Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Timing is everything

A traditional dance in this corner of Araby is Al Yolla. It is performed by large troupes of local men looking splendid in an intricate choreography involving accessories such as camel prods and rifles. The whole thing is accompanied by raucous and, frankly, rather repetitive chanting.

I have found Al Yolla diverting, even hypnotic, at various colourful folklore displays over the years.

But at five thirty this morning I suddenly woke and suspected that at least a dozen fearsome warriors were had taken over the salon of the villa where I am staying as guest of my former employer and sponsor.

However, a courteous guest refrains from showing too much curiosity...

The chanting and the associated percussion continued for the remaining two hours of my now fitful slumber, echoing at disco decibels up the marble staircase.

When I went downstairs finally I discovered that the Al Yolla was a kind of nigh-time loop on one of the local television channels. 

How exactly my host had found it possible to curl up and fall asleep on one of the sofas of the majlis with that kind of a din in his ears... 

Ah, the untold mysteries of the Orient!

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