10 Things People Don’t Miss About Lebanon After Leaving

@eyesoflebanon | @paulwardephotography

Everyone has a love-hate relationship with Lebanon- a beautiful yet quite toxic relationship. Recently, we wrote about things people miss about Lebanon when they leave it, and there are a lot!

But, hey, no state of denial here, for there are things we certainly don’t and won’t miss after leaving.

#1 The trash ‘fawda’ and its scent

As soon as you land in Beirut, you can’t seem to shake off that pungent scent of molding waste. It’s worse if it’s burning! That stench will make you want to hop back on the first flight out of here.

Don’t blame the people, though. They’ve been trying for years to awaken the officials to that issue as they seem to have developped a dysfunctional olfaction.

#2 The crazy driving

One of the main things you won’t miss, unless you’re a crazy driver yourself, is how life-threatening driving can get on Lebanon’s streets.

Say hello to traffic lights and highway patrol. While they may seem intimidating, they’re there for your protection.

#3 Traffic

That being said, no one is going to miss Lebanon’s super heavy traffic jams.

#4 Daily electricity cuts

Why would anyone in the right mind miss getting interrupted on a daily basis by electricity cuts? Sometimes you can’t even run certain appliances on your backup generator.

Plus the frequent electricity cuts do their fair share of damage to your electronics. It’s an inconvenience you will not miss if you’re out of here.

#5 Waiting for hot water to shower

One of the things about being abroad is that there’s always hot water when you need it. You don’t have to schedule your showers or postpone them based on the electricity cuts, or whether or not you had turned on the hot water.

You certainly don’t have to let your hair get greasy or resort to dry shampoo if you have time to just hop in the shower.

#6 People littering

People who throw trash out of their cars or who don’t simply walk to a nearby trash bin to throw their garbage are… garbage. While you can come across people like this everywhere in the world, in most places people get fined for littering. That makes it less likely to see people littering and also creates awareness that it is wrong.

#7 The government and everyone in it

Lebanon can go months, sometimes years, without a government. (Yes, the country practically runs by itself while the leaders run in different directions).

And when there is a government, in Lebanon’s experience, it is normally… dysfunctional, deaf to the people’s needs, and torn apart in different directions, bringing toppling crises to Lebanon.

That made way for the eruption of the October 17 Revolution where the majority of Lebanese put aside their differences and stood in the face of governmental corruption.

“Kellon ya3ne kellon!” chanted the people of the revolution, demanding that all in power resign. The revolutionaries demand reforms and share a common interest: the betterment of Lebanon.

That being the case, the Lebanese government is something you won’t miss, because, anyway, the ruling officials live in their own bubble and probably don’t know you even exist.

#8 Not being able to access your own money

Lebanon’s banking sector has collapsed and everyone’s dollars are stuck inside the banks. This the case of the Lebanese for over a year now.

There have been several unsuccessful attempts from the International Monetary Fund as well as from France to offer financial solutions in exchange for Lebanon to implement reforms. But, hey, we know how it goes, those in charge create problems they don’t even know how to fix (if they want to fix them, anyway.)

#9 The local currency’s hip hop

It dances the Lebanese Lira at the modern beat of hip hop, so much so that it just doesn’t know anymore how to stay still. Its hip-hoping has become so insane that you have long ceased to try to make any sense out of it.

#10 The stress-inducing lifestyle

The Lebanese suffer from a generally high-stress lifestyle and many have reportedly resorted to using some kind of drugs to calm the nerves. The abnormal has become the new normal, and you just have to deal with it until you take that flight to a more stable country.

Everything listed above adds to the stressful daily lives of the citizens of Lebanon, whose sense of security seems like a fantasy…