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Archive for March, 2015

Winter Coats


I admit it was January when I passed these shops. The evening chill is in the 70’s. During the day in the hot sun it is at least 80 or more. I was sweating when I passed these shops. The first year I was here I saw winter coats in the shop like Marks and Spencer. I assumed the coats were for travel abroad to winter climates. Then I saw kids at the Corniche dressed up wearing winter coats. Now I know where and why. I still don’t get it.


Gotta Make The Doughnuts


It was the Dunkin donut motto till the doughnuts got delivered by 18 wheel trucks. These guys were furiously baking for some event probably for the evening activities. Flatbread are seen to the left in a tandoor oven. And then under the plastic are pancake looking discs. I can’t envision how they can’t be soggy. Make sense? I am not in love with soggy pancakes. From the stacks it looks like everything will go like hot cakes – couldn’t resist to say this.

One Up One Down


Maybe it’s a brand new style. I didn’t much pay attention when pant were worn below the crack of your butt. Maybe this kid’s got something going. It was not hot nor was it cold. Half and half?



The classic style is characteristic for different regions and places. Wooden treatments range from primitive to rather ornate. You can see modern to crude to roughly made. Brown is the preferred color.


The styles are said to be unique to certain geographic areas. This is beyond my ability to distinguish.




Beats me. Scattered around the area of the Al Balad are old vintage cars like this Dodge. Go figure. It had a lot of fingerprints upon it. They don’t make ‘em like they used to?



In Al Balad, the old city, there is a café. There are really not too many. The city is composed of twisty winding narrow streets with run down tenement homes that are in need of serious renovation. The area was declared a UNESCO heritage site. So the renovation will begin and I will not see it’s completion. Right now it is hard to see much quaintness. But this little area reminds me of a small French café.

High Benches


These benches are place in front of homes and establishments for men to sit and talk of news. They are high so that feet usually go up on the cushions. There were a lot of groupings around in the old city, Al Balad. I was there during the day. The activity is hottest at night when everyone is out and about after the last prayer.



You Pick


I like the fish calendar. Most people have a mask on their face. I assume the food police insist upon it. No one actually wears it. It’s kind of like seat belts. They are optional till the police give you a ticket. Well in conclusion of my fish market tour, I did see lots of lobster, which I have not seen alive in the Red Sea. There were lots of other fish not seen by me during my dives. It seems that the lack of color indicates that the tasty fish are rather drab. I’d like to know where they net shrimp in such large numbers. And in a random sampling, it appears that squid and octopus are not in demand nor available.




Only a few stalls at the fish market had shark. I guess it is some sort of specialty fish. They were small. Who knows where they were caught or how? Oh, and there were small tuna here and there too. Don’t ask me…” it tastes like chicken” – my stock answer.


There was this one, though, that I have not seen – white spotted guitar fish?


Cleaning Service Too


In the Red Sea there is free cleaning service too. These fish are brave or the bigger fish tolerate them as a necessary service. After all how do you scratch your nose? Don’t be wise and say fish don’t have noses. I knew that. But if you want your windows cleaned or your skin scratched it doesn’t help to eat the help does it? Carry on… And after all the recent land pics, did you think I was done with the Red Sea?

Cleaning Service


The other section of the fish market is for cleaning your purchase. Lines and rows of men are dressed in aprons and rubber boots waiting to gut and fillet your purchases. It is indeed messy. Women sit on benches outside. Men inside congregate and watch their fish being cleaned and dressed. And then there were women collecting the fish heads for stock.


Stationed only a few feet apart these men clean fish efficiently.


Buy My Fish


So it is too cold to dive. The water temp is just uncomfortable. Why dive cold when you can wait for better temperatures? Well the wildlife is dead. I admit there are fish I don’t see when I dive. And where did they catch all those shrimp. I am lucky to see two together hiding under a coral. Does the cry, “Here fishy fishy…” really work?


Meanwhile there are a lot of choices. Each booth has a limited selection. Who caught these fish? And why doesn’t everyone buy their fish fresh here?


Fish Market


I visited the fish market on my first visit to Jeddah. It must have been a strange request but the driver knew where to take me. We walked about and then were thrown out by an irate policeman when they saw I was taking pictures. So it took three years and a bit of courage to enter again. No police in sight and I realized it was an anomaly the last time. Still, I kept to myself and was discrete in my street photography style. I only put the camera to my eye a few times. Mostly I just let the wide angle capture the scene.


Fresh fish has no smell. The same cannot be said for the parking lot where the sour stench is quite distinctly briny. But within the produce is all fresh. Piled high I wondered how time sensitive it was to sell the piles of dead fish before they were no longer good. Neatly piled shrimp and lobster. Everything was dead. In a Chinese the seafood is kept alive and swimming right up till the purchase.




I like the architecture. Maybe it is the color. Most of the mosques I encounter are white. Thobes come in all colors but white is overwhelmingly predominant. And if you buy a car, buy white if you ever want to resell it. Most cars are white. It’s nice to see a stark contrast to what I usually see.

Corn Man


I love the glow of the charcoal. The corn man has his same shirt. His image is there for the context. Otherwise this is about corn roasting over open coals. Personally, I like my corn sweet and juicy. I like the picture but the grill method does not appeal to me.




There is a moment after the sun has set in which there is a deeply orange sky. I lasts for a few seconds before everything goes blue. The fountain in the background is run by a jet engine and is said to shoot the tallest column of water in the world. It’s a nice subject. And the glow sticks add more fun. I don’t stage this stuff. People keep walking into my camera lens frame.




Sunset is always different. I like good clouds. Then I want a nice orange glow. Sometimes you don’t get what you want. I like it when folks pass in front of my sunset. They get shot.


And it is amusing to watch the smart phone crowd. I have to admit the cellphone images are better than nothing. I guess for a screen saver or desktop image this is more than adequate. I just think you need a real camera to do it right. But notice my big fancy camera is having problems in the dim light too.


Dyed Feet


Henna dyed feet is a cosmetic custom. The dye is derived from a small tree. I have seen it in patterns on the hands before. I am not accustomed to seeing feet dyed in a uniform way.


It is definitely a fashion statement that I do not see anywhere else. I have yet to notice it in any of my patients.



There is also a man who will sell you fries on the Corniche. You get different sauces and salt. Hot sauce is popular. During the summer in the stifling heat I imagine standing over hot oil is no fun at all. But it is winter and chilly in January. All is good.




On the weekend there is a large crowd around the equipment. I am happy to see kids being kids. They even get to run bare foot. As you can notice concrete is just as nice a spot to land as grass.


It seems that anything fun always attracts a crowd. Don’t fall and no one will step upon you.




So this chap walked on out into the bay barefooted to cast his line. I have not seen any fish caught. I don’t fancy a walk on the bottom since the green slime on the shore is not too appetizing. I guess the fish are probably not affected by the slime?


Birds buzz the bay at sunset. The glare on the water blinds me. Apparently the birds can see small fish below the surface as they dive bomb and catch supper. Either way it’s fishing.





Kids get to wear color. When they slip into an abaya is individual family choice it seems. I have seen some very young kids in abayas. But I am attracted to color. And I always like bubbles, And it is fun to skate holding your brother’s hand.





Well I can refer to someone walking or the device this man with the cervical collar is using. From his stride I think he’d be better with a cane. Maybe the walker is for sympathy. Ah I happen to have a shot of a cane too.


Corn Man


I swear he doesn’t change his shirt. It’s not a uniform. But this guy is out on two occasions with the same shirt. He has a wheelbarrow with shucked corn and will grill it right on the hot coals for you to eat immediately. A minute a side and you are good to go. I guess no one worries about germs. The heat will have killed them right?