I moved to Lebanon a year ago and here are 12 things I’ve learnt since I’ve moved here:
Everyone’s mother is a better cook
Your colleagues show up to work with tupperwares filled with their mom’s cooking. You’re encouraged to taste their mom’s dish of the day stirring a debate on who’s mother cooks it best.
Your mind excels in currency conversions
When I first moved here, I found myself hesitating at the supermarket cashier for a moment while I mentally converted $ to LL currency, not to mention I would always convert them to Kuwaiti Dinars so I get an understanding of what I’m paying. A year later $ and LL seem to be the same currency in my mind.
Wait before crossing the road
Lebanon might be the best place to teach people not to jaywalk. You learn to stand at the sidewalk, look both ways, and then look both ways again, not because you might get a jaywalking ticket, but to triple check no crazy driver is headed your way.
Road Rage is an Art
You will find yourself adopt the Lebanese style of road rage – honking and getting creative with your screaming slurs.
Seize the Moment
You learn to become spontaneous. I can’t count the amount of times I thought I’d be spending the evening in front of the TV, only to find myself dancing until dawn several hours later and loving it. I’ve also had quite a few days where I thought I’d be spending it at home doing the laundry, only to find myself spending the day on a road trip.
The Souk El Tayeb Experience
You go to Souk el Tayeb and feel like you’re contributing to local farmers and produce when you purchase a mere half kilo of janarek. While doing so, you get into a debate on if its janerek or janaring and find yourself explaining to foreigners what it is.
Speaking of which, you become an expert on seasonal fruits. You know the season of every fruit and when is the best time to buy them and at what rate
You become patient
You learn to be so patient that even the Dalai Lama can’t compete. Everything takes so much time to get done here whether it’s waiting for the maintenance guy, getting paperwork down, or simply waiting for a website to load.
Survive the darkness
I’ve learnt to continue to do things in the dark. when the electricity used to go out when I first moved here, I used to freeze, stop what I was doing or stop speaking until the generator switched on. A year later I find myself continuing on in the dark.
You’re more athletic than you think
You become an Olympian gold medalist when they electricity goes out – run & jump over obstacles to switch off some electrical appliances before the generator comes on
Everyone is a meteorologist
You would be chilling enjoying the breeze and everyone at the table starts discussing the breeze you’re feeling “hayda hawa jnoubi. halla2 tet2allab el ta2es w tit7assan”
Can you cook? Really?!
You’re only an expert in the kitchen if you learn how to make ma7ashi from A to Z. It doesn’t matter if you can cook up some real great dishes from anywhere else in the world. Bonus: You will get complimented at how good you hollow a zucchini and rolling grape vines.