The kindness (or not) of strangers
I don’t really want to talk about my day today. It was not, overall, very good. But here were a few highlights.
1. Met the family I shared a taxi from Amman with. WEIRD. The mother grabbed my arm in the middle of the street and I was like AHHHH because that’s my reaction when people grab me in the street, especially when they start talking to me really fast in Arabic. But then I saw her daughter and I was like, “oh! hi!” And it was nice.
2. Got navigation advice from a nice old American guy. Who ended up being completely wrong. I almost chased him down to tell him so, but probably wouldn’t have been able to find him again. Sigh.
3. All of the old houses and hammams I wanted to visit were closed for renovations. What. the. hell?
4. So I wandered sort of aimlessly for the third day in a row. And again overanalyzed all human interactions. I realized that now that I have become accustomed to sharing my thoughts with the internet, I will probably keep a non-travel blog. (And then I became just like every other 19-year-old with a laptop.)
5. An old Kurdish man showed me how to play the tanbour, which is kind of like a guitar so I was not quite as hopeless at it as I would have been at another Arab instrument. He also gave me tea.
6. For some reason, various Syrian men decided to be annoying today and say things like, “Kiss me!” and “How long you in Damascus? Come stay with me, I don’t have a wife!” and “Marry me!” I swear, if one more person had said something like that to me I was about to break out every curse word I know in Arabic.
7. Also, I fell and twisted my ankle today. Ouch. I also knocked over a little girl. Her mother was not pleased. I tried to apologize to her, but was distracted by pain and the family just sort of ran away. (Even though I was still on the ground sort of rocking back and forth in pain, or rather not so much in pain as in hysteria because now I’m convinced every time I fall and hurt my foot that I’ve broken it, so it was not very nice for them to leave me alone in that alley, but! No musings on the purpose of kindness today.)
8. So, instead of wandering around the souqs with my hurt ankle, I went back to the Umayyad mosque and just sort of sat there people-watching for over two hours. I didn’t wait to see the sunset because that would have been a long time. But it was still nice.
I am too lazy to write out how much I spent today. It was about 500 SYP. Mostly on water and food. And sunscreen! Three cheers for sunscreen!
Tomorrow I’m leaving Damascus and going to a monastery in the middle of nowhere where I will almost certainly not have internet. I’ll be back in the series of tubes on August 1. Don’t miss me too much.
(Actually, you can totally miss me. I miss all of you! Email me or something.)