17 Things That Are Normal In Lebanon But Weird Everywhere Else

henrialiahmad | lebanese.armyy

We always knew Lebanon was unique but when you stop to think about it, you realize we’re quite “special.”

There are many things that we think are normal in Lebanon but the moment we leave, we realize it definitely wasn’t. Some of the ideas in this article were crowdsourced from our Instagram followers – be sure to follow us there.

#1 Greeting people with 3 kisses

While some countries greet with one or two kisses on the cheek, or none at all, Lebanese go for three!

#2 Taxis beeping for passengers

If you live in New York, you know how it goes. You run after the taxis for them to stop for you. If you step out of the airport in Montreal or Toronto, for instance, you know the drill. You have to wait for your turn. In Lebanon, taxis run after you!

#3 Casually running red lights

Somehow, many in Lebanon become temporarily color blind when it comes to the red traffic light.

#4 Driving without seatbelts

There are still some who don’t know what seatbelts are for….even if they have been driving for ages.

#5 Daily electricity cuts

Let’s not get started on the cables…

#6 Paying 2 bills for electricity

It doesn’t mean you get double-service, or twice the amount of electricity. That just means that, with or without electricity, you still have to pay two bills: One for state-run (that doesn’t run) electricity and another for the backup generator.

#7 Canned corn on pizza

#8 Extra toum (garlic)

What to say? We do love toum and toum and more toum. Plus, it helps lower the blood pressure and, with all the continuous frustrations we deal with in the country, we do need as much toum as we can get.

#9 Saying “sorry” when you want to order something at a restaurant

Yep, we don’t like to bother the waiters…

#10 Saying stuff like “to2borne” (bury me) fondly

Weird and macabre endearment, we admit. Lebanese sayings and expressions are quite something.

#11 Living with your parents after 18

It would be actually weird in our culture that children leave the family home once they are 18 or past that age if it is not to build their own families, aka, getting married. Some youth do move to dorms for university or find housing in a different city to be closer to work. Eventually, many end up leaving the country.

#12 Shisha (argileh) accessible everywhere

Shisha, or argileh, as it is commonly called in Lebanon, is accessible nearly everywhere. You can even get it delivered to your house and some people even found a way to smoke shisha in their cars! Weird, we know.

#13 Seeing army vehicles and soldiers in the streets

Yes, in fact, it is normal to see soldiers, army trucks, and even tanks in the streets of Lebanon. In fact, there are still checkpoints that you have to pass across the country.

#14 Train station employees still getting paid even though it’s not functional

And it has been the case for decades. Even the German embassy took a jab at Lebanon’s government for doing this. (1`6 billion LBP in Lebanon’s 2020 budget law). You got to say, no foreign country’s misgovernance of funds can compete with ours.

#15 Untouchable politicians

The Rule of Law, that’s on paper. Officials in Lebanon, whether in office or were once upon a time, are untouchable by the law.

You can’t even get them to sit for questioning even if it will lead to important evidence related to the most horrific crime committed on Lebanon’s soil. They could even get to remove the investigating judge when the investigation is not going in the direction that suits them.

#16 Corruption as a status quo

Well. By now, this one comes as no surprise.

#17 Literally everything illegal

Someone else just summed it up with that.

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