Stories from Afar & Up Close

So you want the real thing...

I’m in a service (shared taxi) and since I am the only passenger, the taxi-driver starts a conversation with me. ‘So, what do you think of Lebanon?’ It’s the usual question to start with. ‘I like it. That’s why I live here.’ My standard answer to this question. ‘You live here? Where are you from?’ Curiosity goes up, possibility to charge higher rate goes down. ‘From Holland.’ I have to pronounce this one really well, for it not to be confused with Poland or written off as ‘non-understandable Scandinavian country.’ ‘Hahaha!’ The taxi-driver starts laughing. ‘You must be scared of the cold there!’ ‘That’s right. I love the sun!’ I’m glad he understands what I’m talking about. ‘Well,’ he says without missing a beat, ‘you could just take a picture of it and put it up in your room.’

And with that: case closed on the weird foreigner who wants to live here.