Stories from Afar & Up Close

Marriage Proposal (type 1)

I am in the backseat of a service (shared taxi). The last passenger has just gotten out and we are stuck in traffic. The driver turns around and says, in his best English:- “Where you from?” - “I’m from The Netherlands, from Holland…. From Amsterdam.” - “You visit here in Lebanon?” - “No, I live here. I live in Beirut.” - “Aaaaahh! You like Lebanon?” - “Definitely. I love it.” The driver then tries to look at my ring finger, but traffic starts moving so he has to turn around to keep at least one eye on the road. - “You married?” Time for a little lie. - “Yes, I am.” - “He is from Holland? Yes?” - “No, he is Lebanese.” - “Ahh! Very good. You have children?” - “No. …I mean, not yet.” - “Ok later, inshallah.” - “Yes. Inshallah.” Silence returns to the car. Then a sudden turn of the driver, who asks me in Arabic, with twinkling eyes: - “Do you have any problems with your husband?” - “No; no problems. Why?” - “Well, if you do, just come to me. I will marry you!”