Living in Beirut can be…confusing. We’re here to help clear some things up!

1. Was it a WhatsApp hoax or a legit security concern?

One of the things that make me feel worst for newbies is the sheer amount of security hoaxes that get passed around the country. Someone’s aunt sends them a voice note detailing the malls and restaurants they should avoid - is it a hoax or is it a legit concern leaked by intelligence agencies? Or a hoax? Or legit? It’s always a hoax…Right?

2. Does he actually know you or is it just a pick-up line?

Ana sheyfik 2abel…” the most douchetastic Lebanese pick-up line of all time, and it will have you truly pondering, do I actually know this person? During your first year in Beirut, you’ll smile wide and ask “OH DO YOU WORK AT TAVOLINA CAUSE THAT’S WHERE I GO ALL THE TIME! You’ll soon replace that with a grunt.

3. Is she going to a wedding or to breakfast with her friends?

High heels, check. Leopard print dress, check. No it’s not a wedding in BIEL, it’s a breakfast at Mandaloun. Learn the difference.

4. Is this cab driver insane?

Or was he actually a neurosurgeon in Germany who gave it all up for the love of the cab and the cedar? Who knows.

5. Do Avicii and Tiesto fucking live here?

Answer: no. They'll just routinely drop in for a concert every 15-20 days. You will be ear-fucked by the radio in the weeks leading up to the event.

6. Is this the greatest shawarma on Earth or are you just drunk?

It’s both. Welcome to Lebanon, land of tequila shots and shawarma sandwiches.

7. Is it an extremely important situation or nothing at all?

Why is the road closed? Why are there so many army tanks? Why are there sirens blaring in the distance? It’s mostly nothing.

8. Night club or simple shopping experience?

Nope. It’s just your local Zara.

9. Is someone trying to rob you or legitimately help?

Living in Beirut can help with instilling in you a deep, unrelenting case of chronic paranoia which is to say: the seemingly innocent gesture of a stranger tapping you on the shoulder offering to hold your bag has the power to elicit an almost animalistic response. You can trust people, until you can’t.

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