Wednesday, November 21, 2007


I had heard about Kabas for a while - it is the Syrian equivalent to the Friday market in Cairo, where the poor people go to buy anything and everything they could ever want. People set up their wares on both sides of a highway and the junk market stretches on for about two kilometers.

I love looking in these markets for hidden treasures, antiques or things you just can't find anywhere else. Vanessa thinks I'm crazy for going to markets like this, even most Syrians think I'm crazy or don't even know it exists. My favorite part of course was the Animal market where there were jars of snakes, squirrels, turtles, all kinds of birds and fish, cats, dogs, gerbils, etc.

Otherwise I have been making regular visits to the dentist because of all the sweets that I've been eating over here. Almost everything you eat here has massive amounts of sugar in it, and people eat sweets like mad. One doctor told us that almost 80% of Syrians over the age of 40 have diabetes, so pretty much diabetes is just expected. You can't believe how much sugar is in everything from the "fresh" juices and tea to the sugary syrupy desserts. Anyways, I had two cavities and went to one of the best dentists in town and it cost me $30. His office was cleaner and more modern than my dentist in the US. I love the health care here.

For Thanksgiving we ate a big meal at the missionary couples house last night complete with stuffing one of their kids sent from the states. Tonight we're going to a thanksgiving potluck dinner that all of the flagship students are having, and we're all going in on an imported turkey that will cost us about $60. Can't wait.

In their latest series of blocking dangerous websites, the Syrian authorities have blocked facebook, Vanessa's sole social outlet, so both her and I apologize for not being able to reply to any recent comments.

Hanging out in the only public garden in Damascus, called the botanical garden inside the old city. In the background you can see the Damascus citadel, a huge fortress that has been closed to the public for restoration ever since the mid nineties. If you look closely in the middle of the picture you can see Vanessa sitting on the stroller nursing Alexa.

Going shopping in the old city just outside the spice market

Alexa doing her hair.

There are a few more pics of the Kabas market here, if interested:

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