Was heading to work in a service taxi this morning, when the driver turned to me and said something along the lines of “fuel benzeen?”
To which I replied, in exaggeratedly slow English..“Doooownnnntoooown..I’m going to Downtown”
Exasperated, he turned to me and said, (in English mind you), “I know your going to Downtown! I asked you if it’s ok that I stop for fuel!!”
Embarrassed, I said, “Oh! I’m sorry!! I don’t speak Arabic! Yes, yes! Please…It’s fine! Do what you have to do“ As I quickly put on my over-sized sunglasses and shrugged into my seat..
We pulled up to the Wardieh gas station, where all of the attendants new the service driver by name. After a minute of “Ahlan, Ahleins” the attendants proceeded to fill up the tank, as the driver looked on..probably using this time to tell the attendants what an idiot I was..after all, he did say the word “fuel!”
…I began to get anxious as the minutes ticked by, and as the stench of gas started to seep into my clothes..
Just as I was about to say something, after all, I was going to be late to work, I turned to the left, and caught one of the attendants going through a wad of cash..he must have had one hundred bills in his hand!
“How does this work?’ I thought, “They just walk around with a wad of cash in one hand, while they refuel cars with the other? Can they be trusted not to steal? This would never work in the States..someone would find a way to cheat the system…I haveeee to get a picture of this!”
Ever so stealthily, I pulled out my phone, pretending to check my messages..when what I was really doing was snapping this photo..wheewwww..for a second there, I thought he was going to turn to me and be like, “what the hell are you doing?” But we drove off just in time. 🙂
Just another morning in good old Lebanon… 🙂