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Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year…. I’m on Vacation.

Tuesday, December 25th, 2007

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to everyone.

Mom, I’m still okay.

I’m running into some Visa issues so I am just going to take my annual vacation from my vacation over the holidays kind of like normal people do. Not going to and have not done anything worthy of writing about so I haven’t posted anything. Probably going to be this way for a bit so don’t expect much. I am hiding out in a small town on the Mediterranean in Syria. I have a tv with satellite (195 channels but only 8 in English, who would of thought there were that many Arabic channels.), places where I can get turkey and cheese sandwiches, fries, cole slaw (really good cole slaw I might add), pizza, cheeseburgers, frosted flakes, schwarmas, Snickers (new, temporary addiction), Coke/Pepsi, and other just like back home kind of foods. I’m not complaining. No, wait, they have no McDonalds here in Syria. Also, it is freaking cold in the Middle East. Some places it is snowing so I can’t even get there. Who would have thought that. Man, I am just learning stuff like crazy. Where I am at the weather is a bit more tropical but still gets a slight chill at night.

I am trying to make arrangements to spend the New Year in Bahrain with my friend Meis that I met in Lebanon. Other than that, not much happening.

Happy EID, Hanukkah, Feliz Navidad, etc…..

Steve

Picking up the soap… A Turkish bath

Monday, December 10th, 2007

Lying face down on the cold tiles, steam clogging the air, arms from four hairy images suddenly grab me and hold me down. A big fat guy waddles over… Errrrreeeeech (like the sound when a car locks up and screeches to a halt) whoa now, I know what your thinking, and that ain’t what a Turkish bath is all about. Well, sort of. Sure, since I think that I am not totally out of the average American category, I have to assume that there are a lot of people who also have their own imbedded image of what a trip to a Turkish bath would entail. For me, it goes straight from Turkish bath to Turkish prison, and that is directly related to about the only thing that I had really known about Turkey, which was the movie I believe is Midnight Express, the one where that guy gets thrown into Turkish prison and he has a wonderful time and his girlfriend comes and sticks her breasts up to the glass partition and he is really really happy. A great Christmas movie. TV is knowledge. Actually, I am writing this piece out of sheer guilt as I spent eight days watching tv in Latakkia on the coast of Syria and then going back to Damascus to work on a Visa, and took a bus all the way back to Latakkia just so that I could get more tv time. Oh, on face value it comes across as pretty sad, but it’s okay, I have 190 channels to make me feel better. Look at that I made it a whole paragraph writing about a Turkish bath and not saying anything about it being gay (not that there is anything wrong with that, well, unless of course you were lying face down on cold tiles in a steamy room with four hairy guys holding you down, “gay” would probably come screaming across the old panic area of the brain.) Again, just not my thing, but… I’ll stop now, I have a cold and I think a fever. It’s time to move on.

[read on]