Tuesday, July 29, 2014

The Middle of Middle East

Do you hold onto many email or post drafts for years? I do. Below is one from June 2009. I probably wanted to add some meaningful photos, but screw that. Here they are, my raw thoughts from our trip to Damascus, Syria - while it was still peaceful.

p.s. It doesn't mean the postings on life in Sweden will come in, uhm, 5 years. It will be sooner. I promise to reflect faster this time around. Okay, I try, okay?


As Yamen, a fellow CouchSurfer, claims excitedly that Syria is in fact in the "Middle of the Middle East", I can't help but agreeing with him. In the middle of Syria is Damascus, and that's where we spent a three-day weekend trip. Here are some more random notes from the trip:
  • I am here at the Damascus airport bathroom. I am squatting without toilet paper in sight. I am smiling. The strange comfort of inconvenience reminded me how much I love travelling.

  • Lying naked on the grey-white checker marble floor, I'm getting scrubbed down by a rather rough-looking motherly-looking woman. I was too afraid to open my eyes. The whole Hammam experience is already bizzarre enough - can I handle more? As I opened my eyes slowly, the sight is intimidating - a 12th century house is making me very self-conscious: am I worthy of showing my body to it?

  • From the many screaming kids on the plane, to the house cat spraying in Esfan's room, to the variety of local fruits, "fertile" is the word to describe Damascus.

  • The city feels so old. In fact, it is hard to find something that looks new!

  • Unlike Cesky Komolove, a fellow UNESCO old town, which is well-restored and essentially frozen with a 17th century look, the old city of Damascus is still very much living and aging. Families gathering in court yard, groups of seniors playing board games, kids never seem to get tired of playing tag-chase with neighbour friends. All among houses that are so old that you wonder if they would last another car scratching past it. I wonder if the lack of plastic surgery is of choice or lack of funding? Either way she is a beauty one would always be intrigued by.

No comments: