Donnerstag, 17. April 2008

Hitchhiking in the Bekaa, Lebanon, Part I

Hitchhiking in Lebanon is mostly common in areas like the Upper Akkar Region where no public transport means like shared taxis or busses exist. Since my Lebanese friend Jalal and I seldom had the patience or the will to pay for public transport, hitchhiking starting in the West Bekaa was our most common way of getting there and away. During these trips we made several repeating experiences one could classify into scenearios:

I) The Twenty-Questions-Game--> only played with Lebanese:

After having greeted each other and thanked for the lift the supiscious driver, an old Druze, starts asking:
Where are you from? - West Bekaa --> Driver does not yet know the confession of Jalal
Where exactly? - Around Jib Janin --> Driver knows at least that Jalal is Sunni, Christian or Druze.
Which Village? - Khirbet Qanafar --> Driver knows he´s either Christian or Druze.

Silence...asking for Jalal´s name seems an intimate question for the driver but not knowing to which confession his counterpart belongs to, seems unbearable...

Aaahm, what´s your name? - Jalal--> Driver gets nervous since the name doesn´t reveal if Jalal is Muslim, Christian or Druze.

And your family´s name: Saddi--> No more questions, the driver finally knows the MOST IMPORTANT thing of a human being: the confessional affiliation.

It seems Jalal gave the wrong answer. After the relevation of Jalal´s faith, the driver wasn´t interested in a conversation anymore. Maybe he was just angry that it took him five long questions to find out about Jalal´s background. Maybe he was even more so because he couldn´t be sure whether Jalal was in his political camp, the March 14-Forces, or whether he was supporting Michel Aoun and the opposition...
poor old man.

Christoph Dinkelaker

1 Kommentar:

viddy hat gesagt…

Outstanding... :-) I think i have to plan a travel to Lebanon :-)