on Mar 8, 2013 By Lojine Kamel
"Keefik", "Mnee7a" "Bi ad'dish?"
There, I just taught you 90% of your every day interaction with Arabic speakers. Shoot for a "ca va" and you'll be on your way to being semi-trilingual, a feat only common amongst Lebanese people who love to be associated with all things French.
Ooh and make sure you understand the basics of Arabic text. 7's and 5's are letters bro. Ma sa7?
I'm not exaggerating.
In fact, depending on who you're actually dealing with, 10 minutes actually might mean 30 minutes. And 30 minutes might actually mean an hour, who knows? There's no such thing as timely when it comes to Arabs—especially Lebanese.
My advice: always bring something to keep you occupied while you wait. I've basically perfected my phone games.
Sorry white people...
It's true, foreign people often get taken advantage of in Lebanon... you stick out like an albino in Brazil. Now I know you can't help being Asian looking or really, really Norwegian, but a gigantic travel bag with a socks-and-sandals combo is just over doing it.
So do yourself a favor, skip the fanny pack and try to blend in. And for heaven's sake, please don't try and speak in foos7a.
No, I am not a member of Hizbollah.
Seriously dudes, this one is uber important. Do not ask random people about their political or religious affiliations unless you're deliberately trying to make things awkward. And while you're at it just never mention Israel.
Did I say Israel?!
No. Hell no. Hummus is freakin' ARAB. And it's one of the best things about being Arab too—besides the gorgeous ladies, the berating sun and the millions of family members you didn't know existed—Arab food is basically to die for.
Forget surviving—Lebanese food is an art. Just make sure it's sanitary art.
So if you're looking for a list of places to try, check out our comprehensive guide to restaurants around Lebanon. You're welcome.
Yeah, you should be jealous.
Though we've got bouts of torrential rain and hellish hurricanes, you can be sure that Lebanese spring, summer and fall time boasts some of the best weather in the world—except if you're a redhead.
Seeing as that is statistically improbable, all I can suggest is that you pack lots and lots of swimsuits, because dayaaam have we got a lotta beaches.
This will save you lots of monies, trust me.
Me: "Please, service to AUB."
Driver: "Eh, okay, taxi"
Me: "No, service"
Driver: "Tab service'en"
Me: "NO, SERVICE"
Welcome to Lebanon. Now, for all you newbies out there, a "service" is the layperson's term for taxi in Lebanon—except it'll cost you 8 thou less.
A service is a public taxi that charges you 2 thou to go on any route the driver wants to—with as many other customers as he chooses—as long as you get to your destination. A taxi is private, and will cost you at least 10 thou. "Service'en" is the clever Arabic plural of service, and means exactly that—double the original service cost, at 4 thou.
Need a lift? We've got your back. Check out our list of Lebanese taxi companies here.
Going home before 3 a.m. in Lebanon is out of the question.
Head to Gemmayzeh, Hamra Street, Monot, Uruguay Street, Alley Way or Mar Mikhael and just take in the hoards of partying teenagers and 20-somethings slowly angering their livers. Now join them.
If there's one thing you can be sure of the Lebanese, it's that they know how to party. So say goodbye to your wallets and your dignity, and indulge yourself with an extended-night that you'll never be able to remember.
Arabs are crazy. Lebanon is crazy. Hummus is crazy—delicious.
Whether its a dog riding a motorbike or a 3-hour lack of electricity, Lebanon is full of endearing—and not-so-endearing—quirks that will leave you feeling exhausted, entertained, exasperated, and some other e-word that I can't remember (shush, it's Friday).
So don't fret when your manousheh dude decides to take ages to talk to his teta on the phone or when the car next to you decides to show off his colorful vocabulary. It's just part of the crazy.
Embrace it. Live it. Love it.
We know everything that's happening in Lebanon—the parties, the plays, the best places to eat, the coolest tourist attractions, and where to go when you need to get your dryer fixed—if Lebanon needs it, we've basically got it.
So accept us as your bestest bud ever, because we've totes got your back. Our website is comprehensive, colorful, and crazy awesome to boot, and we're here for your use, any day, anytime, and anywhere.
We love Beirut. You love Beirut. Let's love it together.
Welcome to Lebanon.
Here's how to survive it.
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