Archive for the ‘961malls’ Category

Expired products & customer service

Monday, August 19th, 2013



a friend of mine who like me is in beirut for the summer, sent me these pictures along with her story with tsc beirut - one day she asks her husband to bring sadia chicken nuggets from tsc, but after checking the products she discovered that they have been expired for 2 months!

going back to a supermarket in beirut is not walk in the park especially with traffic jams, not to mention security hazards... so she calls tsc and asks for a refund with one condition: tsc to do the trip to her house for that matter - tsc agrees and promises to call back immediately - hours pass by but no one calls, so she contacts consumer protection authorities and one minute later, just like magic, tsc was on the line apologizing - not only they brought her the refund, but they also brought a big tray of cold cuts as an act of good will.

why put yourself in such a situation? to begin with, why are you selling expired products? then if your products have expired, your customer service shouldn't! getting back shortly means shortly and not hours, hours mean ditching & neglecting a complaint and disrespecting your customer.

what happened to the cold cuts tray? it ended up in the trash bin.. my friend must have wondered what if the cold cuts were also expired? well i don't blame her..

Carrefour’s Beirut paid carts

Thursday, July 11th, 2013



i was at carrefour a few days back where i spotted this new system for the shopping carts - carrefour have decided that customers should pay for a cartaccess, so they chained them all together and now you have to pay 500 lebanese pounds (100 fils) to get one.


now if you don't have change, not to worry, carrefour have installed coin machines to help you out break your bills - not sure why we have to pay for a shopping cart, if they were after organizing the carts they should return the money post shopping.

hope they don't apply the same stupid system in kuwait, it's a real hassle!

Meet Awesome Classic Burger Joint!

Thursday, January 3rd, 2013


i don't know how we ended up there, but i'm glad we did! we were wandering around uruguay street in down town beirut where we stopped by patrick's irish pub for a glass of wine - my friends bumped into an old friend running classic burger joint so we promised to drop by afterwards.

classic burger joint is a small and cool place in down town beirut, one of 7 other joints spread across the country in strategic locations - it's a special concept that focuses on burgers only and their essential sides, with small restaurants catering for 30 to 50 people max in order to maximize the consumer experience - the average check per person varies between 20 to 30$ and focuses on customer service while the place is decorated like the typical new york burger joints with catchup and mustard barrels stacked on the kitchen's front shelves.

the lovely black & white pictures are taken live in new york, the guys flew there and took some authentic burger joints shots to decorate their restaurants, and it gives it a unique touch.

we were advised to try the classic cheese burger and it was a great choice, i recommend you try it - the burger is well-flavored and juicy without being messy and that's what i like in a burger, this unique balance of juice that makes yummy without having to change your shirt after consumption! the fries could use some help, not sure if it were the weather as we sat outside and it was cold which made them turn cold very quickly, nevertheless and on the brighter side, the fries portion is good enough for two!

i recommend you visit classic burger joint the next time you visit beirut, you can check the down town location here.

Happy New Year!

Tuesday, January 1st, 2013


we usually start the year with maguy farah's horoscopes, but this year we decided to start with al-abraj - we posted about this site back in september however we learned that they have released their 2013 horoscopes just a few days ago.

it seems that 2013 is the year of luck, but if you want more details you can click here - wishing you a happy, healthy and prosperous 2013, may all your wishes come true.

Awesome gesture!

Monday, December 31st, 2012


my son spotted this awesome picture on facebook and we'd like to end the year on this hopeful story - the sign over the bread bags says "whoever is in need of bread and cannot afford to pay for it, may take it for free!"

wish everyone thinks of the needy in 2013 and help them in any way or form they can, just like this thoughtful bakery in tripoli, northern lebanon.

Making an honest living..

Sunday, December 30th, 2012


my best hobby in beirut is walking around the streets under the rain - though yesterday was dry, i enjoyed my walk around sassine square where i spotted this shoeshine boy - i thought this deprecated profession in much of western civilization has also disappeared from lebanon, but it did not!

it seems that many boys, especially those who left syria to find refuge in lebanon are trying to make an honest living through this old profession, so i decided to make a pit stop, polish my shoes & help at the same time - it's been ages since i've polished my shoes on the streets of beirut, actually my grandpa used to take me with him for that matter, long long time ago...

boot polishing is an honest profession, actually many celebrities and presidents started their careers as shoeshiners, like james brown the godfather of soul, malcom x, luiz inácio lula da silva later president of brazil, andalejandro toledo, later president of peru.

though the winds of change are bowing strong across this region, i am not sure this kid will ever make it to presidency one day - but at least he is not begging or stealing.. kudos brave kid!

Strangers in Beirut

Friday, December 28th, 2012


every year we pack our stuff and head to beirut to spend christmas with the family, and every year we feel more disconnected with our home place.

i was doing some errands and by the time i reached my in-laws it was already 3:00 pm, which means power cut for 3 hours - everything seems to be chaotic in beirut except for the punctuality of power cuts, they never fail - since my in-laws live in the 7th floor, it was out of the question for me to take the stairs, so i went to nearby starbucks in sassine square, ashrafieh to kill some time.

i sat there drinking my coffee quietly, suddenly i bumped into an old friend from kuwait, she was there with her husband apparently for the same reason as they live nearby... a few minutes later, i bump into yet another friend from kuwait, who used to work with the other lady i had met a few minutes ago, purely by coincidence...

i finished my coffee, did some more errands, and then picked up my wife and kid and headed to the mountain to visit some friends who left kuwait probably 4 years ago, which made me realize that the only friends we see or bump into in beirut are actually friends from kuwait!

feels like we became strangers in our own town... not a good feeling..

Vinyl is back!

Tuesday, December 25th, 2012


since 2007 vinyl has been gaining popularity again and 2011 has seen a significant jump in sales versus a decline for cds, though the numbers are still shy, we can say that vinyl is back! at virgin megastores, there is a dedicated stand for vinyl, lady gaga's record is selling at 35 us dollars (2 records, 4 sides) - michael buble's record is selling at 27 usd (1 record 2 sides).


the vinyl's trend has also ignited vinyl record players sales - i found many brands at virgin's, teac, lenco and the above numark, selling at 378 us dollars - i've always loved vinyl, it is like a cult to me with its vibrant colored designs and the amazing sound quality - i found some interesting articles on this subject that you can read below:

the vinyl revival

vinyl may be final nail in cd coffin

the secrets of high-quality vinyl record

Awesome posters at Crepaway!

Tuesday, August 21st, 2012

we were at crepaway broumana yesterday where we spotted these awesome advertisements - the first one above was in the washroom, and it basically says "for your ads in our toilets, wash your hands then contact us on - i think this is quite funny!

on one of the restaurants walls, this hilarious banner says "we thought long and hard about what to write here" - love it!!

as for this banner on the exit door, it simply says "crazy world out there" - couldn't agree more!! brilliant copy, way to go crepaway!

A day on the beach

Monday, August 20th, 2012

we took the kids to the beach the other day, a resort called "manar" in jounieh - the place is small, cute and neat, but mostly populated by elderly people and their grandchildren - for me, beach means the sea, sandy or rocky, preferably rocky - so the view above represents going to the beach and i love it.

as for the kids, going to the beach is a totally different experience, they prefer the pool and the springboard - for them the sea is scary and they prefer to stay away from its sands and rocks - not sure how to make them change their minds, this is a bit frustrating for me, they should develop a preference to the natural sandy beaches over the above fake environment.

the best view remains the mountains - quite a strategic spot from where we were sitting, from one side the beach, the other the mountains and the pools - i'll choose the mountains over the beach any day of the year!

Meet Shawarma Joseph

Sunday, August 19th, 2012

there's this great shawarma place in beirut sin el-fil area, called joseph - joseph is a restaurant offering all kinds of sandwiches but the shawarma is simply exquisite! the chicken spit is so huge, i've never seen anything like it before - it's like 70 or 80 cm wide! as for the taste, it is awesome, one of the best in beirut - if you happen to pass by sin el-fil, do stop by joseph and try the shawarma.

by the way, I forgot to mention the "meghle", it's this yummy lebanese sweets usually made when a child is born, you can also find it at joseph's and it is absolutely awesome.

for the best shawarma experience, read our top 10 best practices here.

Shtrumpf VS Relais de L’Entrecôte

Tuesday, July 17th, 2012

i remember ever since i was a kid, there was this cute little caravan on jounieh's beach where we used to gather to grab a bite - that place was called shtrumpf! it was by far the best burger that one can have, and as the caravan grew to become a successful national chain of restaurants, our love for the brand became even stronger - shtrumpf is always on our agenda, especially when we visit beirut, it's kind of a tradition now to take the kids there and let them enjoy the food.

a few days back, we took the kids out for lunch, we picked our usual table and called the waitress, she must have been new as she didn’t really grasp our order, however with some slow and detailed explanation, we finally managed to get the order across right, or we thought we did...

as food landed on the table… it was clear something must have gone majorly wrong! i am not a tomato and onions fan and i always order my cheese burger plane, but this time my burger was totally naked rather than plane! i've never seen anything like this burger before, a tiny piece of patty, with NOTHING... no mayo, no mustard, not even ketchup... just meat on bun!

dad, who usually is a very calm person went mad and called for the manager, who actually was surprised at the scene of this so called burger - he apologized and promised to change my food, but a few seconds later he comes back with 5 salads as compensation, on the house!

we refused to take the salads as each one costs around 23.000 lp (4.5 kd), but the manager insisted and came back with a big family salad instead, plus my cheese burger! i was really touched by this gesture, and the ever smiling staff.. no wonder i love shtrumpf!

unlike my husband, everything seems to work fine for me... no sauce for him, free family salad for me :)

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