Chris is still in Syria. Hes beeing wowed by things I find 100% routine. Yes Christopher, it is a Shwama spit (Donna kebab in Turkey) with a meter wide diameter. This is probably the highlight of his trip so far, despite the Allepo Souk having a dead camel and us going to St Simeon Stylites monastery and hitched back. We also visited the dead city of Serjella which looks like the builders of a Byzantine ‘exclusive new development,’ got board halfway through and gave up, leaving houses with elaborate cavings over the doors and massive public buildings of grey stone marooned in a sea of bedrock and olive trees. Its got a guide who speaks no English, but got me to teach him the words for house, church, olive press, inn and the like, and another who put Chris and me on the back of his motorbike to get us back to the bus stop. We’ve also been to Crack des Chevaliers, which got TE Lawrance, who knows what hes talking about, excited, and wandered round Damascus, city of wonder. However none of these are edible and all have paled in comparison to the massive Schwama in Bab Tuma.
We have been joined by my mother and by grandmother, who have been ‘discovering Damascus’ with Jules Vern and supplying me with party rings. My unlikely trio of guests have done very well together, and Chris did an excellent job keeping my grandmother out of potholes and away from car wheels. The relatives liked Damascus very much, but have now departed. Hisham is extreamly disappointed to have missed seeing my grandmother. Hes convinced that girls like me never die, and sees my grandmother, who is in her late 70s as further proof of this.
The other person who left today is Sophia. Au Revouir, my French friend.