Fishing in Damascus

Sometimes, we, the sons of the provinces (Abna2 Al-Mouhafazat) as we are known in Damascus , have to go there on business or pleasure. Although I'm 1/2 Damascene (I don't advertise that in Tartous), I have to admit that I don't feel comfortable there. I can understand how the city can grow on you if you give it a chance, but it's a chance I'm unable to give to Damascus or to any other Syrian city for that matter. OK, I love Tartous because I was born there. It's where I have a childhood and a past full of sights, sounds and smells. I have some very fond memories of Damascus during a 4 month transitional period in my life before I moved abroad for many years. But the city never really accepted me, nor did I. The true reason might lie in the fact that I hate large cities in general. Even Tartous is getting too big for my taste.
The temperatures were soaring high, the air thirsty and the winds gusting with smells of dry mud and desert sands. I finished working too late to drive back to Tartous. I felt like a fish out of water, gasping to breathe.
I was "taken" to Gusto, a high end cafe where boys and girls half my age go to see and be seen (more emphasis on the second). It's the sort of place where, I'm sure the same people reserve tables night after night and watch themselves and each other. The girls are dressed or undressed very seductively. The boys are well groomed with gel on their thick black hair. The girls smell sweet and the boys work very hard to radiate that "fuck it" look. Don't think I'm coming down too hard on the youth of Damascus, we have the same sorts in Tartous with minor and subtle differences.
I have to give it to the Damascene girls though, they are beautiful. Those on display were a little bit on the "Haifa Wehbe" side for my taste, but beautiful nonetheless. Having fishermen DNA in my genes, I inevitably compare women to fish. If the gorgeous Tartoussi girl were a Sea Bass (Le2ouss Ramli), that is the most delicious fish on the planet, the Damascene is more like caviar. You can drink whatever with sea bass but are restricted to Scotch or Champaign with caviar. Both are great to have; one on a regular basis, the other on special occasions. Caviar like Cuban cigars and a red Ferrari need a "refined" taste and high maintenance.
Sorry, my intention is not chauvinist in the least, I really mean the above as a compliment to both, sea bass and caviar. As a matter of fact, I'm crazy for seafood.


syriaty said…
I enjoyed reading your post. You said the girls in Damascus LOOKED beautiful, but ARE they so? Or was it the make-up and the seductive clothing that did the job? What do you think of Allepian or Lattakian girls? Can they beat the Damascene?
Anonymous said…
I think the Sea Bass and Caviar example applies to the two cities themselves, Although I would not agree to use any sea-related example to describe Damascus or its people. Anyway, let me say that a little bit of 'Damascus' would be good every now and then, just like "caviar"...

For me, Damascus is always connected with the feeling of "gotta something to do"...I can never feel relaxed, happy, or have fun at Damascus. I feel that I have to finish whatever I got to do then get the hell out.
Abufares said…
all syrian girls are beautiful. my favorite all-time food is "Labneh". it's wholesome, delicious and simple
KJ said…
It annoys me to see the people "half your age" are getting more superficial in Syria than they were before. I think I can safely blame it on the monotony of their lifestyles and the lack of "exotic" events in the country. Every day is the same as the other day, with one or two occasions per year happening.

So the girls thought it would be cool to spice things up, and each year they undress a little more. Although in Dubai I have seen undressed in a refined form, it seems odd, embarrassing or degrading at times when I see the people I know (or don't) in Syria getting undressed simply because there is nothing else to do.

The guys have always been lusty even way back in the 90s. Now that the girls raised the bar, and with so many outlets available, the men left behind their sandals, polished their expensive leather shoes and adopted a bad habit of pouring a whole gel bottle on their hair every night. And they all groom it back into a paste mullet so that you can see how their scalp looks like.

I can't blame any of them for their behavior. It just bothers me, but I accept it... I wish them a better future where they don't have to rely on the superficial for people to come over and appreciate the person for what he or she is.
Abufares said…
Well KJ what can I say! This is where it's heading as far as I can see.
You know it's been a while since I wrote this post and since I have come to realize that we're not that much better off here in Tartous. Changes and changes. I wish we get more of the "for the better". It's so hard to keep track anymore.
Fenella said…
Perhaps a you need to taste some freshwater fish for a change.
Abufares said…
Oh yes I do. I certainly do.

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