Saturday, May 16, 2009

The Last Picture Show

It's finally over. The last week was frantic, but ended well. Ate up as much as we could from the fridge, and M worked very hard to deep-fry an eclectic range of leftover oddities. The week started with a promise of Lebanese tonic from Homs, but the promisee did not deliver. It left us thirsty and angry, with vestiges of malaise, itchiness, delusions of grandeur, cramps and bad feelings towards Homs and all who dwell within. Many uncharitable thoughts clouded the nightly gin and lemonade sessions.

So, as promised, I have some photos for you this week. There's no narrative thread - these are simply things that have amused, shocked, terrified, or simply held my interest long enough to justify a photo over the past five weeks.

The first is our favoured brand of toilet paper:


This toilet paper is described on the side as "soft and tender". Not qualities usually associated with the Syrian Bear. Alarmingly, it also has "dewy" listed amongst its features. Again, neither bear-like, nor particularly desirable in toilet paper. Still, the bear looks gentle enough. He's clearly about to head into the woods.


Seen in Aleppo. Unlikely that these adhesive cups would offer the support demanded by today's active woman. Even Bimbos need to reduce bounce. As an aside, many men here quite like boobs. Was walking in Aleppo the other day and a man stared at my breasts and proclaimed "It is beautiful". Why, thank you, I thought, and it was only later I took offence. It is beautiful?????? Which one? What's wrong with the other one?

This one was clearly designed for archaeologists.


One Tuesday night as dusk descended the sky turned an intense orange. Bugger, I thought, 'tis the Apocalypse. I looked out of the compound gate. Pestilence, yup. Plague...hmmm...if a severe rash counts, yup. Horsemen....looking....looking....nope, just two goats, an angry-looking cow and a child with a burning stick. Unless this was all that could be mustered during the global economic crisis, I think we're off the hook.


These adorable kitties were playing around in a bakery in Aleppo. This might explain why some of our bread is hairy, and why none of it has mice in it.


Some people, well, maybe just The Fella, think that the only thing archaeologists do is paint numbers on buildings, pots and dead things. I have worked very hard to disavow him of this notion, so it's really unhelpful when one of my colleagues leaves stuff like this lying around.

This is from the greatest falafel shop in the world. I want to dive into this vat of bubbling joy and make like a Hungry, Hungry Hippo. More than once I have been held back by friends.

This is presumably smaller than colon for adults.


This is the light switch above the sink in our compound. When brushing one's teeth there are two possible outcomes: minty freshness, or instant death. It's best to wait until you're wide awake lest you touch the live wire.


This is the magnificent toilet. No comment needed. Just bathe in its glory.

I'll end with a genuinely pretty photo. These poppies spring up everywhere by the sides of the road in Syria. They are fragile and an incredible intense colour. The white bit in the background is a plastic bag. Welcome in Syria.

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