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A Close Shave

SYRIA | Thursday, 15 April 2010 | Views [374]

I disembark.  Iraq is over there. near those cliffs, I think.  but the
closest shave today is from, the delightful Barber-cum-Massage

instead of a border-crossing, i opt for one of those delectably random
wends through the medina, and whatever souks i can slip myself into.
Then, oh dear, my meanderings have pointed my toward the local primary
school.  too late, to turn back now, i've been spotted.  a few blinks
of the old peepers later and the roar is deafening.  i think the
entire school has come out to greet me, teachers included.  i am
treated to their complete repertoire of English, consisting of, and
limited to, Hello, hello?, Hello!, HELLO!?, Hellow, Hellooooo, what is
your name, what is your name?, and byebye!

the crowd thickens, and i am completely engulfed by a swarm of blue
uniforms; i am a lone pistachio in a blueberry swirl.  we all stroll
in Brownian unison, wreaking chaos with the chaotic traffic. i am
escorted via a curious contraption, part tuk-tuk, part miniature
pick-up truck, at a delicate pace, careful not to trample any toes in
the swarm, on return to the medina.  we revert to walking, as the
going is slower with a tuk-tuk/pickup covered in blueberry delights.

this place near the Iraq border dwarfs Syria's staggering attempts at
friendliness thus far. there's still plenty more of the country to
flash my beard at, but they'll want to pull out the big guns to top
this one.  i nearly didn't get away.  a close shave indeed.

hugs and love from the Euphrates.



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