the household has depreciated.  For now, we have the worst of all options:  instant coffee (cappuccino really) by Nestle.

After having had coffee, usually while reading the press, the day starts to become fussier and more disorganized. I first deal with the few e-mails I receive these days; this is one of the biggest changes so far. Mainly administrative stuff related to the move or follow ups on meetings to discuss future work opportunities (I’ve had a couple this week).  I also continue to follow-up on Antares’ related stuff.  I have to say that they guys at the shipyard in Turks and Caicos are not very responsive and I don’t like to nag them every day.

By 9:30am I usually start to write.  I have been working since I arrived on a, long overdue, book proposal.  A non-technical book about the Future of Work – a sort of policy manifesto, memoire, and travel-log. It is progressing.  Work was interrupted by a short trip to Rome last week where I had to baby-sit my daughters while my ex-wife worked (she brought them alone). I am still missing the abstracts of six of the 10 chapters.

After a couple of hours of work, I go to the gym.  There is a nice gym in the building where I alternate between doing weights and running on the treadmill.  I now take only one shower a day, the one after the gym.  I am glad because of the water and time I’m saving compared to before, when showering was the first activity of the day. After I dress I have a light lunch and then go out to continue writing in one of the cafés nearby. Drinks follow sometimes, Natalia joins me, and we have dinner outside.  Otherwise, I go back home and cook and have dinner in the balcony; the weather is very pleasant at night.  And soon is time to go to bed. With a few exceptions, we have been sleeping early these days.


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