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Christina Fakhry 06 May 2016

The Ugly Truth About Driving In Beirut

I love so many things about Beirut, but driving surely isn’t on the list! Ride along and let me show you why:

You acquire certain vocabulary

It should be noted that when you learn to drive in Lebanon, you learn a whole lot of swearing too. You also have to learn the hidden meaning behind different beeps. One short beep = excuse me; ten consecutive short beeps: I’m a taxi; one long beep: you’re an asshole.

To flash or not to flash?

Dear drivers, the turn-signals in your car are not just a pretty accessory, and your hand absolutely cannot replace them. And since I don’t have superpowers to predict if you are suddenly going to take a left or a right, please use your turn signals.

Same goes for traffic lights

Did you know that the circular red, yellow, and green lights are not simply decorations for our streets> Stop yelling at the next civilized driver that will actually stop at the red light.

The scary adventure of roundabouts and intersections

Vehicles bursting through, hurrying aggressively from every possible (and impossible) direction, driving like nut jobs, and abusing the horn. All the while the policeman is just standing there checking his mobile phone. It’s enough to give you a heart attack.

The fake traffic

When you see a lot of traffic ahead and it turns out it’s just another “service” stopping every meter along the way in the middle of the street to pick up more passengers. Or because a genius driver has decided to not double, but triple park.

The crazy case of the scooters

And just when you think that the cars are the only issue, here come the small motorcycles! Whether they come as a herd or solo, they like to put up a stupid show waltzing around and causing multiple accidents.

What is the deal with the radio?

Just when you decide to calm down and turn on the radio, all you get is some crappy music or roadshow while a party is happening in the car next to you.

The feeling of salvation

Then suddenly, when you least expect it, you see the light at the end of the tunnel and finally end up in your neighborhood!

Still feel like going on that road-trip?

Good luck, and don’t say we didn’t warn you.