I've never met anyone in Lebanon who didn't have a story about a cab driver from hell, from road-rage-gone-wild all the way to police chases. While it's not all bad, there are certain things you are bound to experience if you use the magnificent thing that is public transport in Lebanon.
1. Sexist comments
Please tell me more about how women can't drive.
2. Fear of being kidnapped
Don't worry, it's never the case, it's just the driver using a really good shortcut through a street you've never seen before.
3. Awkward conversations about your destination
"Oh, so you're going to LAU? My neighbour's daughter goes there, do you know her?" (Actual conversation I had with a driver).
4. Listening to the wierdest radio shows with them
Many times, with our traffic, these rides take a long time and you end up listening to a weird radio show with people calling in to say good morning for some reason, and the driver looks over at you and smiles.
5. Getting dragged into conversations about politics
You must tread carefully when asked about anything that has to do with politics to not offend the driver or any of the other passengers, my advice is just nod and smile politely till it's over.
6. Getting asked for permission to smoke while the driver goes ahead and lights one
Every driver will ask to be polite, but they will all do it while lighting their cigarette so you can't really say no.
7. Getting asked for different bills when you pay
There's always that one thou bill which no one will take, it's usually torn or wrinkled, and you usually got it from a cab driver in the first place.
8. Terrible driving while they badmouth everyone else on the road
Cab drivers have an opinion about everyone's driving, and they always end up doing what the person they had just been talking about did.
9. Tragic backstories
Cab drivers love to tell you how they never wanted to be cabbies, and used to be doctors/engineers/rock stars.
10. Charming stories about the way the city used to be
If you get lucky and end up with an older driver, you will hear all about what used to be where and how things used to be back in "eyyem el ezz."