Mehran

IMG_5816It’s a family hall. I presume it’s for weddings and such. I pass it all the time. It’s on a junk street. There’s trash and construction debris everywhere. There’s nowhere to park. The place itself is nothing to look at from the outside and mostly shuttered. Once or twice a month I have seen it open and a function is going on. There is a fountain. And there are people dressed for a celebration. Mostly it’s closed so I wonder how they stay in business. And the location is certainly not picturesque.

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Do You Believe This?

IMG_5811There’s only one car on this eight lane road called Thalia Street. It’s always crowded and teeming. Your life is at risk just to walk across. I have seen so many folks hit by cars. Then, there are the ladies in black, who just step off the curb and leisurely pace across the road. All cars stop, some screeching. There’s an unwritten rule, it seems, where if you are covered to your ankles and you have a limited field of vision, a man in a speeding car will not strike you dead. I believe this also. But I’m a man and many would consider me not to believe my eyes.

Sweets

IMG_5808Candy gifts illustrate the weight problems seen so commonly. Almost every hospital room is overflowing with sweets, mostly chocolate. Over the top displays seem to be the fashion. It’s also contributing to the obesity problem. I’ve been looking at BMI’s greater than 30 (obese) for so many months, that I’m getting used to the size and shape of fat people. This is not a good thing.IMG_5809

Raj Restaurant

IMG_5797Here’s one more comment on the only Indian restaurant in my repertoire so far. Instead of bread it’s papadum served. They are addicting and definitely so bad for you. Those aren’t spring rolls because they’re cheese filled. It is a fact that most cultures have something you would call a dumpling. And egg rolls, spring rolls, samosa etc are all common variations.IMG_5798 IMG_5796

Night Wandering

IMG_5802More night wandering and you see some of the strangest things. That would be Michael Phelps? It’s around the time of the Olympics and I seem to recall he did a shampoo commercial. I’m amazed that the folks are so attuned to world sports outside soccer. I never see anything else on local cable. The Olympics on cable were of the minor sports. The USA networks did not see fit to televise any swimming on my channels. IMG_5800 IMG_5814 IMG_5812The bottles I believe would be for scent as in perfume? Considering how much perfume can cost, those are really big containers.

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Paul Restaurant

IMG_5785Real French bakery and restaurant, the baking is quite good. I finally tried it. The croque monsieur was even good. (By the way, it’s not ham.) Unfortunately, on the second try it was cold and uncooked. Still it was a good meal. I had the lime with mint. It’s lime juice and crushed ice, a bit oversweet but very good. The éclair was excellent and I forgot to take a picture until I was halfway through eating the darn thing.IMG_5782 IMG_5787 IMG_5786 IMG_5789

King Fahd’s Fountain

IMG_5774It’s listed as the ‘tallest of its type in the world.’ This is a tourist attraction. When I think of New York and tourism… Well, at night it’s kind of hard to miss. I’d prefer not to make any editorial comment. Jeddah doesn’t have too many things on the tourism list of attractions as I was surprised to find when I tried to research. There is one shot I’d like. It would be of the sunset sun just behind the fountain. I’ve seen this shot in my mind as I rode home from the hospital. That would be pretty neat to set up someday.IMG_5777

Juice World

IMG_5769 IMG_5771Farid took me here one evening. They make juice smoothies of just about any fruit combination you can imagine. As my kids would say, this is just my kind of place. They bind their fruit in a unique way. I wonder if they rotate the stock. When you blend and mash up multiple fruits it’s very thick and begins to all taste the same. I used to mash up all the play clay during my childhood and the color always ended up a dull brown. Get it? Oh, and if you wonder, the fruit is really pretty inexpensive here in the markets.IMG_5772

Neon Lights

IMG_5762Starbuck’s is pretty ubiquitous especially in a country that loves coffee. Since I don’t drink coffee, it’s all lost on me except for the familiar logo from home. Since I do most of my walking in the evening, I get lots of neon. Funny, you never see these places crowded. Maybe it’s because people eat late? Bright lights get my attention. It seems most are chains. Some are familiar from the US and others seem local. Come to think of it, I guess the USA invented the concept of fast food chains. It’s a good thing to seem something familiar from home when you’re away. And it’s a bad thing to never have to leave your comfort zone. I tell myself this each time I grab a ‘Big Mac.’IMG_5763 IMG_5764 IMG_5767 IMG_5768 IMG_5776 IMG_5779 IMG_5780