I’m writing from an internet cafe in Aleppo, Syria. To my disgust, the local next to is smoking his 6th cigarette since I’ve been here and I haven’t been here that long!
I came here overland (via Antakya/Antioch) on Saturday as the Mersin-Latakia ferry only runs Thursdays and Mondays. My 7th Syrian visa from this border cost 30 USD.
This trip has consisted almost entirely of rest and relaxation. Bangali and Celine are looking after me stupendously well. Celine’s first night roast lamb with garlic and rosemary, boiled whole potatoes in their skins with butter, and cherry sauce made from fresh cherries was a meal to die for!
One thing slightly annoying is the water outages. Each afternoon/evening the public water supply is cutoff and this lasts until early the next morning. Syria is facing a serious water crisis.
Yesterday afternoon I watched Bangali entertainingly play chess against various opponents in the intellectual cafe on Aleppo’s main square. The chess played was almost socialist with the players receiving help from onlookers whether they wanted it or not.
Tomorrow I will take the bus to Damascus to meet Jeff for the first time since his 2002 AIESEC traineeship in Adana.