To me, that feeling of intent and calmness, so far, happens in two shop types: Toy Stores & Stationary Shops (Including Bookstores).
Old Souk Salmiya has two toy stores remaining, remnants of the old block that used to house Baskin Robbins, Hardees and Tikka on the side. To me, they have always been a place of magic and wonder, where I would go to pick out action figures (lets just call them toys shall we?) as a child. They always had more toys that I had pocket money to spend! It was such a treat to be greeted by a familar figure from a cartoon you were just watching.
The Mario Brothers Costumes!!
It is my sad duty to inform the masses tha Al Manara Bookshop is no more. They have finally closed shop. There, where I spent countless hours pouring over magazines, comics, reading book jackets and once, buying Spiderman Trading Cards.
There was another equally great bookstore that was just across from Tikka in Old Salmiya, but it also died out too soon. I bought many a Valentines Day Card from there.
Memories are the sweet residue of history, left in our minds to remind us of how beautifully simple the world used to be, and how happiness can be found in a store.