Has anyone ever noticed how everything in Lebanon requires a tip?

1. The Gas Station
You stop at the pump for gas. The gas station attendant squeegees your car's windshield. You tip him.

2. The Car Wash
You go to the car wash, and suddenly five attendants are scrubbing, drying, and buffing your car. You scratch your head as you hand each of them a tip.

3. The Water Supplier
Your house water tank depletes and you call a water truck to replenish it. You tip the supplier.

4. Taxi Drivers
You take a taxi from point A to point B. You pay your fare and tip the driver.

5. Hair Salons
You visit the salon to have your hair coiffed. You tip the apprentice to wash it, and you tip the hair stylist for not singing it with the straightening iron.

6. Supermarket
You buy groceries from the supermarket, and the bag boy insists on toting your bags to your car. You tip him.

7. The Concierge
Your concierge rushes to your side when he sees you unloading the groceries from the car. He helps you carry them to your doorstep. You tip him.

8. Cashiers
You order a cup of coffee from your favorite coffee shop. The coffee's already overpriced, but the cashier gently nudges the glass jar filled with singles in your direction. You can't help but tip him.

9. Delivery Guys
You order a meal to your home or office. You tip the delivery boy.

10. The Hookah Lounge
You go to your local shisha cafe for arguileh and some nibbles. You tip your waiter and you tip the boy tending to your shisha coals. Then you tip the valet parker on your way out.

11. Valet Parking
You visit a restaurant, cafe, pub, lounge, cinema, mall, shopping center, sporting club, mountain resort, place of worship even. If there's no posted parking fee, you can bank on the fact that you have a valet parker to tip.

12. Clerics
You get engaged and your cleric blesses the engagement rings. You tip him.

13. Religious Centers
You book a church/mosque/religious center wherein to exchange your marriage vows. Guess who’ll be expecting a tip?

I think I need a budget just for tipping.

Danielle Issa is a food blogger in Lebanon. You can find her on Twitter, and be sure to check out her blog, Beirutista.

Thirteen Times I've Had to Tip in Lebanon

Photo via flickr.com


Articles & Media

2 photos


Avatar 1
Post to facebook
Avatar 2

Totally agree, Neo, but in Lebanon tipping has become attached to every little service, whether or not it merits a tip! It's almost like a surcharge and not a suggested donation. Imagine having to pay to park your own car on a public sidewalk just to fend off the valet vultures--ridiculous, no?

Danielle Issa on Jan 10, 2014 via web
Avatar 2

Tipping is an act of extra compensation in exchange for a good service, tipping is a right, not an obligation, therefore, an option, yet you do make it sound like it is, and the amount of tipping varies depending on your satisfaction, so if you don't enjoy tipping, i suggest you get up and do all the chores yourself..

Neo Ajaka on Jan 10, 2014 via web