(The original post was written in ITALIAN – september 2018)
This is a summary of what N.O.B. learnt and understood of Lebanon after almost two months of intense life “around here”:
- Religion still makes a great difference here. It is incredibly important: urban areas, schools, weddings and a lot of other things are still divided/distinguished by the religion you belong to;
- There is no public transport, but no one remains stuck: You jump from a local van to a shared taxi at light speed. If you compare it with certain “western” countries it is really awesome;
- There is a really high concentration of foreign people;
- Lebanese people in general speak at least three languages: Arabic, French and English;
- Lebanese food despite not being well known in Italy, can create addiction;
- They love cats and dogs. Stray dogs are super calm;
7. The majority of Lebanese people live abroad. Young generations, those who can afford it, study abroad with the aim of coming back and do something good at home. The majority of them never comes back;
8. The Lebanese Government “welcomed” a disproportionate number of Syrian refugees in the last few years. The same Lebanese Government does not grant them status. However, they are employed in low-rank, underpaid jobs (this reminds us of something). They have no rights: can be fired without notice, no leave, no pension, no insurance;
9. The country, despite being small, has got everything: sea, hills, mountains and a lot of history;
10. Total respect for the client, but not because somebody imposes it, because they are humble and it comes from inside;
11. Lebanese people love the city of Barcelona to an incredible level;
12. Whether you are in a couple or not (I’m referring to women) you can fall in love every 5 minutes. Lebanon: the only place where N.O.B. lived and men are more handsome than women (incredible);
13. Welcome to the middle-Est: alcohol is forbidden… well, not really!!! Their relations with alcohol is not very good, in fact, there a lot of room for improvement I would say;
14. The majority of women who can afford it, even really young ones, undergo plastic surgery. Lots of men work abroad, therefore it is a fight for any available man;
15. Mid-sized cars don’t exist, practically. It is a society based on appearance (I’ve never seen such a motor pool before) consequently, walking is completely unknown;
16.Where they sell food, they will often offer you something to taste;
17.People in the street smile and say hello;
18. “welcoming” Syrian people fleeing from war, created an unimaginable level of silent racism;
19. The majority of beautiful French colonial houses are demolished and replaced by immense sterile buildings;
20. Socializing in Lebanon is super-normal and really easy;
21. Lebanese people are convinced they drive just like Italians. We gently tried to explain how they are much more “creative”. The top experience for N.O.B. was seeing a guy riding a scooter eating and talking on the phone at the same time;
22. Highly corrupted government. This story seems known to us too;
23. Italians, tend to skip Lebanon when choosing a vacation. According to N.O.B. they miss a lot (we never met one Italian tourist);
24. There is a really high energy in Lebanon. You have the feeling that goods thing may happen and that you can do anything;
25. For three hours a day, electricity becomes a “ghost”/disappears (the internet is q u i t e s l o w);
26. Red-haired people are very rare here and create a sense of worship in the Lebanese people;
27. There is music everywhere often at high volume as if to cover noises “of the past”;
28. A passport, a piece of paper that lots of human people underestimate (N.O.B. is one of them). Lebanese people can leave the country now, but a visa has an end-date and it is difficult to achieve.
29. Lebanese and Syrian people are super smart and their minds work at light speed, sometimes even too much for N.O.B.
30. Meeting Syrian children selling flowers or chewing gum all alone in the street, at 02.00 a.m.
31. Lebanese people dream of Europe and they imagine it as some kind of heaven where everyone is smiley, nice, altruist and kind;
32. All the people we met so far coming from the West of the world (quite a few): young, adults, women, men, straight, gay etc. said they would like to go back to Lebanon as it is a country where everyone is smiley, altruist and kind.
This is just a quick recap… there is a lot more to write, but these impromptu thoughts had to come out otherwise N.O.B. would have exploded !!!
Please note: “everal electronic apparels here have problems and/or often give up on you, so be careful”.
If you feel like discovering more on Lebanon/ Louban positive energy and the incredible things which might happen here, have a look at this article this article.
Enjoy, Mucho !!!