Driving in Lebanon is like going into battle. You’re not just steering a wheel, you’re fighting a war. Most of the time, you rise victorious, but occasionally, you find yourself victim to unsavory dirty road tactics.
Yet, with enough practice, you will rise to the position of road general where nothing fazes you anymore. You have witnessed it all, persevered through it all, and transformed like a chameleon to adapt to your surroundings.
Not sure you got what it takes? Here are 10 signs you are a certified Lebanese driver!
The Sixth Sense
Will the guy in front of you swerve right? Will he go left? Or worse, will he just stop dead in his tracks to chat with his friend whom he caught a glimpse of on the sidewalk?
Driving in Lebanon grants you the sixth sense, enabling you to preemptively predict these situations, and act accordingly. You can’t rely on car signals because, let’s be honest, they are a foreign concept to Lebanese drivers.
So, better work on that intuition before hitting the road!
The car in front of you is driving at a meager 60 km/hr, which so happens to be the speed limit. The audacity!
You can’t lag behind, and what’s worse, is that they are taking up the right side of the road making it impossible to maneuver past them.
So you would do what any other Lebanese would in your position. Flash your high beams in their faces to let them know their place and move aside. The light should be enough to blind everyone on the road, which will give you ample time to zig-zag past them.
Most street lights in Lebanon are broken or shut off, and it’s worse when you’re trying to navigate the warzone also known as the intersection.
Cars try to cut one another as if it’ll help them reach their destination faster. Everyone is charging like they’re life depends on it, and the next thing you know, you find yourself stuck between 4 cars each headed in a different direction.
But, you’re a pro now, you have been through this before and know just how to get yourself out. You charge like a ram, with your hand slammed on the car horn to assert your road dominance. That should clearly do it!
Master Of The Hand Gesture
Who needs car signals when you can wave your hand out the window? If you master this technique, you are hereby crowned a driving king.
You can count on your fellow Lebanese to understand where you are going based on the movement of your arm. They won’t heed your car signals, so it’s best to leave them off and save on battery juice.
The arm signal is all you need to navigate the chaotic battlefield!
Like every war, there is always an enemy that you must avoid like the plague. Taxi cars and vans are the case when it comes to driving on Lebanese roads.
Their unpredictability gives them a certain edge, and their vehicles which are on the verge of imploding make them all the more dangerous.
Sometimes you even wonder if the driving license they own is just for show, so the best thing you can do is avoid them. Once you learn to do that, you have nothing else to fear!
Traffic can be inescapable, but that never stopped the Lebanese driver from resorting to more creative solutions!
The sidewalk isn’t just meant for walking. Plus, they are mostly empty since pedestrians prefer the safety of car-packed roads instead. So, why not just use it as your ticket out of the stiffening jam?
Don’t worry, there are no police around to stop you. You might even entice others to join in, it’ll be a good way to make some friends!
To master the chaotic street of Lebanon, you must master the horn. Truly, if you don’t spam this thing every 2 seconds, can you really call yourself a Lebanese driver?
I mean, how else will you get the traffic to move?
Not by waiting, that’s for sure!
Driving can be a dull experience, so why not spice it up by trying to overtake every car in your way?
It’s a Lebanese staple, where you get to show off your slik skills and have everyone around you question their driving speed.
It’s a weapon every legendary Lebanese driver has in their arsenal!
The roads are always cracked and full of holes that are out to ruin your day. All Lebanese drivers by now have developed keen spatial awareness that lets them spot street anomalies from miles away.
With time, you’ll even memorize their location, because let’s face it, these things are never getting fixed!
The highway exists for one sole reason, and that is to test your car’s limit.
You are finally off of the small roads, and onto the big expansive highway where every Lebanese driver gets to live off their fast and furious fantasy.
Speed to your heart’s content, the only rules you make are your own! After this, no one will doubt your driving skills!