What I Like

This is the first in a two-post mini series on my Likes and Dislikes. The lists are in no way comprehensive or exhaustive. They are the brainchild of a Scotch on the Rocks, or two, a scrap of paper and a doodling pen. “What I like” shouldn't offend anyone to be certain. It's “what I don't like” that might bother some. My scribbles are to be taken only at face value, at least this time. They are not arranged in any order.

I Like: People who think more than they talk. I enjoy their presence around me. We can communicate in a few words and share our surroundings with our senses and inner thoughts rather than continuous babble.

I Like: The games women and men play in the beginning of courtship. How they whisper and hold hands, not getting enough of each other, smiling and laughing at inner jokes.
I also like the site of an old couple, withered by years of sharing hardships, gleaming with affection and love for each other, drinking their coffee together, surrounded by memories.

I Like: Cars, airplanes, motorcycles, trains and boats; anything on the move except taxis and busses.
I like the smell of a new Japanese car because it's the best I can afford, now or anytime in the near future. I don't really think much about the stuff I can't get anyway.
I'm in love with flying and am fascinated by the vapor trails of high flying jets in the blue of the sky.

When I'm in the saddle of my motorcycle I am simply a free person who enjoys the trip more than the destination. The hum of the engine, the wind blowing in my face and disturbing what little hair I have left, the blurred vision and teary eyes, the sour ass after hours of hard riding. I have no better explanation except perhaps saying that motorcycles are a way of life.
Traveling by train in Europe is one of the most pleasant experiences for me. I just stare out of the window and witness the splendor of creation, God's and Man's.
As for boats, I was born around them. There is no ugly boat or ship. I particularly appreciate wooden boats. No two are ever alike and they each take to the sea of its own volition. I need to add one last bit under this listing. I tremendously enjoy being in airports.

I Like: Sports. Any kind of competition would do except Golf and Khaliji Football. I am an Arsenal football club fan and I enjoy all European football but mostly the English Premiership.
I have been following Formula 1 since 1986 and consider Michael Schumacher the greatest athlete ever.
I follow women tennis and volleyball. At the end of the day, I fall asleep watching a game of snookers played by real professionals.

I Like: Being at home in my underwear.

I Like: Women. Pretty and intelligent women are very hard to resist. When it comes to their company, I’d choose intelligent any moment. I like the way they smell, the way they walk, the way they hug themselves if they’re cold. I like their hair to fly in the wind. Short or long it doesn’t matter. Blondes or brunettes, I am not that particular, although in retrospect I have known more dark haired companions. It’s very important to distinguish between liking women and being a womanizer of any sort. I am not. I am a happily married man, who will always love women.

I Like: The outdoors. Beautiful virgin locations are my favorites. Mountains fill me with awe and wonder. The sea beckons at me since birth to dip my toes at first then to take a long journey around the world some day. The exhilaration of being out of the city, without a roof over my head, alone, with my son or with a friend cleanses my body and mind. To walk a field of gold with a dog at my side and actually talk with (it), hunting for quail on an early morning is beyond words. Then, to rest near some water hole and grab a bite to eat while dividing my lunch with my loyal friend makes up for an ideal day.

I Like: All animals except hyenas, rats and cockroaches. Eh, flies and mosquitoes too.

I like: The M*A*S*H TV series. I must have seen all episodes at least once during my tenure in the US. I would like to order the complete set on DVD. I like Cosmo Kramer (Michael Richards) of Seinfeld and Hal (Bryan Cranston) of Malcolm in the Middle. There must be a reason for me to identify with both characters. I also enjoy the National Geographic Channel. I love most of their superb programming with the exception of their “take on international politics”. In that respect, they seem as if they’ve hired the brother of George W. Bush as their political advisor.

I Like: Good food. If I were ever faced with the tough decision of being on a deserted island with only one sort of food for the rest of my life, I would, without hesitation, choose “Eggs”. I am a master Egg Chef and Gourmet.
A big medium-rare piece of Texas steak is certainly on the top of my all-time favorites.
I love chocolate ice-cream, Louisiana crawfish and catfish, peanuts, Asheh and Stuffed Grape Leaves of Tartous. Being a Chef is a fantasy job for me. For the time being, I’m not even allowed in the kitchen.

I Like: Sile, my own private place. It’s a small room in the basement that is mine. It has a small bar, a TV, a foosball table, a small desk and a message board with old and new pictures of friends. Sile (rhymes with Chile the country) is a river in northern Italy which passes through the lovely city of Treviso. I have chosen this name for my most private space out of affection, loyalty and appreciation. This is where I can be truly alone or with my best friends to watch a game of football and to have a beer or something stronger as the occasion might call. ( I scrawled this post down in Sile). I already have a post on Sile and Treviso, if you care to read it click on THIS

I Like: Reading novels. Good literary work is what I am always after. I am also a fan of good science fiction. My favorite all-time literary work is Dune by Frank Herbert. I have read all five books several times and would do so again.

I Like: Ayn Al Jawzat Restaurant in the village of Saeen. This is a place where I absolutely feel at home. I have no inhibitions whatsoever there. I don’t even order the food and drink. As soon as I walk in, the friendliness of Majed and his small staff takes over. They bring me the exact same combination of Mezza plates every time. The same quantity and quality of home-made Arak. Immediately after I settle down, whatever music is playing stops and an old tape of Melhem Barakat starts from the very beginning. Déjà Vu, over and over again.

I Like: Blogging and the fact that there are some people out there, who don’t even know me, but who are willing to spend some of their time reading what words I’ve come up with. I would really like to meet all of them one day, preferably in a huge party in some exotic location. I enjoy reading blogs as well. I check some of them everyday and feel very happy when they have new posts.

I Like: Tartous. But this should be obvious to everyone already. I am very proud of who I am. If I were from Pakistan, I would’ve loved it as much as I love Syria. We don’t have control over our inherited identity, but whatever it is, it should make us extremely honored of belonging. That shouldn’t mean in anyway that we should be chauvinistic in our feeling or behavior. I just stand in front of anyone from anywhere with the assumption that we are equal. I wouldn’t change my attitude unless he or she takes the first stupid step.

I Like: Chanel no.5 on a woman. Under the right (or shall we say wrong) circumstances, I might act a little silly because of this olfactory obsession.

Finally, I like to walk in the rain and look at the displays of stores. I normally hate shopping and I wouldn’t do it unless absolutely in need. However, once it starts raining, especially in the evening, I grab a jacket or coat and go out in search for something to buy. Anything will do, but normally it would be some gadget or tool I don’t really need. I make it back and start reading the operating manual with avid fascination and deep satisfaction.

Coming Soon… What I Don’t Like!


The Syrian Brit said…
I started to write a comment, but found myself writing far too much.. so I decided to write a post on my blog about your post!..
Watch the space!..
I do hope you will like what I will be saying..
Syrianita said…
My god Abu fares how can you make everything you write so enjoyable?


i felt so cozy reading this...
im not sure about how would i feel about your dislikes but waiting for them anyway ;)

Anonymous said…
Entertaining post as always Abufares. I do like a lot of what you like, but at the present time, I would love to be living on about ten acres of land, a few cows, sheep, goats, bees and plenty of vegitation area to plant.
Abu Abdo
Unknown said…
a very fun read..
I think the mix of places you've been to, combined with the location of Tartous came together to make quite a unique individual :)
Shadi HIJAZI said…
Who wont like such a wonderful list!
Thank you, and looking forward for the "don't likes"!
Ihsan said…
A very nice post Abu Fares! I enjoyed reading your likes, of which, we have so much in common!

So would u mind explaining to me why you have posted a photo of a busty woman if what you like is intelligence?
Abufares said…
Syrian Brit
I can't thank you enough for your kind gesture.
We will meet one day Inshallah
Abufares said…
I haven't heard from you in quiet a while.
I always enjoyed your posts. I check your blog daily to see if you have something new.
Thanks for coming my way.
Abufares said…
Abu Abdo my life-long friend
You certainly must know that we share the same dream. I have mainly talked about what I like and already have. May be one day, I will write about my dreams.
Thanks for dropping by.
Abufares said…
Hi Omar
Who we are is indeed the result of the melange formed by our genes and experiences.
I appreciate your visit and your comment.
Abufares said…
Hello Shadi
Thank you for dropping by.
Nothing makes me happier than knowing that someone like you reads what I say and actually takes the time to comment on it.
Abufares said…
Hi Ihsan
It's funny that you mention that Georgia Palmas is a "busty" woman. When I posted her picture I was really thinking about her intelligent posture.
Thank you for your visit.
Dubai Jazz said…
Abu Fares, another great post !!!
I tried to resist the urge to comment till I hear about your ‘dislikes’, however I couldn’t hold out any more!
You reminded me of a song which I like very much ‘Baker Street’ for Gerry Trafferty now I know that you don’t like music that much, but let me share with you how the last part of it goes:

“He's got this dream about buying some land
He's gonna give up the booze and the one night stands
And then he'll settle down
In this quiet little town
And forget about everything

But you know he'll always keep moving
You know, he's never gonna stop moving
Cause he's rolling, he's the rolling stone
When you wake up, it's a new morning
The sun is shining, it's a new morning
When you're going, you're going on…”
Abufares said…
Hi Dubai Jazz
You got me wrong. I love music but I don't get to enjoy it as much as I'd like to.
The lyrics are beautiful. I'll download the song as soon as I can through Limewire.
I have to admit that I don't think I've heard it before.
Thank you for commenting. You know that I wasn't really planning on posting My Dislikes immediately. Anyway, I'll see how it goes.
Dubai Jazz said…
Oh, sorry for getting you wrong Abu Fares. It was stupid of me to make assumptions before a smart guy like you J.
This song is really good (at least I think it is), I can email it to you if you have enough space in your inbox.
BTW, who’s your favorite singer/band of all time?
Yazan said…
Abu fares,
I've been trying to sum my thoughts about this post for 2 days. I cant. brilliant list.

I have the same exact room in my future house, I've been playing with the details since I was 7 years old, but I can see it soooo vividly now, and i was shocked when u were writing. cuz it's exactly the same room... although, the name is different.
Abufares said…
Don't worry Dubai Jazz at all. I will download the song today through Limewire and let you know about it soon.
My favorite all-time band is Pink Floyd. You know, I guess that as far as music is concerned, I'm stuck in the 80's.
Thanks man.
Abufares said…
Hi Yazan
I'm glad we share similar tastes.
You can give your future room whatever name you want as long as you invite me there somtime.
We all need a little private space at times. Had I been living in some large cosmopolitan area I'm sure I would'v had a favorite watering hole.
Abufares said…
Hi Dubai Jazz
I just downloaded Gerry Rafferty's Baker Street.
I am sorry for telling you that I do not know this song. Please blame it on old age.
I've heard it hundreds of time but I guess I've never listened to it before.
Thank you for bringing it back.
Shadi HIJAZI said…
Abu Fares

Once again, thanks for the wonderful-as-usual post. You are the only blogger that I really enjoy re-reading his same posts again and again!
Informative, deep, insightful, clever, and full of life. Amazing!

aka Kassar Alzabadi
Abufares said…
Dear Shadi
I'm overwhelmed with happiness and appreciation. I don't know whether there's anything out there right now which can make me feel happier.
Thank you so much, for your comment and for your time.
Anonymous said…
I like: the blog of Abufares, the posts of Abufares, the writings of Abufares.
I like: being able to discover I like his writing even when I don't share some of his likes.
I like: discovering that someone else other than my husband (and another Syrian at that) is a big fan of Dune. And don't get me started on Pink Floyd!
I like: the anticipation of the random list of dislikes, hoping to read I am not the only one who obsesses over pet peeves, including some for which I'd be willing to request the death penalty I normally oppose. Chewing gum is one of them, I'm afraid.
I like: still wearing my Chanel N. 5 regularly (although not exclusively) because it really is simply the best.
I like: being able to discover compatriots becoming appreciated bloggers. Long may it last.
Anonymous said…
Hey Abu Fares,

I may not comment on your blogs as often as I would like to, but nonetheless, I always look forward to reading them with abaited breath.

Oddly enough, I also feel that, despite the distance, I am so much closer to knowing you, through sharing your thoughts, dreams, likes and dislikes (yet to come), etc., even if only on paper.

But we both know that we share much more than that, don't we?

Can't wait to see you :)
Abufares said…
Hi Rime
I highly appreciate your words of support.
Your husband is very smart guy. He likes Pink Floyd, he enjoys Dune and he had found you before all others.
You wear Channel no.5,... even reading the words caused my nose to twitch with delight.
Thank you for passing through. What a breath of fresh air.
Abufares said…
Hi my dear Oryx
I'm so happy you're coming back. Every time an expat decides to come back to the nest I feel delighted.
You can only be who you really are in Damascus.
Thank you for your visit and looking forward embracing you soon Inshallah.
Ascribo said…
That was a good list of random good stuff. I have always observed your "likes" and actually liked most of them. Being on a motorcycle with you was a memorable part of my childhood!

Your preference for silent thinkers is totally justifiable. But I have always thought that a little more smart communication would do no harm...

Anyway, you left not too much to be said. Its simple construction made me think about what I really like, but the image is blurred in my eyes at the moment.
Finally, I liked your idea of all bloggers meeting somewhere "exotic" and getting to know each other in person. It sounds like a wonderful idea, and if it happened, it would be one of the blessings of 'Blogsphere'

All the best
Abufares said…
Hi Ascribo

Busy busy busy at your final year in med school...
I wondered where you are.
Anyway, I always appreciate your commenting on my blog andlooking forward reading new posts on your soon.
Karin said…
What a great list of "likes"!! I throroughly enoyed reading it and have to admit, a bunch of things belong to MY list as well .. with women I do have a problem though (ha-ha!) but if I'd have to select among looks and intellect among men, I'd most certainly go for the latter as well! Outdoors (preferably as far away as possible from civilisation even though I may sound crazy to many ...), people who think more than they talk, having a great time with friends somewhere out there, eggs, M*A*S*H and the "games women and men play" are together with Chanel 5 definitely on MY list as well even though I have to admit, MY favourite perfume is "Miracle" ... and "Dune" is DEFINITELY added as well ... it is GREAT but I still haven't finished it completely due to the mess going on during the last weeks!
The paralleles amaze me ...
Thanks so much for this wonderful post ... for being that honest - and for being YOU!
Abufares said…
Hi Karin
No post of mine is complete without your comment. You see, you have spoiled me.
I'm glad that our lists of Likes coincide. But then, I knew it all along.
I am glad you're reading Dune. I hope that once you find time again, you'd continue with all 5 books. You'd be in for a real treat.
Thank you Karin and congratulations for finishing Phase 1 of your new life.

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