When I arrived in Lebanon in the spring of 2015, there was a freak sandstorm. I heard one hadn’t hit the city like that in at least 10 years. The sky was a deep orange and yellow, blurring the towers and small shacks together into one dusty monochromatic landscape. I was a bit overwhelmed by it all, but as the days went on and the dust settled, I had the best time of my life.
As a vegan, I found Lebanon to be such an ideal exotic location. There were so many amazing dishes I could partake in that contained no meat or dairy. One of my best friends was getting married, hence the trip, and we all went to this fantastic restaurant with authentic Lebanese food. And YES, Lebanese hummus is the best. I had a fantastic time in Beirut. Although it was shocking to experience the lack of… street lights. Being in a car there is insane. At one point one of our friends missed an exit on the highway so just went into REVERSE to exit… yeah. Luckily I had a few drinks to take off the edge.
In Beirut, I also got to experience my first mosque, which was amazing. They provided a basic garment for me to cover up and they were very welcoming. I admired the architecture, watched some people pray and respectfully meditated on the sidelines. I have to be honest though… when a ton of people have to take off their shoes…
During my stay in Beirut, my friends and I also explored the downtown area. I can’t say why the downtown area was closed… and I’m not going to speculate if you know what I mean BUT it was and it was AWESOME. Like a David Lynch film, my friends and I surreally were practically the only people occupying what was prior a bustling and robust metropolitan area. It was definitely awkward but thrilling. Overall, the trip was a terrific experience and I honestly realized I could use something like Uber in a city like Beirut.