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A Walk in Asmara

The Markets and Beyond

The Grand Mosque.

I began to smell the unmistakable mixed odor of fresh and rotting fish. I rounded a corner to the left. A large, single-story, open building with a low roof just across the street was the source: the Asmara fish market. Repressing my natural inclination to move away from the smell, I walked over for a look. Rows of fish eyes, large and small, looked up at me. Clams and octopi claimed their places too. The fish are brought up fresh daily from the Red Sea 70 miles (112 km) away. To think that one of my favorite foods coexists in such a smelly place at one time or another almost makes me reassess my life-long love of fish.

Continuing northward, I found myself in a block long and wide, paved square in front of the Grand Mosque. The gleaming white mosque stood above me ...

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