Friday, June 15, 2007

Dimishiq at last

For some reason I am not able to access my rockwoodsindc address from Syria and so will have to maintain this as our main blog for the time being.

In any case -

It is so great to finally be here! The lure of the east - strong in me it is. After my luggage was lost in Frankfurt by Luftansa for almost a week, I had to wear same clothes everyday and every night wash my underclothes and hang them up to dry in my hotel room. Most people at school didn't know I didn't get my bags and assumed I only brought one shirt to Syria. The food really amazing, the stuff in the restaurants anyways where you are brought about 8 plates of food - two or three kinds of salad, babaganoush, hummus, more eggplant stuff, bread, yogurt, a plate of mayonaise with garlic (which I don't touch), and about 4 different kinds of meat - all for only about 4-5 dollars aperson. Below are also some of the sweets available off the street.

I am surprised at how much more moderately dressed people are here compared to Egypt - girls with veils walk down the street with thier friends who are wearing skimpy skirts and skin-tight tank-tops, and the majority of Syrian guys don't even cat-call and ogle at every female walking past, something almost incomprehensible from my experiences in other nearby countries.
I'm living with a Syrian family in the old walled city of Damascus for the summer, together with about 200 other foreigners that rent rooms from the christian quarter of the old city. I hear just about as much German and Italian as I do Arabic walking around my neighborhood.

The most amazing thing about the old city is how a crumbling, dirty, wall will have a small door with a sign above it to a restaurant, and once you go in the door to the other side, you are met by a beautiful courtyard flowing with mosiacs and flowers, and flat-screen tv's on the walls playing Arabic MTV and hip Damascenes eating lunch. One I went to the other day had these little hoses strung over your head, and everyfew minutes they would spray mist into the air to cool you off.

Today I went to what's called the 'palace of bones' built by the ottomans, gorgeous tile and woodwork and colors, and they had these manequins set up doing different things, but all of the manequins were male, and so all of the female characters looked like men in drag. Here is a picture of the place:

I miss Vanessa and Alexa like crazy and can't wait until they join me in August. And until I get our digital camera from Vanessa there will be few pictures. She will be in South Africa next week and I'll be sure to post her news from there.

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