If you live in Lebanon or visit it every once in awhile, one aspect of life here never ceases to amaze you: the people’s driving.
It is as if Lebanese people have adopted their own driving rules, like using their hands instead of the turning signals or having their own honking codes.
Amid all the chaos, there are a few types of drivers you are bound to find every time you hit the road in Lebanon, and here’s a list of them:
#1 The competitors
There’s no way for these drivers to just relax. These ones think the roads are their race tracks and other drivers are their competitors. You find them going into complete road rage, yelling and cussing and cutting in front of other vehicles.
Like… chill man! We understand your passion, but nobody’s competing with you and there’s surely no prize to win at the end of the road!
These types of drivers honk at everything and everyone. A person crossing the street? Peep! A cat? Peep! The road is empty? Peep!
Seriously, what kind of self-expression is this?
#3 The taxi drivers
“Lawen wassil?” (Where are you headed?): If you hear this while walking on a street in Lebanon, this is not a catcall, this is just a taxi driver trying to find a customer.
And as soon as they find one, they just stop in the middle of the road, so always keep a fair distance between your car and the taxi in front of you.
#4 The moving concert
These ones listen to their favorite song while driving, and they make sure the whole world hears it too. They are usually driving a BMW, listening to Wadih El-Sheikh and wearing a plain white sleeveless shirt.
If they are really deep in the mood, they would also loudly sing along.
#5 The moving warehouse
These types of drivers carry in their car’s trunk furniture bigger than their cars, or big plants curtailing the view of several cars behind, or large wooden boards extending out a meter or two.
You have no idea how they got this stuff in or how they’ll get it out. You just hope for the sake of everyone that none of it will end up falling in the middle of the road or, wost, on your car!
#6 The king of the roads
This is usually someone with a big car or a truck. They just drive around like they own the road, just because they have a bigger vehicle than yours and most, and can easily crush you and most. Lebanese roads can be scary.
#7 The one who obviously doesn’t have a license
How is this person able to own a car? Who gave him / her a driving license? Big mystery!
All that you know is that these drivers obviously don’t know what any of the road signs mean, they don’t stop at traffic lights, and don’t know about turning signals. It honestly would be safer if they would just buy a bicycle.
#8 The slow drivers
They are not only slow drivers, but they also insist on being on the left lane. Maybe they just like pissing people off, nobody knows. But they surely get honked and yelled at a lot.
These are the nice ones, sometimes overly nice. They let all the cars go before them, stopping an entire line of traffic behind them.
They also like to wave enthusiastically at the ones who let them go first (probably an even nicer fellow than them). They may be annoying to some people, but they also make others’ day by their good gestures.
#10 The multitaskers
Driving while eating, texting, and reaching for something from the back seat, among other things they feel a must to do, is completely normal for these types of drivers.
They are not only a danger for themselves and to other cars, but they also give their passengers multiple heart attacks.
Who needs a map or a GPS when this person is driving? These ones know all the roads, sub-roads, and how to get out of traffic in no time at all. They are the master of the Zawarib. This is a great person to have as a friend!
Some of the stuff people see daily on Lebanon’s roads might be funny or things that everyone just got used to. As long as it’s harmless, everyone enjoys the little abnormal things Lebanese people are always up to.
However, it is important that drivers stay safe, and keep those around them safe as well.