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Lebanon’s cowboys, and entrepreneurial spur
Beirut is not the place you’d expect to see a rodeo show. But anything can happen in the Wild West, says Katherine Azmeh.
April 21, 2010 5:51 by Katherine Azmeh
The rich businessman proceeded with the purchase, only to find later that the Gulf investor, the original property owners, and the fake broker had all disappeared. The $1 million plot of land turned out to be worth around $100,000.
Taken for a ride
A friend lives in a trendy part of Beirut, crammed with upscale flats and beautiful nightspots. But he didn’t bargain for the parking hoods that greet him on the public street every night when tries to park his car. “Where else in the world would people demand 5,000 Lira when you park your car on a public street? But if you refuse to pay, you could wake up to a vandalized car – or worse, a missing one…”
The effortless discount
Another friend, who is from the US, recounts the day she went shoe shopping in trendy Verdun, an upscale suburb of Beirut. “I had been eying these great boots in their store window, so I popped in one day to have a closer look. I asked the shopkeeper how much and he said they cost $1,000. That was way out of my price range, so I took one step towards the door. ‘$300,’ he said. I took another step. ‘$99,’ he said. I didn’t buy them, but I’ll never forget the day I earned a 90 percent discount by taking two steps…”