A bit of man talk when buying a scarf!!

Trip Start Sep 28, 2010
Trip End Ongoing

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Flag of Syria  ,
Friday, March 18, 2011

After a short bus ride from Hama, we arried in the city of Aleppo....as far as we can tell its the twin of Damascus.......equally impressive mosque, souqs to keep you entertained for weeks, food to die for (again) and, unlike the capital, an imposing citadel from which you can gaze out over the incredibly dense city.

We continue to be overjoyed by our travels in Syria, everybody seems to be looking out for us and willing to help in every way. From Aleppo we took a small day trip to visit the ruins of a Byzantine church....a church were a hermit use to live up an 18m high pole...but that's another story. The day trip involved taking two mini-buses each way. On the return we decided to skip one of the buses and walk to soak up a bit of the countryside. Every passing car, tractor or bicycle would stop to see if we wanted a lift and see if we were alright, some even asked to come to their house for a coffee (at least we think that's what they said), with our hand on our heart we kindly refused.

Saturday seemed to be some some kind of holiday and everyone in the city was in the best of moods, time after time we were stopped just for a chat. We spent a couple of hours in the courtyard of a mosque just watching families come and go while their children chased each other and played football. While everyone was willing to talk, there was one issue they were not willing to discuss.....that of the anti-government movement in Syria. We tried gently on several occasions to talk about the recent news of protests in Dara'a only to be shut down or told quickly how much they loved their president.

The only time we got a more detailed answer was when we were chatting to a Syrian / Australian man who emigrated to Lakemba some 6 years ago. He had returned to Syria for a year to help his father with the family business. He told us quite frankly that people will not talk as they are afraid of the "secret" police.....we can see the fear factor working in overdrive at the moment. He didn't mind talking to us because he had his Australian passport and was able to leave at the first sign of any trouble.

After several weeks in the middle east it was time to buy a man scarf. (Yes, Jason is finally a metrosexual...!) We decided, as usual, not to purchase from the first shop we came across....just to be sure not to be too overcharged. However once you're in a shop it's really quite hard to leave. The young man had me cornered in the rear of the shop where he had tactically (i'm sure) placed the mirror. He could tell I liked the one around my neck.......400 pounds he said (about $8). I said no I will think about it......"300 pounds" he said.

I looked at Alex who shook her head..........

Scarf man: "You are man, where is your powerfulness?"

I said that in Australia the woman is the boss, and she said I can't have the scarf at that price.

Scarf man: "In Syria, the man is the boss, women don't tell the man what to do."

(Price has dropped to 200 pounds at this stage.)

I said that Alex has the money, and she won't give me 200 for the scarf.

Scarf man: "Why you give your wife the money, the one with the money has all the power, in Syria man don't give women money."

The price has now dropped to 75 pounds ($1.50) and I am feeling a little embarrassed for the man, so I pull out my wallet and give him the 75 and leave with the scarf around my neck.

Scarf man warned me as we left: "You will have trouble in Australia, you are letting your women think too much."   !!!

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Laura on

Yeah I think that one is only convincing the other way round. But the man has a point. She is a bit cerebral for it to be sensible.
Tell me more about this scarf.

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