I mean, you just know any trip that starts with watching someone filming for the TLC show "before the 90 days" is going to be fantastic. Lebanon, you did not disappoint. I, however, am a bit disappointed in myself since I waited a casual 7 months to write this, so I'm reduced to listing a few funny anecdotes.
- The first thing everyone wanted to know was a cautiously optimistic "why are you here?" and as soon as we told them we like food a lot, they seemed pretty thrilled.
- Lebanese people are really as nice as you've been told they are. As soon as we landed and the free airport wifi disappeared (as we were told it would) and the airport sim card place was out of sim cards (as we were told it would be), someone came over and offered us a wifi hotspot (as were told they would).
- The $4 (USD) latte rule (for finding perfect English speakers) definitely applies here and may in fact be more like the $8 latte.
- A couple funny things happened because Dan is blond (getting let into the Netherlands embassy employee garage, being spoken to in German).
- We assumed it would cost $200 to fill the rental car up with gas because the price is listed by 20 liters, not 1 liter.
What was not surprising at all was how stunningly beautiful the country is, or how incredible the food. People couldn't believe we weren't continuing on to Jordan (and unspoken but implied, Israel), and that we came all the way there "just" for Lebanon. While that would be convenient to combine countries, I'd happily go back just for a taste of the muhammara at Ghazar in Bourj Hammoud. I really try to live without food regrets, and I messed up by not going back as many times as I could.