I am a woman, an American and I was born in Vietnam…
Posted: 10 March 2011 .
I am not Chinese, Japanese, Spanish, German and I’m not French either! Well it would seem that few tourists from the UK or Australia ever come here, and there are fewer Americans yet. Judging from the number of “Bon Jour’s” and “Buenos Dias’s” I get all over the street. I also get a decent number of “Mie How’s” too, but few “Konichiwa’s”. And although I get more “Hello’s” than anything else, the follow up is always: “France?”
Ok, yesterday was a bit of a bust. Went to some mosques, went to some churches (all of which were closed and I had to return at a later time) and they were… ok. All the while I’m thinking to myself, what’s the big deal with Aleppo? So it’s the second city here in Syria, but what’s the big deal? I didn’t see anything incredible. But the one thing I did get was that the people continue to be just as warm and welcome here as they were in Hama. Universally everyone is friendly and curious about where I’m from and if I’m having a good time. Although the “souk” or market here is very large, it is only mildly interesting. Or is it that I’m getting jaded by all of the other markets I’ve been to around the world?
So went to the big deal mosque here and a strange thing happened. I had to pay to get in. Ok, that’s not so strange because they just seem to be following the tradition of many big mosques out there that have become tourist attractions (heck, why not take money from the lowly non believers, who are just looking for souvenirs, right?). No, the strange part was that my very male travel partner did not have to pay and could use the nearest entry while I had to walk around to the front, and then… AND THEN I had to put on this lovely skirt over my pants! So it’s wasn’t just the lowly non believing tourists, but the lowly non believing FEMALE who had to pay. In the end perhaps that whole experience was worth the lovely picture below!
So 25 Syrian Pounds and being a woman gets me this: