Bear in mind that in Lebanon They speak Arabic.
They have different letters They write and read from right to left,Here are some handy phrases and words (pronounciation) :
Hello : Marhaba
How are you : Ki fak
I am fine : al hamid lil lah
Thanks very much : shokran ktir
you are welcome : Afwan
Money : Masari
far : ba'eed
Near : Areeb
Nice : Hilo ,Jamil
Delicous : Laziz
How much : b'kam
Why : Lesh
Size : Qiyas
Taxi : taxi
Yes : Na'am
No : La
Please : min fadlak
what's your name? :Sho ismak ?
My name is Robin : Ismi Robin
where are you from? : min wen inta ?
I am from Holland: Ana min Hollanda,America,Britania etc
This is a drink made from grape molasses and raisens mixed together and topped with pine nuts.
a drink is favored specially on a Ramadan breakfast.
Here is a picture of my glass of Jillab drink,but blended with ice.
usually it`s a darker colour when it`s not mixed with ice ;-)
- Food and Dining
Ruins and Traditions
In Lebanon, there are a lo of ruins. Everything from the Phoenicians to the Romans can be found. I myself am especially fond of Byblos, now known as Jbeil. My aunt and her family live there, and so we have many chances to go there. There are plenty of gift shops, and resturants to eat from. You can see Muslim mosques, and ancient Marionite Churches. It is truely a cool place to visit. Of course, like any other country, you might have a bit of trouble with the language. However, Lebanon is a French-influenced country, so if you know French, you're covered! Almost everyone these days knows three languages: Arabic, French, and English. It works out then.Related to:
- Castles and Palaces
When Paying for a meal
This is the same in many cultures but its definately something i've noticed here...
when in lebanon if going out to dinner with a lebanizi you are a guest in their country, and so they will want to pay the bill... by all means offer to pay, fight if you really want to but the chances are they won't let you...
so I have learned a few tricks to pay for the meal without them realising... after the meal before someone asks for the bill, excuse yourself and tell them you're going to the bathroom, then pay for the bill...
or you can basically make sure you're sitting in a position so you can see the waiter, make eye contact, smile and put your hand out to take the bill and he'll give it to you....
be warned though the lebanese... as i know from painful experience... are very "hospitable" and will fight you for the bill
sometimes its best to leave it this time then take them out next time :)
Argileh, shisha, waterpipes
try it you might like it. it's not really like smoking, the water filters most of the harmful stuff out of the fumes so you just get a nice smooth fruit flavoured smoke.... so relaxing, you'll see people doing this all over... when in rome...
really though it's nothign illegal, just fruit tobacco molasses, no drugs invovled... it apparently helps you with digestion.
Money money money, looks so funny... in an arab world...
in lebanon you can use both US dollars and lebanese lira (pounds) which are held at the exchange rate of 1500LL to 1 USD. It sounds complicated right? well at first you may get a little confused but eventually it becomes second nature to work out...
Try and work out your change before you get it so if they give you LL or USD you know how much you should be getting, what will really get you though is when they give you a mixture of the two!
Many of the Prices and Bills for restaurants will come with both LL and USD on them and so you can pay in either without having to work it out.
You usually tip waiters, hotel staff, guides etc.
The average rate in restaurants in 10-15%. Whereas with other people who offer you a certain service, then you can offer them any amount between 1,000LBP and 10,000LBP - it really all depends on the service provided.
If you must...then you'd have to have an international driving license to do so..
Also, make sure that you always drive on the RIGHT side of the road. Now, I wish I could actually give you hints and tricks as to HOW the Lebanese really drive - cause I believe, we've managed to create a whole set of roles on our own..actually, each and every one of us has his/her set of rules :o) yes, YES! We are very creative! So, do enjoy the riiiiiiiiiiddde!
Shake Hands & give 3 XXX
Oh well, if you meet someone for the first time, then it is usually only a handshake. Most of the time, men tend to shake hands rather than kiss, especially when dealing with an acquaitance or a friend of the same gender.
However, if you are meeting up with a Lebanese friend, then three kisses- plant one on the left cheek, then the right and then back to the left..is what lebanese usually tend to do.
If you forget this..and get confused..I'd stick to just shaking hands!lol!
It is not as widespread in Lebanon as it is in other countries. If it does exist, it is not regulated by the government, and is limited to certain shops and situations.
For example, while you may bargain with a taxi driver for the fare, you should bargain your way for a lower bill at a restaurant.
In general tap water is not for drinking. Bottled water is available everywhere. Although most Lebanese homes have two water taps; one for domestic use and another which is for potable water. It is not recommended to drink tap water, unless you are certain of its cleanliness.
Bottled water is not expensive. For 500ml of bottled water you'd pay 500 LBP = 33 cents.
Fruits and vegetables should also be washed before eating.
Visas on Arrival to Lebanon
1 - The citizens of the following states are given a direct 3 month renewable multiple entry visa:
Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Greece, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Holland, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Great Britain, Switzerland, Norway, United States of America, Canada, Australia, Andorra, Japan, South Korea ,Cyprus, Malaysia, Monaco, New Zealand, Malta, Iceland, Chile, Brazil, Argentine, Venezuela, Mexico, China, Costa Rica, Panama, Peru, Singapore, Liechtenstein.
2 - The citizens of the Gulf Cooperation Council Countries, their families, servants and chauffeurs are given a 3 months renewable visa.
These countries are: (Saudi-Arabia, Kuwait, The United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Qatar and Oman).
- A 6 month Renewable visa is also given to foreign and Arab children under 15 of age who are traveling with their Lebanese mother.
- A 6 month Renewable visa is also given to Arab and foreign diplomats and their servants.
3 - The Citizens of the following countries are given a direct passport according to department rules:
Russia, Byelorussia, Estonia, Lithuania, Moldavia, Ukraine, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Latvia, Armenia, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Azerbaijan, Tajikistan, Czech, Bosnia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Poland Hungary, Herzegovina, Macedonia, Bulgaria, Romania, Yugoslavia, Croatia.
- Entry permit for a period not exceeding 48 hours: Free of charge.
Entry permit for a period between 48 hours and 15 days: 25000 LP (Lebanese Pounds or Lebanese Lira).
- Stay irrespective of its validity period and for a single entry: 50000 LP.
For a double entry 75000 LP.
For a triple and above 100000 LP.
Meet and Greet
The Lebanese have also made an art of out meeting and greeting.
It's a lengthy process with a lot of polite conversation before the actual point of talking to that person gets discussed... the problem is, sometimes the niceties go on for so long by the time you get around to talking about what you intended to, you cannot remember what it was you were supposed to be talking about.
It's always polite to say hello (aallou) if you catch someone's eye in passing. But if speaking to someone that you've met before or even a friend of a friend... or a friend of a friend of a friend's cousins uncles newphew twice removed... always start the conversation by asking how they are, how's their family? are they in good health... a compliment never goes amiss... and talk about what they've been doing etc... how's work...
this even applies in business... if you are just calling someone to ask about something business related... YOU MUST! go through the process first otherwise the other person will think "who is this rude person"Related to:
- Arts and Culture
Turkish coffee??NOPES,,its Lebanese!!
Some Lebanese might get offended when you refer their local coffee to the Turkish coffee,(my mom is one of them)
To me it`s the same,,only naming is different.,however the Lebanese insist that it`s called Lebanese coffee....
But anyways this is a must have drink and some people believe if you finish your coffee the flip the cup upside down on the saucer you can have somebody read your fortune:-S
You will be offered Lebanese coffee almost everywhere you go,it`s considerd the national drink,locals will offer this drink when you visit them at home.
To me it tastes a bit like esspresso only thicker in texture,Lebanese boil few times before serving it,to add some bitterness to the taste.Related to:
- Food and Dining
Olives on every table!
A must have on each breakfast,lunch and dinner table are the olives,you can offer nothing for your guests for dinner but the olives HAS to be there on the table,it`s something Lebanese are very proud of having,or even if the table is full of great food,,,,yet if no olives,,the table is not complete!
The Lebanese olives(green or black)are a little bitter but very tasty.Related to:
- Food and Dining
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