Dedicated to my riding pal, Roula 🙂 to all the guys from nearby towns.
When you are in Lebanon this summer, you definitely should try the “van” ride. Not any route, but the Saida-Beirut route.
For first timers, here are the directions; take a cab to “taht Jesr al- Cola”. When you are there look for the guy yelling:
“ssssSaida ssssSaida… 3a Saida domazeill!! Saida watan?
A nod will be enough and he’ll take care of you.
You’ll get the best of these rides on Friday and Saturday nights, especially between 9:00 and 10:00. The “shofariyeh” will be at their prime time, with loads of energy. At that particular time the passengers number peaks and those are wired up after a long day and even longer week, just looking forward to a joyful calm weekend.
Magic would start as the “van” is full and the “shofair” takes his position behind the wheels. The old regular highway as u know it would turn into the longest roller coaster in the middle east and one of the fastest in the world (190 Km/h). This is no regular ride; it’s the most unpredictable, dangerous, adrenaline provoking rides ever.
What makes the ride this special is that u can never predict the “shofair’s” attitude. U can never predict when he will cross from the most left lane to the most right lane to take a sudden exit dodging the “darak”, “traffic jam” or just for the fun of it. As a result you’ll end up “above or beyond” the person sitting next to you. U can never know when he will hit the brakes so ur stomach will be literary in ur mouth.
If you are lucky enough, you’ll get the bonus level, only if the “van” takes the “Ouzai’i” route. Hold on tight since the “shofair” would be going down in each hole, climbing whatever exists on his way, on maximum speed. The more holes he goes in, the better things are and the strongest he gets. Just be careful not to hit your head by the ceiling if you’re sitting in the last bench.
if u take this ride in winter u’ll live a whole new experience. water will be everywhere, turning the highway into ponds and lakes, reaching 30 cm height in “Na’ameh” area. the “van” going on max speed will splash everything around. The jeep next to it will splash water into your inner soul, even if you’re not sitting next to the window and even if the window is closed. Killo will splash killo 😀 (weird enough all ppl in leb now own a jeep ^o) eno it’s not for showing off.. it’s actually a must coz in leb u’re always off-roading)
To live this experience to the maximum, be sure you do as follows:
These rides are double the fun if you’re not alone, so grab your best friend along.. if you are 3 it’s fine, but never more.
Choose a “van” that has handles in the back of the seats. (for safety)
Try not to sit in the last bench to enjoy the bonus level with minimum damages ;).
If you’re alone (and single) sit next to the cute guy or the beautiful girl (depending on which you are interested in) since as the “shofair” pulls his unpredictable stunts, you’ll end up “b 7odn li 7addak”.
If you get scared or could not take it anymore, get down from the “van” or shut your eyes, take a deep breath and think about your happy place… whatever you do never ever, I repeat, NEVER EVER say: “shway, shway”, “3 mahlak, sho newi te2telna?!” or any other related phrases. Even try not to talk with the “shofair”. It would be as if you are raising a red cloth to a bull which is already provoked.
The consequences could be fatal.
This ride is not for young, sensitive ppl, really old ppl or ppl with previous or present heart problems.
Be sure you have your ID and its clear (ya3ni if ur mom accidentally washed ur jeans with ur wallet still in, apply for a new ID and stay away from these rides until u get it)
Last and most important, make sure u empty ur bladder or do not drink lots of fluids before taking the ride.
It’s important to mention the “Dawleh’s” contribution to add suspense, special effects and that extra something to those rides.
Thanks for cutting electricity off some towns along the route. Making sure that not the same segments are always dark or always illuminated to maintain the “surprise” factor.
Thanks for creating such a unique road, since after its destruction during “harb tammouz” only gaps has been filled so some segments are lower than others, and some speed bumps arises in the middle of the highway.
finally we should thank the ministry of transportation for their efforts to maintain safety on roads. Since the road has been paved only once (when it was first built) it became slippery. They pealed off, or more accurately, scrap the upper layer of the asphalt off (as if there is more than one lol) to increase friction i.e “Man3an lil Inzilaq”.
kil ride w ento b kheir 🙂