Saturday, 28 July 2007

Doing a runner

What better way is there of leaving a country than turning up at the airport, bags in hand and asking for the next available flight out of the country? Of course, the danger is that you just missed the last flight for a week, but if you can't go where you want to go, you can always choose somewhere else interesting.
Fortunately for me, I knew when the flights left and just had to follow my hunch that there would be seats available. I really do recommend doing a runner at some point in your life. It is very liberating!

Saturday, 7 July 2007

Music mania

I've been doing a lot of musical things lately.
First, there was the FĂȘte de la Musique, a yearly festival that is held in various traditional houses around the old city. Unfortunately, we didn't realise there is no way of knowing which houses unless you got a map from the French Cultural Centre before the event. So, we turned up at one of the main gates of the old city and wandered around, hoping to see a group of people looking festive! Eventually I got through to a friend of mine who pointed us in the right direction and off we set to a hammam that was hosting Latino music. I don't think I've ever been so hot in my life! After sweating profusely for about 10 minutes, we moved on to a rock venue which was basically a guy electric guitar wanking so we made a swift exit and moved to a jazz performance. Definitely the best of the night. All in all, quite a random experience.
Then, I got free tickets to see the most famous musician to visit Syria in 30 years - Enrique Inglesias! One of my students was raving about going to see him in concert and I was quite unashamedly teasing him about it. But then I got a phone call on Thursday night asking what I was doing…30 minutes later I was on my way to the concert myself. All cred out the window!
Last was a jazz festival at the citadel. The setting was pretty impressive, an ancient castle turned into an open-air theatre. The event was sponsored by the Swiss embassy so there were flags everywhere but that didn't detract from the music; some of which was pretty good.
I have to grudgingly admit to Enrique being my favourite of the three - oh the shame!