Baptism by fire. That’s how I would describe my early experiences of getting through the day in Lebanon. It’s like the country hazes you when you first arrive but if you persevere, you will find amazing life lessons in unlikely places. Here are some of the valuable and unique lessons I’ve learned in my short time here in Lebanon:

1. “You cannot burn what is already on fire.”
A very soft-spoken young hairdresser imparted this piece of wisdom on me right after the Achrafieh car bombing a couple of years ago. I was visibly shaken and she told me not to worry. The gravitas of the statement was somewhat diluted when she suggested I try Botox. “We are having a sale now.”

2. It’s not the argument that matters, it’s the volume.
This is pretty much an unspoken-rule in many places of employment in Lebanon. It also applies in politics, restaurants, and cabs.

3. Your body is your temple. Your very skinny temple.
If you are female and order a latte at Starbucks the baristas will typically double check to make sure you don’t actual want a Skinny latte.

4. How to operate in the dark.
One of the greatest lessons of all, after living here a few years, you will be able to fully get dressed, put on your makeup and even prepare a sandwich in the dark.

5. Trust No One, life Goes On.
This is a life lesson that I once found written on the back of a taxi. It’s timeless and golden, I’m not 100% sure why he capitalized what he did, but the man must be on to something.


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Interesting which direction the bus and the car will turn , usually,and unbelievably , they will turn right ......against the traffic to reach their intended destination ,its part of the Lebanese disease called MFS.......................................ive taken the vaccine for Me First Syndrome i can now cross the central reservation without any shame

Robert Dooley on Nov 4, 2015 via web
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Ive learned how to enter a lift before anyone arriving can get out, Ive learned how to park my car next to the check out till,

Robert Dooley on Nov 4, 2015 via web