All the expats living in Beirut and Lebanese who grew up abroad before coming to the city know that Lebanon can take some time to get used to. There are all those little quirks and peculiarities that we just have to adapt to. Some people manage to do this faster than others and some have a harder time.
If you want to know whether or not you're actually getting accustomed to Beirut life, here are some signs that will show if you're learning to blend in.
1. You can take a service taxi across the city without getting ripped off
Bonus points if you can go places you've never been before without paying extra.
2. When the taxi driver tries to overcharge, you confidently argue with him until you win
Or at least you meet somewhere in the reasonable middle.
3. The crazy traffic doesn't even faze you anymore
Almost got into only three accidents today? Not bad, not bad at all.
4. Actually, you've realized the traffic is the perfect excuse for being late or not showing up at all
I was planning to come and then TRAFFIC!
5. You don't even think to put your seatbelt on while riding in the back of the vehicle
And you usually need a friendly reminder when you're sitting in the front.
6. You don't really look when you cross the street anymore
I mean, they always stop, right?
7. And of course, you completely ignore the traffic signals
Does anyone follow them?
8. Most of the time you forget to use the sidewalks (when they exist)
You don't even notice how close the speeding cars are … until one slightly grazes you as it passes.
9. If you drive, you don't think twice about taking streets the wrong way anymore
You're in a hurry after all. Everyone will understand.
10. You actually know how the public transportation works too
You start advising others on the best bus and van routes like a pro.
11. In fact, people stop you all the time and ask you for directions – because you seem so local now – and you comfortably direct
Or when you don't know, you play it cool and point in some vague direction and pretend you do.
12. People even compliment your Arabic and tell you that you don't have an accent from time to time
You politely thank them and insist that your Arabic isn't that good. But really inside you're like ...
13. When you're invited to a party at 8 p.m. you know it actually means 9 p.m.
Fashionably late is always the right choice.
14. And it's been weeks since you noticed the regular power cuts
You only notice when that newbie foreigner you're with looks around with surprise at 6 p.m.
15. The smell of garbage doesn't even register in your nostrils
What do you mean Beirut smells?
16. You remain fully convinced that Beirut is the greatest city on earth while complaining about all the problems
Happy hour anyone?