Feb 9, 2006

Mosullini from Iraq! and Marco on Yemen

After the previous two Macro Polo posts (on Islam and Magic), I'd like to conclude with these amusing narrations of his book.

Mosullini, the great fascist, is originally from Iraq!

Chapter VI: All those cloths of gold and of silk which we call muslins are of the manufacture of Mosul, and all the great merchants termed Mossulini, who convey to another, are from this province.

So, somehow, Saddam Hussein and Mosullini are relatives... hm....

Baghdad, the great city of learning
Chapter VIII: The mohamotan law is here regularly studied, as are also magic, physics, astronomy, gomancy, and physiognomy. It is the noblest and most extensive city to be found in this part of the world.

It's saddening to see the state of these cities today and the ruins of their many historic sites. Anyways, Marco follows this sentence with a whole chapter on how the Tartars captured Baghdad... aah!

Yemen, where Cattle is fed fish!

In chapter XL of the third book, Marco described the Province of Aden. He goes to (or just narrates about - not sure, since maps never show his route to Africa and Yemen, although he describes them in his book) Hadramout, Mukalla, and then off to Oman. He mentions that the daily food of the people there was almost only fish and rice. Even the animals were fed dried fish ' which he found very weird. He goes on to describe also a kind of bread that Yemenis make out of crushed dried fish.

In 2004, and to my amusement, my Yemeni roommate confirmed that until today fish and rice are the foods of Yemeni people (especially in the south). Not just that, but he even confirms that until today the herds are fed dried fish. The bread made of fish is kind of rare now but can still be found.

Read 9-1-2003
Reviewed 5-27-2004
Edited & Blogged ... today

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