I love tourists. I love that you can have sex with them and then they can’t stalk you because they lack very basic geographical knowledge of the Lebanese land. JK.

Here are some defining characteristics of tourists in Lebanon:

1. They have backpacks

What’s in your backpack? Granola and a bottle of water? What’s going on? Why do you look like you’ve just come back from trekking on Mount Kilimanjaro? Some questions will never be answered.

2. They’re eating from notoriously gross places

You know that gross sandwich place that uses expired food and was once reported to have Hep B swimming around in its shawarma? Chances are, there will be a flock of tourists eating there.

3. They have a problem understanding serving sizes

This was probably the best part about going to a school where there were teachers coming in from abroad: they would buy entire boxes of labneh and proceed to eat the entire fucking thing in one sitting. With a spoon. PRICELESS.

I also once saw a European family at a Lebanese restaurant, each member had ordered one dish; as in, one ordered the hummus, one ordered a tabbouleh, etc. It was probably the best day of my life.

4. The beat-up tennis shoes

Again, were you climbing a huge mountain and got air dropped onto Lebanese soil?

5. They fetishize Lebanese problems

“I was in the elevator and the electricity went out LOL.” Yes, classic LOL situation that half of us are living in poverty and in undesirable conditions.

6. They are more adventurous

Many of my Lebanese friends haven’t been to half the areas or cultural spots that tourists have been to. Tourists tend to have a greater appreciation for Lebanon than we do.

7. They are constantly getting ripped off in cabs

You paid 25,000 LL to get from Bliss to Verdun? Cool.

8. They’re confused by the politics of it all

That same English teacher who ate an entire box of labneh once asked us if “the dahieh” is the one “filled with all the Druze”.

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