|on the airplane|
|mountains of Lebanon from the plane|
Universal Traits of Middle Eastern Countries:
- friendliness and hospitality
- people are trusting, accommodating, helpful (We still haven't paid our hotel bill from Lebanon because we didn't realize we had to pay cash, but the owner said, "No problem; I'll email you my bank information and you can send the money after you get back." So trusting!)
- poor waste management...translated: trash EVERYWHERE (In Sidon, they have a trash dump right on the shore of the Mediterranean! Sad, sad, sad.)
- crazy driving
- focus on community rather than individual
- people LOVE children and are very assertive with their affection
- people always want their picture taken
- inefficient/non-stable electricity (my own opinion, may not be shared universally)
- healthy food consisting of vegetables, bread, and meats...tomato-cucumber salad is a staple
- Lebanon has a strong French influence, evidenced in their architecture, language, prolific patisseries, relaxed dress code, and European culture. Jordan, though definitely not lacking Western influence, still holds to a more conservative Arab culture.
- Lebanon is on the coast of the Mediterranean, so it has an abundance of water; contrasted to Jordan's desert-like quality and water poverty.
- In Lebanon, it's easy to forget you're in the Middle East; not so in Jordan.
- The water-orientation really seems to be key in Lebanon's liberalism, along with the lingering French influence. As Owen has said, it seems like the coastal towns all the way down tend to be more influenced by what they face...namely, the West.
|view from our guesthouse window|