Saturday, 5 February 2011

A Sunday Top Five: Things that make Libya liveable

1. Weather  - last year I scraped ice off my car on only one day, it was 4 deg. by the time I got to my office it was 8 deg, by lunchtime 20deg. That's as bad as winter gets, apart from some days of rain, it's not too bad. But from April to November it is superb 35-40 deg C, blue sky and gorgeous.

2. Palm city supermarket - This is a supermarket in a new, expensive, expat compound. Apply for a non resident  entry card and you too can enjoy shopping in a small, pricey but well stocked emporium. You find things you'll see no where else in Libya, they even have Marmite! Sometimes they have Thorntons chocolate. Last week I bought some broccoli the size of a baby's head, whilst the usual Libyan veg stalls sold tennis ball sized pieces. For that alone, they rock.

Whether going up or down, this hill is 10/10
3. Training - there's not much to do here. I don't watch tv, I tend not to socialise on weekdays. That leaves plenty of time for training. There are heaps of places to run, some superb hills to cycle on and the sea or some good open air pools for swimming. I'd prefer to run in Aberdeen, but I'd rather cycle here.

4. Expats -  there's a certain type of expat that comes and stays here. I think if you come and stay for more than 6 months then you are that type. For sure, we all like to bitch about how sh*t Libya is compared to other  countries we've worked in (and it is) but we all much prefer it to living in our home countries.

5. Gin - I could have said alcohol. But gin deserves a special mention. At an 'open bar' it is always the most popular drink. If there's Bombay Sapphire on offer, there will be a queue and a very 'dispirited' host.
Recently Person A said he was placing an order and how many bottles did  parties B,C, and Ed want ?
Answer: get what what you can and we'll divvy it up.
Person Ed got 5 bottles and will pass one to A.n.other in a reciprocal agreement.
No other adult beverage commands this level of respect, but when you're at a party, with a G&T in hand and your pinky is stuck out, elbow high. For a moment, you're not in Libya. and that's a good thing.

Bonus 6. Special mention for: Malta. If you fly from Libya to Malta it is 45 minutes, 2 beers away. If you fly from Malta to Libya it is 3 G&Ts, 2 red wines and 2 beers away. Depending on how early you check in. See a previous post on why Malta is the closest thing to haven we have.


  1. did you mean 'haven' or did you slip up with the spelling of heaven?!

  2. Malta is haven, Libya is haven't