Stories from Afar & Up Close

A mix of Italy and Belgium, with much better food

I’ve spent the past week touring around with two teenagers (whom I used to babysit, but who are now old enough to visit me in Beirut!), their mother and her partner. For five days, we drove to every corner of the country, tasted every dish available and discussed every topic related to the culture, nature and politics of Lebanon. The most intriguing part, according to them? Lebanese traffic. They were fascinated by the use of car horns instead of side-mirrors or indicator lights, the inability of the drivers to stay between two lines on the road, and the seeming absence of a maximum speed anywhere. The best thing of the trip, according to one of the teenagers, was the trip to Baalbeck. Not the ruins themselves, oh no, he meant the ride there on the mini-van. Why? It was just like a rollercoaster, lasting an hour and a half!

A good second was the way back from the South, where we ran into this gem:


He seems quite comfortable there, doesn’t he? While that truck is going 100km/h on a three-lane highway… Overall verdict? It’s like a mix between Italy and Belgium, and we don’t know if that’s a compliment…