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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.