generations

Generations

I’ve been sitting in front of the PC, for days, hours at a time, trying to come up with something to write about my visit to Syria. I think I have pretty much exhausted what there is to say, given that any one week trip in Syria warrants a systematic way of approaching each day.

I haven’t had a proper holiday since the college days. If you’ve been following my blog you’d know that my longest holiday in the past three years was two weeks. When I used to spend 2 or more months in Syria I barely had time to do everything lol!

JUL 2009 122

pool with a view, what’s not to love?!

But this trip was slightly different. I “returned”, so to speak, a totally different person. I returned, as my best and childhood friend there put it, “happy, disjointed, with 8 more kilograms of beef”. That’s good!

It’s not only me though who has, so to speak, “aged”. Since I’ve been there in April, many thing changed and aged back home. My grandma lost lots of weight (but docs say she is in good health), my dad’s diabetes got a bit worse, my cousins grew a foot taller and my grandfather lost his memory.

But that’s not too morbid actually. I am quite glad he lost his memory. He’s SO HAPPY! He is just smiling, all the time! He knows who he is, he knows where he lives, and he remembers some of his kids. But he remembers nothing of his problems! NOTHING! No family feuds, no recollection whatsoever with any argument or mishap. He’s living the moment each and every single moment!

JUL 2009 152

one of the oldest, gorgeous ladies in my small town; she’s still got her memory but thankfully she has a happy life

I honestly am happy for him. It’s the best feeling in the world, to be free of allllllllll the burdens of the past 93 years of his life. In my absense he asks about me, though I have to remind him of who I am when he sees me. He’s such an awesome guy, really! At lunch we all gathered and told him we were his family, and he was absolutely thrilled! We kept reminding him every 20 or so minutes and it’s always like the first time he discovers he has a family that loves him.

The least favorite son (God I am so evil) asked him “who’s your favorite son?” and grandpa says “well you of course!”. The he points to dad (grandpa’s actual favorite son) and he says “what about that guy? do you like him?” and grandpa says “of course! You’re all my kids!”.

I dunno if he forgot about my deceased grandmother. I don’t think he did, though no one brought it up. She’s always in his memory, in everything. Several times over the years at lunch he’d comment that he misses her food, or scolding someone for touching the wine bottle that he promised he’d only open when he’s with her. I can’t think of a better husband, to still be so madly in love with your wife decades after she passed away.

Leaving a bit of those memories behind I went to Tartous to meet the one and only abufares. Our meeting was quite short, only a couple of hours or so, and my dad’s presence veered the conversations off to their collective memories of Syria before I was born lol. But it was nontheless an absolute privelage to finally meet the poetic voice of the blogosphere*. I’m also promised a fabulous lunch/dinner the next time we meet. Take that DJ!

JUL 2009 127

nanananannanananananana I saw him I saw him nananananana

If there’s anything I miss the most in Syria – other than breatheable air, a blue sky, and foliage – is the social aspect. As in old-school social. Not FB and twitter and crap.

 

*signed photos of abufares will be put up on sale shortly

  • http://undermyolivetree.com/ Ali

    I have to visit Northern Syria in the summer, and try all the great food

  • abufares

    KJ
    Thank you for taking the trouble and coming to Tartous to see me. It’s hard for me to really tell you how much I appreciated your visit.
    Hopefully soon we’ll get a chance to spend a little bit more time together.
    You still are my favorite (oldest) young man I know ;-)
    See you soon!

  • abufares

    KJ
    Thank you for taking the trouble and coming to Tartous to see me. It’s hard for me to really tell you how much I appreciated your visit.
    Hopefully soon we’ll get a chance to spend a little bit more time together.
    You still are my favorite (oldest) young man I know ;-)
    See you soon!

  • Anonymous

    abufares -
    And thanks for welcoming me to Tartous! I liked this favorite oldest young man LOL! I guess I didn’t beat Yazan yet! *draws up evil plans mihmihmih*

  • http://blog.jarofjuice.com KJ

    abufares -
    And thanks for welcoming me to Tartous! I liked this favorite oldest young man LOL! I guess I didn’t beat Yazan yet! *draws up evil plans mihmihmih*

  • http://undermyolivetree.com/ Ali

    I have to visit Northern Syria in the summer, and try all the great food

  • http://omars2cents.blogspot.com/ Omar

    You’re a lucky guy KJ. I only had the pleasure to talk to Abufares last year.

    You’re description of the lasting love between your grandfather and your grandmother was really touching.

  • http://omars2cents.blogspot.com Omar

    You’re a lucky guy KJ. I only had the pleasure to talk to Abufares last year.

    You’re description of the lasting love between your grandfather and your grandmother was really touching.

  • http://alwaysnumb-me.blogspot.com/ Sou-0ne-Canobee

    Oh wow this is by far the most happy post I have ever read I am really glad you enjoyed your time there and had a trip down memory and childhood lane its nice to have family gatherings and see the people who are broken apart by work and space whether actual or psychological one :)
    I am so in love with the pictures I love Syria would love to go there again the air is really breathable and some how you get a feeling you are lost in another time :)
    I am glad you enjoyed your time pal and so want to go there soon “Allah Yekrem”
    As for your grandfather I just hope I would have half of this pure and utter affectionate married life This is so refreshing let’s hope it is not restricted to the things we classify under “The Good Old Days criteria”

  • http://alwaysnumb-me.blogspot.com/ Sou-0ne-Canobee

    Oh wow this is by far the most happy post I have ever read I am really glad you enjoyed your time there and had a trip down memory and childhood lane its nice to have family gatherings and see the people who are broken apart by work and space whether actual or psychological one :)
    I am so in love with the pictures I love Syria would love to go there again the air is really breathable and some how you get a feeling you are lost in another time :)
    I am glad you enjoyed your time pal and so want to go there soon “Allah Yekrem”
    As for your grandfather I just hope I would have half of this pure and utter affectionate married life This is so refreshing let’s hope it is not restricted to the things we classify under “The Good Old Days criteria”

  • http://www.nizars.com/ Nizar

    Mixed feelings here while reading your post, mixed between feeling sad and happy, but the important thing is that your family are happy together and I hope they always stay that way.

    Good that you took some time off to relax and enjoy the ”old school social” as you have put it, I really miss that too.

  • http://www.nizars.com Nizar

    Mixed feelings here while reading your post, mixed between feeling sad and happy, but the important thing is that your family are happy together and I hope they always stay that way.

    Good that you took some time off to relax and enjoy the ”old school social” as you have put it, I really miss that too.

  • Anonymous

    Ali -
    You really should!

    Omar -
    Thank you Omar. My grandparents had an amazing relationship. I have no recollection of her unfortunately. The only memory I have of her is grandpa.

    Sou -
    Thank you Sou, I wish all men were like my grandpa. He’s the most honest man I’ve known in my life.

    Nizar -
    Thanks Nizar, I appreciate it :) I’m glad you had a blast in your time off as well!

  • http://blog.jarofjuice.com KJ

    Ali -
    You really should!

    Omar -
    Thank you Omar. My grandparents had an amazing relationship. I have no recollection of her unfortunately. The only memory I have of her is grandpa.

    Sou -
    Thank you Sou, I wish all men were like my grandpa. He’s the most honest man I’ve known in my life.

    Nizar -
    Thanks Nizar, I appreciate it :) I’m glad you had a blast in your time off as well!

  • http://7akifadi.com/ 7aki Fadi

    what a nice post

  • http://7akifadi.com 7aki Fadi

    what a nice post

  • http://hammouz.blogspot.com/ hamza

    aaah..that’s a different post than the usual one that I am expecting talking about the nature in syria, the air, the roads etc. Good one KJ..
    Thumbs up

  • http://hammouz.blogspot.com hamza

    aaah..that’s a different post than the usual one that I am expecting talking about the nature in syria, the air, the roads etc. Good one KJ..
    Thumbs up

  • Anonymous

    7aki -
    Merci :)

    Hamza -
    :D

  • http://blog.jarofjuice.com KJ

    7aki -
    Merci :)

    Hamza -
    :D

  • http://asecretwindow.wordpress.com/ Secret Window

    khaaaaayy..i wanna lose my memory…all of it…that would be a very refreshing experience…to be able to start over from scratch :D

  • http://asecretwindow.wordpress.com Secret Window

    khaaaaayy..i wanna lose my memory…all of it…that would be a very refreshing experience…to be able to start over from scratch :D

  • Batoul

    I’m looking forward to “returning” too. This was something.

  • Batoul

    I’m looking forward to “returning” too. This was something.

  • http://pillowtalkpress.wordpress.com/ Fantasia Lillith

    Abufares is looking good!! trimmed down in fact. Loved your post! The older Lady reminds me of my Grandmother,

    I admit I was at first a little insulted at being called an imbecile but then saw that Abufares was on the list as well. I am in good – no … great company! Thank you actually for adding me. I did not know you visited my site.

  • http://pillowtalkpress.wordpress.com/ Fantasia Lillith

    Abufares is looking good!! trimmed down in fact. Loved your post! The older Lady reminds me of my Grandmother,

    I admit I was at first a little insulted at being called an imbecile but then saw that Abufares was on the list as well. I am in good – no … great company! Thank you actually for adding me. I did not know you visited my site.

  • http://mohaly.blogspot.com/ Mohaly

    I really like the old lady :) It must have been some quality time with her.

  • http://mohaly.blogspot.com Mohaly

    I really like the old lady :) It must have been some quality time with her.

  • kinano

    Not to mention having your first official beer :D

  • kinano

    Not to mention having your first official beer :D

  • http://dubaiconsumermirror.blogspot.com/ moryarti

    remind me to smack you on your head next time i see you for seeing Abu Fares before i do.

  • http://dubaiconsumermirror.blogspot.com moryarti

    remind me to smack you on your head next time i see you for seeing Abu Fares before i do.

  • http://cinnamoninfatuation.blogspot.com/ C.I

    Cool Post.

    I’ve always wanted to visit syria. Maybe one day ill ask you for recommendations!

    Time with grandparents is always cool. I have one left and I plan on spending tons of time with her when i visit..

    I wonder if “returning” actually lives up to what we (expats) have fabricated in our head!

  • http://cinnamoninfatuation.blogspot.com C.I

    Cool Post.

    I’ve always wanted to visit syria. Maybe one day ill ask you for recommendations!

    Time with grandparents is always cool. I have one left and I plan on spending tons of time with her when i visit..

    I wonder if “returning” actually lives up to what we (expats) have fabricated in our head!