(colour: #696969)[I went for a walk one evening from Ashkal.
Walked towards the General Security building.
I used Google Maps to find the [[route->route]] so that I don’t get lost and waste time.]
I followed the directions which led me to a [[security gate->securitygate]] guarded by army men. I realised I had to enter a military zone in order to get to the road closest to General Security.]
I wasn’t allowed. One of the guards was curious to talk to me though. He started a conversation. Joked about whether I had reached Beirut by walking all the way from India...
I said no...obviously.
Then he asked if I came by [[plane->plane]] and laughed rhetorically.
I said yes...obviously.
He asked me about why I came to Beirut. They seemed to know about Ashkal Alwan, and got excited; gestured their hands as though paintng a canvas. “Artist, eh?”
Did I bite my lip and say yes[[?->cctv]]]==><==
I tried to look for CCTV cameras around to see if all this was being recorded. Or did I? Can't remember.]
(colour: #696969)[I was hurriedly ushered away from the gate and was told to follow another road which would take me where I wanted. In the end he said- “Google doesn’t know. I know. I will show you the [[way->walkaway]]. Once upon a time Google would have been right about this route, but now this zone is not open to the public.”]==><==
And so I walked away, walked past the main [[road->road]] and decided to encounter the security personnel who were guarding the other end of the [[blocked->conversation2]] route. ]==><==
This guard was a lot more stern. This time, I told him I wanted to get to Furn el Shabak and showed the map which revealed the path he'd been guarding. His response to my question was, “Why do you want to go? You want to go to prison?” I thought I misheard him. He repeated it several times. I said no, I want to go to Furn el Shabak. He eventually gave up pursuing that question and asked his colleague to guide me through an alternate route.
I said thank you? ...and walked [[back->smokingroom]] to Ashkal. ]==><==
I sat in the smoking room. Watched the screen recording of my movement on the map and audio recordings of the conversations I had had with the men.
[[Want to go through this again?->Untitled Passage]]
(link:"try the route out for yourself?")[(gotoURL:"https://bit.ly/3cRNJrI")]]
(colour: #696969)[Can’t remember what the gate looked like. Was it grey or green? Did it have a wire mesh[[?->conversation1]]]
[[A HYPER LINKED WALK->Untitled Passage]]
(colour: #3b3b3b)[(All images are artificially generated recollections of a vague visual memory.)]