Seriously, I don’t speak French! (Damascus, Syria)
Posted: 14 March 2011 .
So Went from Aleppo to Palmyra. Although I had planned on being there for 2.5 days, true to form did the speed tourism thing and left after 1.5 days. Although the area was big and very impressive with roman ruins (really impressive) I was able to shoot everything I wanted to shoot so it was off to Damascus!
After checking into my new hotel in Damascus (which is ok), getting settled in, I headed out to start shooting right away. Almost immediately a young fellow approached and said in french, “Excuse me, do you speak French?” I understood his question immediately and said, “NO!” adamently. He asked again, and again I said, “No!” I guess I was so convincing in my comprehension of his question that he decided that I speak french. So he proceeded to ask me for directions IN FRENCH! To which i responded in very broken french, “Please, I sorry. I aaahhh today my first day Damascus. Ahhh I understand nothing. Ahhh my french very bad.” He repeated to me in French, “oh you only just arrived?” and then in broken english he says, “can you tell me how to get to the Tomer Gate park?” To which i said in English, “no I don’t know how to get there.” He says in French, “I was looking for an Arabic bible, and found one in both french and Arabic, now I’m lost and I need to find this park.” And I’m like dude, seriously, which part of, “Je ne comprande pas Francais.” Don’t you understand?? he did finally get it in his head that I was not going to be of any help. He said in English, “Oh, right, you said you don’t speak French, and you just arrived. I sorry” and walked away. It was hilarious.
As for Damascus? A GREAT old city with a ton of history. I’m really impressed. This is much more fun that Aleppo which for one reason or another people really seem to have an affinity for. Dunny why.