1. You’ve been picked up for a ride with a complete stranger.

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So your friends want you to go out (the usual last-minute plans) but you don’t have a ride. In a subtle expression of loyalty, they decide to take action and send someone to pick you up. This someone is most likely a friend of a friend you never knew existed who happens to be passing by the area. Or else you’ve just walked out of the house in the morning and you bump into a neighbor you once said "hi" to five years ago and they insist on offering you a ride. This kind of ride usually involves a standard combination of awkward silences and weather talk.

2. You’ve squeezed into a car with five other people.

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You’re going to the beach on a Monday and then your mom’s friend who has four kids, a dog, half the kitchen and a superman suit in the back of her car decides to drive you too. You kindly decline the offer, but she bombards you with enough walaw habibees to have you eventually squeezed into the right corner of her back seat.

3. You've waited for a taxi that never showed up.

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There you have it, car-less (signed: Taxi Services of Lebanon).

4.You have every taxi service in the country on your phone.

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Years of experience with Beiruti taxi services have earned you the prestigious title of certified taxi expert. Aside from having all of their numbers saved in your phone, you have developed a full mental database of each company’s service patterns and drivers, and can recognize their call center agents by voice.

5.What is a parking spot and why is it so hard to find?

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You hear the parking excuse every single time a classmate comes in late and wonder whether you should feel happy not to have to worry about it or sad not to be able to use it as an excuse yourself.

6.“I’ll be there” is never as easy as it sounds…

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Oh well, your car is not waiting at the door.

7. Everyone wants to offer you a ride.

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The party is over and five of your friends have already offered you a ride home. This means you have to sit in denial through a five-minute debate over who’s more eligible to drive you home that gradually develops into a forced manifestation of the Lebanese hospitality melodrama. And no, you can’t “just call the taxi service” because you wouldn’t want to risk being bullied for the rest of your car-less life.

8. You set your schedule according to your dad’s.

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You always end up tailoring your courses, visits, summer plans and life, eventually, to someone else’s work schedule (your dad, most probably) and having unrealistic expectations about the amount of studies you can catch up on during the commute.

9. You’ve become famous among taxi drivers.

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Judging by the traffic standards of Beirut, you basically spend more time with taxi drivers than with your own family. They’ve come to recognize you, expect you, wait for you and will eventually end up knowing your life story (after making sure you’ve memorized theirs, of course).

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Ten Struggles All Journalism... Listomania on Sep 9, 2015


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