Thursday, July 5, 2007


I went to see enrique iglesias in concert the other night and it was priceless. He is the first big western pop star to come to syria in over 30 years. There was a turn out of about 10k people, even though the tickets started at $80 and went up to $200. I guess it shows you the size of the emerging middle class here. Anyways, I bought tickets on the street in front of the show for $4, and that might account for a portion of the crowd.

Once I entered the concert venue however, there was no organization and my friends and I just walked right up to the $200 section.While he was singing all of these scantily clad women, along with the conservative veiled women were all going crazy yelling and screaming and crying and fainting, etc. I had no idea he was so popular here. Then they started rushing the stage and climbing all over him when he was singing and trying to kiss and hug him while the security guards just stood back and watched. Finally some order was established, but throught the concert guys and girls kept rushing the stage to try to touch him and the bouncers had to keep throwing them down. It was hilarious. Then for one song he picked a girl from the audience and brought her onstage and sang to her, and at the end of the song totally kissed her on the mouth, which, while most people were cheering and clapping, there was almost an audible gasp, and she was obviously pretty uncomfortable. That's just not something you do in a Muslim country, and my friends and I were joking that nobody's going to want to marry her now, which, sadly, is probably true.

The below picture is of Bakdash, a famous Syrian ice-cream institution. It's always packed, day and night until it closes at midnight, and they 'supposedly' were the first people to ever make ice cream. The more I talk to people here it seems like everything that happened in the world somehow happened first in Syria. Anyways, the ice cream is full of gum mastic and pistachios, and is almost a mix between taffy and ice cream, and has a unique flavor from pounding it with cedar clubs when they make it.

Vanessa is having fun in South Africa and comes home this weekend. She is at a biological reserve of some sort and has been on safaris and seen a ton of wild, nasty animals. Alexa is supposedly making a larger variety of noises and using her hands as real hands instead of just something to suck on.

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