N.B This post was originally published in August 2015.

Lebanon: the land of the random and the hilarious! Here are a few telling signs you were raised in Lebanon:

1. Under at least one of your mattresses is a vast land of gift bags and gift wrapping-paper that your mom has saved. And we can’t forget that one huge plastic bag that contains even more plastic bags.

2. Your mom buys newspapers, but not to read – nope, she just uses them to clean the glass doors and windows or to store vegetables in your fridge.

3. Immediately upon meeting a foreigner, you ask them to teach you curse words in their native language.

4. That hidden box of cookies never actually had cookies in it; my earliest disappointment in life was opening one of those and finding a crappy sewing kit.

5. You get confused between giving two/three kisses when greeting someone. Why not one, huh? One is enough! And then you have those who go in for a fourth kiss, I mean – come on, let’s not go overboard here…

6. Whatever the occasion is, someone always wants to “yefra7 feek/feeki.”

7. Every time you go to visit your grandma, she wants you try something that she "made with her own hands," and good luck saying no to that.

8. At one point in your life, you've had to ask if that was a bomb or just fireworks.

9. Missed calls were an important means of communication at some point, one missed call= yes, two missed calls = no, missed call me when you get there etc.

10. You’ve had at least one intensely traumatizing experience with a cab driver.

11. Hearing an “Inshallah” from your parents is their clever way of saying no.

12. When visiting someone with your parents, hearing “let’s leave” never meant actually leaving, it was an invitation to have another conversation right at the door for another hour or so.

13. 7 Up and Panadol were the magical curing potions prescribed to heal any ailment from a stomachache to a broken arm.

14. Your mom had special treats and fancy utensils hidden away and reserved for "special" guests. Who are these special guests? Well, some of us go an entire lifetime without meeting a sacred special guest.

15. You would argue with your siblings over whose turn it was to go down and “yerfa3 el disjoncteur” when the generator would turn off.

16. Your mom would frantically clean the house before the hired help arrived…this one is still a mystery.

17. But no matter how many times you curse this country and threaten to leave, you never do. Because you love it way too much to walk away…or because you can’t get a visa to go anywhere else.

[Images via here, here, here, and here,here.]

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we must exchange notes soon mancunians have very similar traits especially the sewing boxes ( or photo albums in some cases ) loved the article

Robert Dooley on Aug 5, 2015 via web
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yup so many of these things clicked with me - i still keep bags but i have progressed - special cupboard not under the mattress lol. TC keep on writing

Sylvia Kawa on Aug 4, 2015 via web
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I must applaud you for such an enjoyable article. You impeccably described the Lebanese society in 17 points!

Roula Sassine on Aug 4, 2015 via mobile web