Archive for the 'f. Cars & Electronics' Category

The Student TAB

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Alfa & MTC Touch are launching a special package to students across Lebanon, in collaboration with the Ministry of Telecommunication, combining a 3G connection with an Intel Tab.  Payments can be done over 2 years at 19.9$ a month

For anyone interested in this package, check out both providers:
Alfa TAB
MTC Touch Tabby Kit

 

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Lebanon by Bike!

This weekend, I accompanied a good friend on a Harley Group Ride across the mountains of Lebanon. There’s a sentence I thought I’d never say.  After the experience, I can safely say that you have not experienced the beauty of nature or the true value of Lebanon’s beauty until you’ve seen it in open air with nothing else but the crisp mountain air between you and your view of breakthaking views.  Moreover, it really brings out the child in you.  I couldn’t stop smiling for the entire ride and neither could any of the passerbys who were taking video and pictures of the 100 bike convoy. 

We started in Achrafieh, drove up through Aley to Hamana, then to Dhour el Choueir, Bekfaya and Jeita Grotto for lunch.  The ride lasted a good 6 hours but was worth every minute.  I’m happy that I did it on a winter day because the colors are so much more vivid and the mountain air is therapeutically fresh and clean.

Unfortunately for most of us, you need to own a Harley to get to ride with this friendly group or you can ride on the back.  Otherwise, just rent a motorbike, take a friend and go explore the mountains.  This experience is one that shouldn’t be missed.

Taxi Lesson 101

I heard the most shocking story today about an Gulf National being charged $300 for a taxi from the Airport to the Phoenicia Hotel.  I can’t believe that person actually paid that bill because that’s probably around the same amount he paid for his plane ticket.  For that price, he should have taken a helicopter to the Phoenicia and it would have even been less than that!

That case was an extreme but for all the rest of you Lebanese and foreigners coming for a visit to Lebanon, please note the following:

  • Lebanon is not New York, Hong Kong or Paris… Yes it is quite close and we do pride ourselves for living it up but there is no way in hell that a taxi from the airport to Beirut (10 min ride) is going to cost you more than $30.  A $300 fare can take you all the way to Jordan from here!  And for the record, all the above cities mentioned shouldn’t cost you more than $100 from the airport to your destination as well.
  • Do yourselves a favor and agree on the price before you get in the car.  Better yet, prebook the taxi online or by phone beforehand using some of the taxis in this link (Taxis in Beirut).  If those are too many names for you to handle, you can try Allo Taxi, Taxi Premiere, Safe Taxi or Geryes Taxi.
  • Don’t take the first price the taxi gives you as set unless it’s a prebooking with a larger company as those are usually set by the company.  Feel free to haggle.  I believe the fee from the Airport to Beirut is anywhere from $25 to $40 depending on the car you choose and Beirut to Jounieh will be around $20 to $30 but prices may be subject to change slightly because of traffic and rising gas prices. 
  • If you think that you aren’t being treated appropriately, take down the number of the taxi and report it and do not get into a taxi (unless its sent by a company) that does not have a red license. 

The above points should be enough to prepare you for your first few taxi trips in Beirut.  After that, you’ll get the hang of it on your own.  But keep in mind… the sky’s the limit.  We have Limo taxis, London taxis, Luxury taxis, pink taxis and soon even water taxis… Stay tuned for Taxi Lesson 202 for some of the different taxis you can enjoy on your visit.

In-Flight Calls with Alfa

Thanks to Alfa, no longer will we have our heart in our hands when every Lebanese turns on their cell phones to msg and call before the plane has landed, despite the warnings repeatedly mentioned by the Flight crew. 

Alfa has launched the Onboard Roaming service allowing Prepaid and Postpaid users to make calls and send messages while flying the friendly skies with specific airlines such as Emirates, Wataniya and Qatar Airways among others.  The fees are costly starting from $3.06 a minute for calls and $0.95 for messages but worth the extra bill for business trips and long flights.

For more details, check out the Alfa Onboard Service on the Alfa website. 

The Lebanon Motor Show

My friends and I finally got the chance to go to the Lebanon Motor Show today.  It was definitly worth the stop because of the very interesting offers, an impressive showcase of the new models and an excellent way to compare cars if you’re considering purchasing a car.  The Motor show has something for everyone with around 400 cars on display from Luxury cars such as Lamborghini, Maserati and Porsche to medium luxury such as Mercedes, BMW and Audi to mass such as Kia, Renault and Hyundai.  Not looking for cars, check out the hall of car accessories and insurance options. 

Hybrid cars, from Toyota to Lexus, were also on display among the many other options available for purchase.  What struck me were the “sold” signs on many cars, mostly the nice ones.  According to sources, 15,000 cars have already been sold with more expected sales on the way.  There are two days left of great offers, great cars and an enjoyable experience for anyone who hasn’t made it down to Biel yet. 

Luxury Taxi with Charlie Taxi

The other day I was driving and I saw a beautiful white Chrysler 300 with a Charlie taxi sign on top with people sitting comfortably in the back.  First thing I did was call Charlie Taxi.  Apparently they offer Luxury cars such as Chrysler, Mercedes and Lexus for luxury lovers.  I made up a scenario to get an idea of pricing asking for a quote of 2 hours with a return trip from Jounieh to Beirut which turned out to be $60.  As for the sign on top, you have the option to remove it. 

For bookings or queries, you can contact Charlie Taxi on 01-285710 or visit their website equipped with online booking on www.charlietaxi.com.

London Taxi Now in Lebanon

Was running to the market for some quick groceries and saw a beautiful London Taxi parked in front.  Looks like the likes of London have arrived in Beirut.  Services available for hire by April 1, 2010 with colors in black, white and pink to make for a stylish new alternative for weddings, bachelor/bachelorette parties or good old taxi services.  All information available on the website.



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