If you grew up in a village, experiencing life in Beirut for a few days can be exciting, but once you actually move to live there, you’ll find yourself in a whole new universe. Whether you moved for college, work, or just to get out of your comfort zone, the struggle is the same. Sure, Lebanon is small and you are probably only around 2 to 3 hours away from home, but believe me, the social and cultural change is grand.
Of course, living in Beirut can be awesome. I mean, you can get almost anything anywhere and at any time. The nightlife is amazing, the culture is great, and there are so many activities you can do. Plus, you’ll meet a lot of different people.
However, your life will flip around, and here's how:
#1. The trust issues
Every person that you come across in your village will instantly invite you for a Soubhiye, which will eventually turn to them serving you lunch and then some relationship advice. In the city, it doesn’t come that easy. People will actually get to know you first before inviting you over.
#2. Star-gazing isn’t really an option
“Do people know about stars in Beirut?” you’ll ask yourself this question a lot. When you leave your home-town, you’ll bid farewell to a lot of people and things: Your friends, your childhood bedroom, your walks in nature, etc. But just remember to also take a final look towards the sky at night.
#3. The weird questions
Everyone just assumes the ‘Day3a’ (village) to be an exiled remote place where people don’t know what Macdonald’s is. You’ll get asked weird things like “Do you have schools over there?” (Seriously?)
#4. The noises
Quiet time is over for you, fella. Everywhere you go, there’s always something that is really loud: Cars honking, people shouting, music from the pubs, and almost anything anywhere. You'll be missing big time your terrace back home!
#5. The traffic
You’ll eventually learn to avoid peak-hours, but until you do, try to enjoy the 1-hour ride from your new city place to the supermarket right down the street!
#6. Decisions, decisions
“Do I have to change my accent now? Should I just let the neighbor at my door in? Am I going to take the bus, a taxi, or just walk to work today?” There are just too many different paths to take (literally)!
#7. The greenery
Trees, fields and colorful flowers are replaced with concrete, buildings, and sky-scrapers. Yes, you'll get to go to the city park or glimpsed at some flowery pots on balconies here and there, but that's not by all means how you know mother nature from back home. Both surroundings can be equally as beautiful, though.
#8. No white Christmas
If you are used to having snow, especially around Christmas, that’s no longer happening. The most you’ll get in the city is a thunder-storm and plenty of rain. Nostalgia will hit you hard around the Christmas season!
A big and unfamiliar city could get you a little anxious at times. The rush and busy life-style will at some points get on your nerves and change your usual serene mood. So always remember to take a break and head back home when you need one.
#10. The heat
When summertime comes, that’s the perfect time to pay your hometown a long visit. Humidity will get you sweating and edgy, and you could almost forget how the refreshing air of your hometown used to feel.
All of these things take a little time to get used to, but once you figure them out you’ll find that it was all worth it. Beirut is fun and fulfilling, and even if you’re a country person, you’ll enjoy the possibilities it has to offer!