Down by the Port
The coffee in Syria is infused with cardamom. Walking past the numerous shops selling coffee here with the sacks of beans sat outside and the machines grinding it inside, there is that lovely, rich smell emanating from them, and I am too weak to resist it.
Buying our morning coffee in Latakia a guy started chatting to us and was keen to know what we thought of his country & the people here. He talked of how sad — and even annoyed — he was when traveling abroad and people responding to his nationality with questions of “isn’t it really dangerous there?”, and particularly with the bad wrap Syria gets in the international media. “Do you see people with guns in the street here?” he asks. Personally, I feel more threatened in certain parts of the UK, of France, and certainly in the States, than I have ever felt here. This discourse finished with him buying our coffees for us.
A few hours later, we were in Tartous, a town on the coast just north of Lebanon. Getting off the bus, we met an American guy, Joseph, who is traveling around the region with a project (Roving Musicologist) recording locals musicians & groups here. After having rented an apartment for the three of us for a few days, we headed down to the sea, along with a Japanese girl Joe knew, and spent the evening sat on the rocks with boats arriving & leaving from the little harbour. This was one of those typical traveler-type clichés.