Damascus and leaving Syria (December 18th - December 24th)(continued)
Some of the safety standards here are not quite up to what we are used to. I have seen holes in sidewalks a few feet deep without any form of barrier and at one of the tourist sites, a floor had a 10 foot drop to concrete below with no warning sign, yellow tape or waiver of liability. In the Old City, I was walking down one of the side streets and was close to running into some barbed wire, hanging close to eye level. I wondered how long it was there (based on what I have seen probably years) and decided to move it to the side as best I could. I tied some old cloth around the bottom to draw people's attention. People here are not too concerned with how things look with many buildings in various states of completion or disrepair and no real concern about debris or items blocking public access. I guess the theory is if you trip or fall, it's your own fault if you get hurt.
One day I was walking through the town and noticed an Israeli flag on a tin plate fastened to the ground. It was in the middle of a narrow passageway and I gather the locals get amusement from walking over the flag. There are some things here that I just don't understand. I walked around it.
There is a large Christian quarter in the City and once you cross through the arches signifying the entrance, you suddenly appear in a much wealthier neighbourhood. On Sunday I heard some music so veered off the main street and walked into a Greek Orthodox church that was just finishing the service. The interior had a large nativity scene with the men in sharp suits and women in fashionable dresses. The parking lot was full of new and expensive cars and I felt like I had been transported back to the West. Here is the inside of the church.
There were also some signs of Christmas on the streets.
I found the Syrian version of McDonalds, the golden arches of a chicken restaurant.
I found the Syrian version of McDonalds, the golden arches of a chicken restaurant.