Travels Middle East

I thought as I stumbled upon a bunch of old photos I might add a few up here and talk about some trips I have taken over my life that stand out, I touched on them in my “about” page on the site but here are some photos to add to the stories..Hey a picture tells a thousand words…or something like that.

A group of eager young musicians decide to audition for a hopeful summer filled with playing aboard cruise ships to help with the student bills we where tallying up while studying music. We auditioned as Sister Moon, a supposedly established band in the Toronto area, I think the band learned 3 songs for that performance in front of the booking agent. We performed them flawlessly and a week later was told that we where perfect for a gig but there was one problem, it commenced in one week aboard a Cunard cruise ship docked in the harbor of Manama Bahrain.

Now this was spring break 1991 and if your too young to remember  the US was involved in a confrontation that history has coined the Gulf War.

So Sister Moon had one week to learn and perfect 30 songs that would barely get us through the 3 sets a day we where under contract to perform every day for the next 6 months. We dropped out of school(or where on spring break I don’t remember)and came together for a 7 day marathon of grueling rehearsals to learn and practice the set list needed to be successful. As you can guess we didn’t fool anyone once we got there, and where ordered to get our shit together. A bold move no doubt.

Tyler Viaene, Thomas Kovacs, Chris Taylor-Munro, John Carroll, and Sean Dimitrie together formed Sister Moon in 1991.

Unfortunately I do not have nay photos of this time any more as all my personal photo books where thrown out by my ex just to spite me…..congrats you where successful. I did however find this Youtube video of our singer Thomas Kovacs talking about it: here is the link

Thomas and I after our contract had concluded made plans to travel together through Jordan, and Egypt in hopes of visiting Israel. We where denied passage to Israel from Jordan as we had just lived 6 months in a predominately Shiite Muslim country, but we had caught wind of the Canadian embassy in Egypt would grant you a temporary blank passport for this very purpose.

Long story short we made landed in Amman Jordan and bunked with Iraqi refugees in a shanty hotel and hitched a ride with one of our roomies to Petra in the back of a pickup truck. Our host was to attend a wedding and had invited us to come along, being the consummate adventuresome pair that we where  we gladly accepted.

After we attended and performed at the wedding Thomas and I explored the ruins on camels with Bedouin Indians for 2 weeks. Evntually we hitched our way to the ferry and set to take an over night passage across the Suez Canal to Egypt.

Not knowing much about International travel we arrived with American dollars in our pocket and was refused entrance as we had not got our visas in advance and did not Egyptian pounds to purchase them at the border. Thomas was 10 years my elder and was prepared, so he went ahead took a cab like a skillion miles to the closest bank  changed some currency and came back like a day later to rescue me. While I waited for his return I took some pictures of Camels that roamed like wild dogs eating out of Garbage cans.

Once in Egypt we had our hopes of making it Cairo to achieve the passports so we could visit Israel,  well…our plans where hi-jacked by what was to be a short visit to Dahab that ended up being the fulfillment of the rest of our layover in this region. we had to catch a flight from Amman to Amsterdam to continue on with the rest of our adventure. We thumbed the long trip back to Jordan the same way we had come.

Here are some photos of this part of the trip..Notice the pictures that seem like they are taken at dusk, that is not the case the photos have an gloomy look to them as the air was filled with oil and smoke from the burning oil fields just 400 miles north of were we where stationed. It actually rained oil there.

One Response to “Travels Middle East”

  1. Sera says:

    The MIddle East is such a magical place. I was fortunate enough to have been able to travel in Lebanon and Syria, as well as having lived in Turkey for two years. I still want to travel a bit more in the ME, but I am not sure due to the current situation in this geographic location.

    It is unfortunate that you have ‘lost’ your pictures, but at least the memories will stay with you and contribute to who you are as a person.

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