Friday, August 05, 2005

Our last evening in Damsacus

Started in the hammam, rounded arches, steam filling the air, streaming out from one corner, large Arabic bodies moving about in the haze of the steam, throwing water on their backs and over their heads, being scrubbed down, the abrasive cloth, scrubbed along the chest, arms and ... legs... then on for a massage, a crack of the head one way and then the other, before being worked on the chest, arms and ... legs (well to be honest it could have been better but it felt nice). Cooling down with buckets of cold water before leaving and being wrapped around in one towel after the other before going back out to the main area, where we sat and chatted with a group of chaps from Jordan, all showing their drooping Arabian breasts (hmmmm...... they have a lot of temptation in the form of sweets and cakes), while sipping on a cup of tea before the heat was out of the system and we were ready to go out to eat...

And we ate in an old Damascene house, with ceilings 6 or 7 metres high, not renovated for many years, so full of character, our waiter over-ruling the head waiter and giving us the best seats (we had made friends with him the evening before when we had stopped off for a couple of beers). We were treated to excellent food and live Arabic music by a chap with a guitar and a fine singing voice and then the main entertainment of the night..... watching the locals... mostly getiung very drunk on either arak, whisky or beer, getting very drunk indeed, at times a bit loud, sometimes getting up to dance with each other (men and men this would be, so drunk were they). The head waiter tried to calm them down at times but they were enjoying themselves too much. There were mostly largeish groups of men and a few tables of women only and about two tables with men and women. Tarty Christian women, next to covered Muslim women. Fascinating.

By 1.30 it was time to wander the empty streets of the Old City, knowing we had just enjoyed a fitting end to a great two weeks in Syria.

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