What it smells like here 

Unless you step off the plane and the entire country smells of fish (like in Japan), most Middle-Eastern countries have similar smells and various locations where you can count on the smell presenting itself.

In tight places and during the summer there will be men with really bad body odor with no shame. Maybe the women smell just as bad but you can’t tell because they are in extra layers.

The flip side is men who are heavily cologned and smoking cigarettes.

The nice hotels have the aroma of floral blossoms & canned fragrances.

The old musty hotels smell just like that…musty. Dusty, old smoke is mingled with cooked greasy food & wet carpet smells. 

I’ll add to this when I catch a new whiff.

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Stereotypical Arab Western-Style Dress 

I should take pictures of this as proof but I am not that sneaky.

The guys slick their hair and it reminds me of the movie Grease. Actually the stylish male outfit is sinilar to Grease, tight pants, t-shirt with maybe a jacket or vest. Unless they are exercising I never see guys in athletic shoes but a lot seem to wear khaki hiking boots. Loafers are very popular as well!

For the ladies, they are usually cognizant of staying fully covered. But that doesn’t mean they wear boring clothes! Typically there’s lots of bright jewelry & bright nail polish with even some animal print apparel. Makeup is done well with kohl-lined eyes and well plucked (sugared or waxed) eyebrows, lipstick is bright and colorful. For the hair, big is good! With the hair wrapped under a scarf snd the face is outlined by the scarf. For forward, heels or boots or bedazzled sandals are commonplace.

Middle East Dress Code

Be forewarned!! Shoulders are bared in this post…and full arm exposure!

   

Here in the good old capital of a Middle East country, though there is a lot of westernized folks, it’s still culturally the norm to cover your shoulders, chest & your body past your knees.


The above outfit is Middle-East summer approved! Lightweight layers, most of the body covered and looking feminine. 


It’s in the 90’s here and I am very thankful that revealing toes are not considered immodest! 

Local Ruins

There’s not much to explain on these pictures.

Awhile back we visited some local ruins with friends.

It’s now a place for locals and visitors to walk through history and learn more

or just have a picnic!

Local Ruins

Local Ruins

Huge pillars

Huge pillars

Oldest and Youngest

Oldest and Youngest

Grand

Grand

The kids loved to get out and burn energy climbing and exploring.

There aren’t many parks in this part of the country and we find this place so much better than a playground!

More of the structure

More of the structure

Tunnels, mosques, walls

Tunnels, mosques, walls

The city beyond

The city beyond

Rug Shopping

Goat & Sheep Hair Rug

Goat & Sheep Hair Rug

After My Love bartered and worked the prices down to a fair price for both,

we got 6-8 rugs! The above is one of them.

My long lovely kitchen rug

My long lovely kitchen rug

And I love this one as well!

Free toy tokens for kids

Free toy tokens for kids

For us, we went to a particular city known for it’s handmade rugs.

I wasn’t particular on buying used or new,

but I did want quality and good colors with middle eastern designs.

In most shops the kids were given chocolates or stuffed animals.

The salesmen know the kids can make or break a deal!

Made in a loom by hand

Made in a loom by hand

We spent the most time with one owner, I feel like his name sounded like Mustafa. Seriously.

And he was a character but quite friendly and generous.

This is his loom within his tiny store (step 6 feet further behind the camera and you are out the door).

The kids "thrilled" with seeing the loom.

The kids “thrilled” with seeing the loom.

Clearly the kids are hitting their final wall of smiling for people and cameras.

They were done being on display.

Working the crank to divide out the material for the rugs

Working the crank to divide out the material for the rugs

Mustafa even let us work some tool that helped him in creating the rugs.

Patiently Waiting outside a mosaic shop

Patiently Waiting outside a mosaic shop

Kids are welcomed in this culture but it’s still surprising for locals to see how many we have

because how many other crazy foreigners do you see traveling with 4 kids??!

And I’ll gladly take them to the moon and back because they are worth it and

traveling and learning and experiencing new cultures is worth it!