I’ve done one of the these for LA and NYC but it didn’t occur to me to make a list of mistakes made in my own city. There will probably be multiple parts to this as Beirut is a place where maneuvering to get the basics is an acquired skill.
- Go to Mikey’s Tacos & Dancing solo three times in a row without a dance partner and leave right after Bachata each time. Never learn Merengue.
- In an effort to spare yourself from Waterfront traffic and paying Waterfront parking fees, you order an Uber to Biel for your sister’s high school grad ceremony only to find that “Biel” is now somewhere by the Beirut River, not the Beirut Waterfront. You’re late and get to pay for two Ubers.
- Agree to drinks on a Sunday night assuming it won’t end at Barbar.
- Order chicken shawarma without extra toum after it does.
- Wait until the morning to shower only to find there’s no electricity or hot water. Dry shampoo your way through Monday.
- Get in the car at any time of the day between 8am and 7pm. Listen to a lot of Warda, Abdel Halim, and baby George Wassouf to avoid bitchslapping half your countrymen.
- Shower and blow-dry your hair before heading to Meats & Bread for lunch. Smell like a spit for 3 days after diving head-first into a plate of ribs.
- Go on dates with expats and wonder if there are any men left IN the country. Find out there are but stay home because of swiping burnout.
- Bring said expats to the same bar because it has good music that is loud enough to accompany a conversation. Bartender winks at you because he thinks you’re a player. In reality, you’re just on the Bumble welcoming committee.
- Adopt a stray kitten. Find out she loves Warda & cheese so you’ve obviously been reunited with your daughter from a previous life. Become one of those people who has an Instagram account for their pet.
- Park up the street from Barbar to visit a friend nearby. Return after a few hours only to find a YELLOW 50-thou handwritten ticket that is reserved for no parking zones (that’s a thing here?) instead of the 10-thou unpaid surcharge tickets. Never return to Barbar again. That week.
- Work at a supermarket that regularly has tortilla chips in stock. Sign up at a gym within walking distance but forget that it’s 34 degrees this season. Never walk to the gym.
- Go to Habibi Club at Grand Factory after an almost-2-year hiatus from the former mattress party venue. Think that 30 is still young so work the next day should be easy. It probably won’t meet your expectations anyway. And then they played every Jnoub wedding song of your strange childhood. Brb, I need to get more Advil.