October 16, 2010

2 September 2010

This entry is taken from my journal.


We drove from Krak to Damascus today. I still can't get over the garbage, the smell, the poverty. The culture shock kind of got to me today. I very nearly cried looking at it all - but at the same time, its normal for the Syrians. I find it a very harsh reality and can't really reconcile it.

When we reached the camp site in Damascus  we set up an early lunch and then headed into the city centre for the afternoon. Shortly after we got out of the taxi a water bottle got thrown at the two girls cause they were flaunting their own water drinking in the street. Penny caught most of the exploding water.

We were given a brief run down of where everything was and were left to our own devices to explore.

The souk we walked through still had bullet holes in the roof. I can't remember who put them there. Drew told us, and I have a feeling it was the French but I'm not sure.

The souk in Damascus didn't have the same quality of stuff as Aleppo had. It all looked like the cheap shitty quality you can get anywhere.

We went to into the main mosque. It is supposed to be the most beautiful mosque in the world. I can't judge having never been to another.

We had to cover our clothes, put on our scarves and go shoeless.

Image supplied by ACP

Once again the two girls displayed their lack of cutural sensitivity. For a little while they walked around with no head coverings and Amber, when called on her drinking water in public said "so? I don't care". I don't know how people get like that. We pretty much distanced ourselves from them after that.

Our own little group split up at this point. some of the guys wanted to go to the other mosque and some wanted to check emails etc. I went with the guys looking for internet. We eventually found one. It was nice to sit in the aircon for a while. When we all met up again we went through the Christian quarter. It was a slow process as we went into a lot of the shops to look at the different things on sale. The Christian quarter doesn't appear to be all that different on first appearances but the dress code is more Western and relaxed. I even had one lady come up to me speaking Arabic and smiling. I told her I didn't understand. She switched to English and said "I am trying to tell you you have very beautiful eyes". It was sweet.

We found dinner at a street vendor and headed back to camp.
The infamous waffles
And at camp we crawled into the tents we'd set up ourselves earlier in the day.

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